Archive | January, 2013

“City Baby” World Premiere.

31 Jan

city-baby-movie-posterI play a tiny role in this movie. AND, I’m totally going to the WORLD PREMIERE of City Baby at Cinequest Film Festival on March 2nd! I can’t wait to squeeze into this Herve Ledger bandage dress I inherited from Mischa Barton (it is its own Spanx), and stand in front of a banner that says Cinequest, to have my picture taken! Probably by me!

Really, I will be there in full on support of David Morgan and Cora Benesh, who are the true heart and soul of this project. They wrote it together, David directed, and Cora stars as the gorgeous, figuring-it-out Cloey. They are the most lovely people. I am crossing my fingers that this is just the first in a long run in the festival circuit! Check out the trailer (it is the essence of Portland. And Daniel Baldwin is in it. The chick who says “Silly Baby?” — that’s me):


Alright, alright — back to ME.

The day I shot my City Baby scenes in Portland (as Jordan!), I arrived on set in boots, jeans… and hopefully a shirt. Wardrobe had me change into a dress, with my own boots. I got my hair and makeup did, and we were rollin. I shot my scene with Andrew Harris (Jesse), then headed back to where my clothes had been. I was on the clock, and headed to perform on stage in “Kiss Me Like You Mean It” that night with Third Rail Rep.  And I couldn’t find my pants.

Anywhere.

You feel like a total idiot, asking an entire film crew, one by one, “Have you seen my pants?” WHO LOSES THEIR OWN PANTS! Especially when you had been wearing them an hour ago! I searched desperately through everyone’s clothes. Nothing.

Finally, Andrew walked into the room, where the pants search party was underway. “Andrew! Have you seen my jeans?”

Andrew: “What do they look like?”

Me: “I dunno — kind of blue, ripped a little bit in the knee…”

Andrew: “Cool.” He started looking, too.

Wait a second. THE PANTS. WERE ON ANDREW. 

He put them on in the bathroom, thinking wardrobe had left them there for his character. I was so glad to finally find them, but saddened by the fact that a man could fit into my pants. That’s never cool, right? I don’t care how modern hipster we are. I wanna feel like a dainty lady.

Wardrobe: “We’re gonna have to keep them, since he wore them in the scene already.”

Me: OK, I’ll just take off, completely naked except for these boots and my grannie panties…

Wardrobe: “You can wear these shorts.”

So, I headed to my play, in my boots and tiny shorts. Into the cold, windy night. Only to return after my play, to film the next scene.

Filmmaking can be brutal. But it’s the kind of work I would do, in the rain, in the cold, in the snow, up a hill. It’s exactly like being a Postal Worker, really.

Here is the exact moment when I realized Andrew was wearing my pants:
pants
I am so looking forward to having some fun with everyone on City Baby at Cinequest for the World Premiere! (Thank you David and Cora!!!)

XX,

L

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Rescue 90210.

16 Jan

britney-spears-escaladeI was parked along Rodeo Drive, waiting for my next delivery run in Beverly Hills. My boss called me, “Honey, could you go check on Joan? She was just in an accident and she doesn’t sound good.” Joan is my coworker. Another driver. That’s not her real name. I’m changing her name to protect the innocent. Who is ME.

Things you need to know: Joan’s a little cuckoobananas. She’s always working on conspiracy theories, mostly involving our place of employment. She’s older, single, she used to be an actress. Something like that. She’s got icy blue eyes and a few screws loose. I reached out to her for her birthday, by giving her a bag of Dove Dark Chocolate, with a note saying “You have to read all the wrapper messages as if “Chocolate” is a hot black man.” (Everything’s better with chocolate, Chocolate doesn’t let you down, Who needs love when you’ve got chocolate?) A week later, she accused me of looking at her weird. [Sigh.]

I started up my car and drove a few blocks to the scene of the accident. Her car was pointed the wrong way on a one way street in Beverly Hills, its back bumper bumped in, and its rear, hitched to a tow truck. I parked in a red zone and popped out to check in.

I greeted the police, “I know this lady!” And knocked on her window, “Hey Joan!”

She looked at me as if I were the risen Lord. “You ok, Joan?”

She whimpered, “I can’t find my phone.” I opened her door and poked my head inside. “…I can’t find my phone, I can’t find my phone…” She rifled through a million papers in her car.

Me: “OK! Should I try calling you?” The cops seemed to make eyes with me, saying wow, she’s really in control of this situation! I looked back at them with, I’m so great under pressure, right? eyes.

I called Joan. Ring… ring…. All of our heads were inside the car, listening for a muffled ring tone. “Hello?”

Someone answered! A man.

Oh shit. I must have an old number for her. I tried to be jovial “Hi! Well, I guess this isn’t Joan’s phone! Hahaha…” He wasn’t having it.

Man: Pissed, “YEAH, she’s married, so there’s gonna be a chance two people might answer.” JOAN WAS MARRIED?? WHAT?? I watched Joan dig around her car, with the officers, all looking for her phone, as I was speaking with HER SECRET HUSBAND.

Man: “HELLO?”

Me: Forging on, “YES. Yes. Well, this is Lauren – I work with Joan, and she was in a fender bender, but she’s ok. We’re just—”

Man: “Joan doesn’t work anywhere.” [GASP!] JOAN IS SECRETLY WORKING AT THIS COMPANY?? HOW COULD SHE HIDE IT FROM HIM – SHE WORKS EVERY NITE! “She was in an accident??”

Me: “She’s ok though. The car was the only thing injured, so…”

Man: “She doesn’t drive a car!” The police were watching me with eyes that now said, what is this girl doing, having a conversation while we look for the phone in this woman’s car. “HELLO. WHAT’S GOING ON.”

I decided the only thing to do, was to let myself out of this mystery husband situation, where I was blabbering on about Joan’s OTHER LIFE, and not really helping.

Me: “I have to hang up now.”

[Click.]

Lady Cop: “Who were you talking to?”

Me: “I have no idea. But he said he was her husband and she isn’t married!”

Lady Cop: “That explains A LOT….” We all glanced at Joan, who was folding and unfolding a piece of paper, still mumbling “I can’t find my phone.”

I decided to plug her number in manually. But when I looked at my phone, I quickly realized I had called this OTHER JOAN WITH THE SAME EXACT LAST NAME I knew in Portland and had spoken with her real life husband, telling him she was in an ACCIDENT — and then I hung up on him.

Lady Cop: “You have to call your other friend back and tell them what happened!”

Me: “OMG NO! I can never speak to them again! This is terrible! He was so mad!”

[Sound of cell phone ringing under the driver’s seat.]

Ugh, FINALLY. We found Joan’s phone, and got her in my car, with a few of her belongings. I drove her back to her apartment. If she hadn’t been JOAN, we would have been laughing at how unhelpful I was, back there at the scene. But we weren’t.

Joan: “I already feel pain in my neck. You took photos of the car, right?”

Me: “I did. Does your phone receive photos? I can text them to you.”

Joan: “No. No, it doesn’t.”

Me: “Want me to email them to you?”

Joan: “I don’t get emails on my phone.”

Me: “To your computer?”

Joan: “I don’t have a computer…. (pause)…. I could pay you to print them out though, right?”

Me: Please no. “Well, make sure they need them, before we do that. It was a pretty obvious collision, um, situation, so…”

Joan: “But I could pay you to print them.”

Me: “Yeah, but you probably won’t need them, so…”

Joan: “Well, I’ll let you know.”

Me: “I’m sure you will.”

XX,

L

Brit

Inspired By Balls.

14 Jan

gold-disco-ballsI made sure I wasn’t on the schedule for my delivery job, last nite, because I wanted to watch the Golden Globes.

But only because of these two ladies.Tina Fey and Amy Poehlerat the Golden GlobesI couldn’t wait to watch them. And hope for Christoph Waltz to win for Django. (YES! My mindpowers are working!) I figured Anne Hathaway would win for Les Mis, but she lost me at “(GASP) (SIGH) (stammer, weirdness)… this is really happening…” Save it for the Oscars, girl.

I laughed out loud at Tina and Amy. Easily. They are brilliant. I even watched their opening again when it re-aired at 8pm, for us West Coast people who had already watched the show at 5p, our time. I couldn’t get enough. And also of Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell. Did you guys see Tommy Lee’s face during their presentation? Priceless. Angrily priceless. Maybe he was thinking about something else.

But, while a lot of the rest of the ceremony remains snoozy and self-congratulatory (it is a special torture to watch jokes not work. Sly and Arnold), I was surprised at the moments that were inspiring.

Kevin Costner – who is never on my list of “actors I wanna be like” or “actors I wanna make out with in my dreams” or “people I think of ever” – talked about being at his very first Globes ceremony. How he walked the red carpet, photographers calling anyone’s name but his. How he was overwhelmed by being in the same room as all of these people.

Jessica Chastain talked about how long she had hustled to get where she is. Lena Dunham talked about finally feeling like someone’s paying attention to her work. Jodi Foster talked about being in the business forever (47 years – !) and feeling lonely in it, at times. Ben Affleck talked about how many people helped him get where he is (although, we know it’s Jennifer Garner’s magical dimples). Jennifer Lawrence —  all I could think about was “She’s got moles! UNAMERICAN.” I was stoked.

I felt heartened, listening to actors/writers/directors, who are winning awards, wearing fancy dresses, doing amazing films and tv shows — acknowledge all the work that goes into their careers.

It IS hard. And it’s not quick. And it’s not without some serious blood, sweat, and tears. And lots of sacrifice. Of the things that matter to you most. People think they just need to get to LA and all will be solved. I did, a little bit. Little did I know, it’s just the beginning of all of it…

I look forward to the day I can gather up my hard earned career, pop a Zac Posen gown on top of it, and trip my way down a red carpet.

XX,

L

Old San Juan, Los Angeles.

7 Jan

old-san-juan-la-exteriorA few months ago, a friend of Ervin’s mentioned he was opening a real Puerto Rican restaurant in LA. This is important because, while there are a bazillion places to get a decent taco, there are zero places to get authentic Puerto Rican food.

Which is a bummer if you’re my boyfriend, and you’re fresh(ish) off the island. He is quick to tell you any other place in LA, claiming authenticity, is really “New Yor-icans f****** it up.” So. The bar was set high. Go-go-gadget-monkey-bars high.

old-san-juan-la-skirtWe snuck in without reservations for the soft opening in Atwater Village on Sunday, and were warmly welcomed with loud hellos and hugs. This is not the LA I know! These people seem glad that we’re here. What the —

Ervin greeted a bunch of friends, and I took in the lime green walls, painted all up in palm trees. “This is very Puerto Rico” Ervin said, as we made our way through the best dressed people this side of La Cienega Blvd. My eyes darted between leopard heels, hot pink capris, mini dresses and big ole jangly earrings. These are my people. If only I could speak Spanish to them. Aye dios mio.

The girl in the photo up top, was tall and creamy skinned, wearing this sweet pink skirt with a feminine flowered top and black pumps. Her hair was in one of those ponytails in “The Rum Diary”. I wanted to ask her if I could take her photo, but I lost my courage. Instead I took a picture of her bum. In my defense, it’s also a picture of the bums next to her.

Butt, back to the food.
old-san-juan-la-plateWhen visiting a Puerto Rican restaurant, it’s important to arrive empty-stomached, and then eat as if you will never eat again. Even just trying little bits of everything, we had to take breaks. Our favs were the pork with caramelized onions (ate a good 50 lbs of that), pastelón – which is like meat lasagna but with plantains instead of noodles, cod fritters, and octopus salad (almost like octo-ceviche, with avocado mixed in). Super duper delicious.

And then someone brought coquito to the table. It’s like eggnog, but with coconut cream and milk. And a lot of Don Q rum. I am affectionately renaming it El Diablo Blanco. The white devil.

old-san-juan-la-coquitoSatisfied that we had tried some of the best food we had tasted in a long time, we left a teeeeeny bit of space for dessert. I will admit, I had to use portions of my lungs to pack all of this in.

Flan.

I have my high school Spanish I and II classes to thank for crushing any desire to ever taste flan – ever, in my life. Vivid memories of awkward, pimple-skinned classmates, carrying slimy, shivering specimens in too big casserole dishes, swimming with juices, swirled in my head.

Ervin took a fork-full and went to Heaven. Then so did our friends Crystal and Scott. Great. Now I had to try it.

old-san-juan-la-flan-de-quesoA-maaaaa-ziiiing graaaaaace, how sweeeeeeet the souuuuuund. You guys. What I didn’t know, is that there are TWO kinds of flan! 1: Gross Spanish-class vanilla flan and 2. F*** ME AMAZING FLAN DE QUESO. Like a creamy, sweet cheesecake brulee.

You’ll lose your mind.ervin-thumbs-upOld San Juan Restaurant opens officially on January 18. They plan pig roasts on the weekends, a lush and lively back patio when the weather warms up, live music, imported Medalla Lite (beer of Puerto Rican champions) and hammocks (YES) out front between the palms.

We left, feeling like we’d just been to a party with friends. “That’s RIGHT!!” Ervin slapped his knee. It’s PUERTO RICO in Los Angeles! Arrrrriba! (<– That might be Mexican)

XX,

L

So Then La Toya Jackson Showed Up.

4 Jan

latoya-xmas-giftsI had sucked down way too many Rum and Vanilla Cokes before I saw her, because I was nervous and trying to seem cool and relaxed. And I wondered if I was hallucinating, but — Yes, that’s La Toya. Just stopping by the Christmas Eve family dinner party I attended. Dropping off gifts for the kids. In a bright orange pantsuit. Like ya do. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

I was in Rite Aid, when I saw a display of red and green Christmas items on super sale and thought “Oh yay! Christmas is coming!” This was two days ago. Christmas already happened, you crazy B!

So, LAX-mas has come and gone and what I’ve noticed most is that I really needed a break. A change of scenery. A visit with people I knew back when I was a kid. BUT, we press on. No one ever said making it as an actor in Hollywood was easy. Or that LIFE was easy. Or that anything worth having was — y’know what I mean.

But I made the best of what I had going for me. Which was iPhone FaceTime with my lil nephew Hudson. I was trying to seem exciting, but the only thing I could think about was that I’m the most boring TV show ever. I was trying to show him the little Xmas tree my sister got me, when she said “See Baby? Árbol!”

Me: “I’m sorry, did you just say árbol?!”

Les: “Yeah. ‘Hudson, say árrrrbollllllll’….!” He has a Spanish-speaking daycare nanny person and he says words in Spanish before English.

Me: “OK…. Hola!…. It is your… Tia! Agua! Hola!!” We’re having fuuuuuuun!

hudson-facetime-iphoneHe totally gave me a kiss and waved. Then after he was done playing with his plastic golf clubs, he found a cup that was more interesting than me. I’m keeping track of this, my little friend! You will spend quality time with your AUNTIE!!!

So, I had a little fantasy of this lonely little LAX-mas turning into something super meaningful and profound, but instead, I spent Xmas eve with Ervin and Michael Jackson’s nephew. We were invited by my boss’s daughter. It’s her family. Two adorable kids and a huge house in a gated community. Almost everyone there had attended Beverly Hills High and since I learned from the pool party mac-n-cheese incident, I busted out my best “I’m TOTALLY familiar with BEVERLY HILLS” conversation.

One girl, about my age, was lamenting the fact that she wanted to EAT, but she was leaving for Mexico with a guy she didn’t know that well, in 4 days. In Pennsylvania, you’d be carbo-loading for Mexico because you don’t know when you’ll be able to eat potatoes again, exactly.

Her: “OMG, I can’t eat any of this! Ugh, God…” She swirled her cocktail in its glass and eyed the broccoli au gratin.

Me: “What do you have, 4 days? That’s totally enough time for a 3-day juice cleanse, girl!” I don’t even know if juice cleanses work – I’ve never done one because they are like $300. Of. Juice. But LA people love them.

Her: “(Grabs my arm) YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!!”

Me: I am a *genius. I can relate to anyone. This shall be my superpower.

dessert-table-beverly-hillsThat’s a picture of a dessert table that has been “destroyed”. (Beverly Hills style). I think we ate the equivalent of 2 pieces of cake, as a group.

I chatted up a gorgeous woman named Alejandra.

Me: “So how do you know these guys?”

A: “I’m Jermaine’s ex wife.”

Me: “Of course you are!” They have a child named “Jermajesty”, which is what I am changing my name to, momentarily.

Another of Tito’s sons arrived, with his fiance, who is part of triplet Brazilian Pop Group T-Rio. All three gorgeous matching girls introduced themselves: Thaisa, Thayana, and Thaina. Yeah. It’s either the worst naming scheme ever, or the most smartest. You just kind of slur through a name that sounds like “Tie-EE-shmehhh” and you’ll be right.

A group of dudes dressed in suits, hustled in, having just stopped by the Kardashian Xmas party. Obviously.

In case you didn’t get one, this is what it would look like if you had received a Kardashian family Xmas card:

kardashian-xmas-card

Depending when they shot this, baby KimYe may be in the picture as well…!

Moments later, La Toya arrived, arms full of gifts. Ervin, who was buzzy on rum-n-cokes whispered “I THINK THAT’S LA TOYA…” She looks the same as she ever did. There’s a thing in Hollywood, where women age, then plateau out, then get younger looking, then kind of hover around looking-like-50-years-old until the day they die.

That’s what unlimited dollars will do for you! They will not, however, enable you to maintain this in overhead lighting.

beach-sunsetIt was a weird, sort of socially adventurous Christmas. I definitely missed my family. And I wished I were around people that I knew better. But I was thankful to be invited to “Everyone But The Jackson 5” Christmas. It was a good time. I had a dream once, about being part of the Jackson 5. We were getting into a limo, wearing purple sequin jumpsuits, on the way to our show. I was the white one. This was the closest I’ll ever get to that dream coming true.

At the end of almost every day in LA, there’s a drop dead gorgeous sunset. Usually I’m working and have barely the chance to notice it. But we drove out to the beach one evening, and watched the sun slowly sink into the Pacific Ocean.

Slam dunk.

Things are overwhelming and difficult and I feel like I have never worked this hard, in my life. But I have hope for this coming year. That things will start feeling less like surviving, and more like thriving.

Looking forward to it, for us all.

XX,

L

*Just so you know I haven’t lost my mind, I also told her “Good guys like girls who can eat.” She said “Really?“. “YESH. ABSHOLUTELY.” I replied with a mouth full of cake Ervin just stuffed in my face.

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