Bad Ass Duo.

Bad Ass Duo.

Just wanted to let you know that John Henry Soto and myself are on a mission to create some even more epic entertainment for y’all. We are filming an original short written by John Henry Soto this fall. In addition, we are throwing around ideas for a future series. If you haven’t seen “The Coffee List” yet, please click the photo and …enjoy!

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10 things I learned about myself in the Mid-West.

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1.  I’m extremely practical when I want to be.

As we step up to the Rental Car counter at the airport in Minneapolis, the husband says, “So, what are we getting?  A sports car?”

I smirk.  there’s almost an edge to his voice, as though he believes this could actually be a possibility.

“Nope. Something economical,” I say.

the kindly gentleman at the desk asks us, “Would you like a GP-”

“No, thanks. We have one.”

“Would you like insurance on the-”

“No, we are covered.”

“For just a small amount you can be covered,”

“No, thanks, we are covered.  Already.”

“So you don’t want the insurance?”

“We’re all set.”

“If you pay for your gas now -”

“Nah, that’s okay.”

“OK. Step right this  way. Follow me.”

Hubby scowls.  “We’re not gonna have ANY thing in the car.”

“Nope,” I say.

As we walk out to the myriad selection of cards, a silver mustang speeds by. Hubby glares at me.

“SO, will a Ford Focus work for you?”

Unintelligible mumbles come from the direction of my dear husband.

“Sure!” I say.

Kindly gentleman hands us the keys and I sign on the dotted..well…the ipad.  (Weird, right? technology!)

As we drive away, I am vaguely, aware that for the next 4-8 hours, all I will hear about is my terrible, no fair, no fun, selection of vehicle.

See Mom and Dad?

Practical.

2.  I am obsessed with NPR.

OK, so I sort of knew this one already.  But I can’t tell you how excited I would be throughout our drive from Minneapolis to Fargo, when I found the NPR station.  It was also the first time hubby listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me!”

3. I hate. Fast Food.

Poor husband.  He tried so hard.  You see, we found ourselves in a big box town, after driving for God knows how long.  We were in need of something to hold us over before dinner.  there were many meat-centric fast food places.  We did manage to find a health food store, but there was nothing ready-to-eat available.

We saw something called taco john’s.  I figured, because a) I was desperate, and b) I had never heard of it before, it would be “ok.”

We walked inside and I immediately saw the one vegetarian item on the menu.  they were called mini oles or something..but in reality they were tater tots.  So I ordered those. with a side of guac.  Next I ordered a “salad,” with no meat, cheese or sour cream.  I should have taken a picture of it.

Out came a large taco shell with shredded, brownish-maybe-green iceburg lettuce, some black olives, and salsa.  that was it.  While the husband began the attack on the three for one taco special, I scowled.  I made snobby, Downton Abbey inspired gestures, rolled my eyes and raved on and on about how I would never eat “fast food” again. And what was I thinking?  And what’s wrong with America?  Why are we killing ourselves with pickled products and fake vegetables and meat byproduct?  Hubby just continued eating quietly as I bitched about the salt lick tasting tater hockey puck things.  I dumped the salad.  We drove away, never to speak of john, nor his sad excuse for tacos for the remainder of the trip.

4.  I love my college friends.

time goes on, we all lose touch, but man, when we get back together…we know how to party!  In a we’ve-already-done-the-college-thing type of way, but it’s still a lot of fun.  Seeing old friends is like finding that designer dress that somehow got stuck in the back of your closet.  You dust it off, try it on, and you can’t believe how good you look in it.  And you’re like Ohhh yeah. that’s why I bought it!  Except with friends I mean it in a more non-material, less superficial kind of way.  And hubby loved my friends too, which made it even better.

5.  I don’t like mid-western hipsters that much….

that is all.

6.  I rock at Karaoke.

I may not be Mary Poppins on broadway, but I know how to work a crowd with my keen sense of actor…ability.  As Ms. Jean used to say in college, “Just act your way through it!”

7.  I enjoy “Friends” 100x more now that I am older.

When we crashed in Minneapolis, we just sat on the hotel bed and watched “Friends.” And I laughed. A lot.  Not many sitcoms make me laugh anymore. Oh, the 90s.

8.  I really like the whole, “Ladies first.”

OK on the East Coast, I NEVER EVER heard, “Ladies first.”  And I probably liked it that way, and I probably still like it that way.  Perhaps something about the short “o” and the slight lilt in the voice..but every time someone out there took my order, it was ALWAYS, “ladies first!” with a smile.  Damn straight!

9.  I like oxygen bars.

Yeah, I tried one for the first time.  Out there.  Randomly.  And it was super relaxing. Now, it could have just been the full body massage chair I was sitting on for twenty minutes, but I would tell you..Yeah, give it a shot.

10.  I like road trips with my hubby best.

He drives the entire time.  He puts up with my complaints of fast food dining.  He lets me go to every Starbucks I encounter.  He lets me stop at strange pawn shops and consignment stores (I scored a pair of overalls. Who even sells those anymore?!)   I get to pick where we eat.  He makes me laugh. He’s calm.

And yeah, I guess he’s just pretty good company overall.

10 is a good number.  We’ll leave it at that.

Oh and there’s this:

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Running.

things I love about running:

– it’s a practical workout.

– it’s free

– runner’s high

– the detox

– being outside

– the challenge

My sister and I have been training for the Manchester Road Race.  Yesterday I reached 3.25 miles, the longest I have ever ran.  For some people that may be something to laugh at, but for me it’s a big deal.

Note of honesty: I actually thought the MRR was a 5k. incorrect.  It is 4.748 miles.

Nothing like an added challenge, right?

Guts

I think one of the bravest acts of life a person can perform is that of taking all of your guts: horrible, awful, embarrassing, thrilling, scary things about yourSELF and write it down on a piece of paper.  And then force yourself to read it.  And then share it with others..and THEN….make a damn movie out of it.

I just finished working on the film, “Ian and the Bishop,” written, directed by and starring Ryan Brady.  It was an..intuitive project.

I know, I know, intuitive sounds vague, so I’ll get back to that in a minute. or two.

When I auditioned for this film in the spring, I really had no concept of the scope of the film.  All I knew was, I loved the script. Seriously. I rarely “love” scripts.  As I was reading, I felt as though I knew the character of Emma better than ANYONE else. I knew that I understood the writer’s subtle quirks that no one else would be able to perform but ME. I laughed out loud while reading because it was smart AND funny.  And both things make me laugh.

I showed up to the audition and met this group of very friendly people.  I read a bit of the script and then…I got to improvise with the director / writer / actor.

IMPROVISING. YES!  I hadn’t done it in awhile for any auditions and I was stoked.  We went back and forth for a very long time and just had…a lot of fun.

Let me explain my first impression of Ryan Brady to you, dear reader.  You meet him and you instantly want to make him laugh.  Like, you want to TICKLE him.  You see, he has this really excellent, poker face, let’s call it. And he’s got a very dry demeanor but you just KNOW you would really love to make him..LAUGH. When I met him, I thought, “Psh, no one is else is going to get my part (MINE MINE MINE), because it is now my MISSION of the HOUR to make him laugh.

I walked out of the room FEELING like the part was mine. However, i knew that this so called “magical feeling” that actors get from time to time can really be based more out of fantastical, manic, desperate need for validation rather than you know, anything based in reality.

It was a Sunday afternoon and my hubby was working nearby, so we met up for coffee.  He asked me the usual, “How did it go?” and after guzzling down some of my sugary drink, I said without a beat, “I got the part.” He just looked at me like ? and I said, “I think.”

So anyway…I got the part.

Have you ever started a new job, or moved to a new location, or gone to a party where you meet this entire group of people and you think, “Whoa, these are my people.  Where have they been and how can we be friends RIGHTNOW?”  Well, everyone on the crew and cast of “Ian and the Bishop” are MY PEOPLE.

(The last time I felt that way about a group of people was WIllows Way…believe it or not..said Willows Way people will understand why this is funny and true).

So back to why this was such an intuitive project.  Everyone GETS each other.  We would shoot a setup a couple of times, someone would have a note, and we’d just keep going.  No one was petty.  No one shot anyone else down.  It was just…intuitive.  And this fellow, Ryan Brady, whom I mentioned before?  Well, he made the process even more intuitive.  When we got to the climactic scene of the script, I felt as though he was listening, he was giving me something to work with, and it felt like a safe environment.  To be honest, I can’t say that about every shoot of which I’m a part.

This shoot reminded me the importance of “going with the flow.”  You know, production value and big trailers and expensive food is great and all, but you know what makes a really great film?  THE GUTS.

Personally, I think it was very brave of everyone on this project to do something that was new to many of them. I think it was brave of Ryan to write something so smart, funny, and honest about himself and then find a way to share it with others who I am sure will find it to be all of the things (wink) I have listed.

I was so drawn to this project, I think, because it reminds me of what I am trying to do with Holding. I’m just trying to be honest about some things that have happened to me, but make them enjoyable to experience in a way that will hopefully be cathartic for anyone who partakes of the web series.

So thank you, to the crew behind, “Ian and the Bishop.”  You reminded me about how sometimes to get a project done, all you really need is the GORY GUTS.

And you guys have it.

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