Archive | June, 2013

The Green Carpet.

24 Jun

everyoneYou guys. I just saw some sweet pics of our “City Baby” Los Angeles premiere at the Dances With Films festival. I know we’ve all seen the red carpet pics in People and Perez, but here are some with people you might know! On a green rug!

You’re probably thinking — “How does she look so gorgeous in these obviously professional film festival photos, which we know are real because they’re standing in front of that curtain with the sponsors on it”. (I know I was!)

So, I decided to give away some of my very own Hollywood tips for getting great shots of yourself all the time. 

Maybe you don’t always have to walk the red carpet, but you can sure look like you could.

SECRET TIP #1: me-jillian-cora-marenSECRET TIP #2:maren-me-liaSECRET TIP #3:ervin-me-blurry

Really, I could sit here all day, tipping you off to my own behind-the-scenes. Like: Make sure you haven’t gotten your hair cut in over 6 months… um, wear an outfit that makes you feel “eh, it’s ok I guess”, and, ah, OH — definitely DEF-IN-ITE-LY make sure you feel bloated….destroy a whole bag of Trader Joe’s Cheddar and Horseradish potato chips yourself, if you have to.

But, this is just boring “show biz talk”. Snore.

I’ve saved my best green carpet photo for last.

Ervin and I make a handsome couple, don’t you think?

ervin-me-heimlichNext week: How to look like a celebrity shopping at Target, but on a Piggly Wiggly budget.

XX,

L

First image: Me, Lia Richardson, Cora Benesh, David F. Morgan, Jillian Leigh, Richard Keith, Maren McGuire, and Tim Whitcomb.

The Gun Show.

17 Jun

adrienneHe looked a bit Pillsbury. Like room-temp pizza dough, with tattoos and sort of a tan, in the shape of a person. But he drove a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG out of the parking lot, so, I mean, what respectable woman wouldn’t forgive the arms…

***

I had a delivery to make from a spendy Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, to an even fancier luxury condo building nearby. The name on the order was “Maloof”.

OMGpleasebeAdrienneMalooffromTheRealHousewivesofBeverlyHills! I love her.

But – no way. People have the same last names around here. It’s like everyone is “Bentley Bellagio Bel Air III”.

I collected the bags of food and hopped back in my dusty, beat up car, to drive to this Maloof person. There were simple, comforting Italian dishes, along with an assortment of cookies. The smell was killing me. I’m naming my first born “Pastacheese.”

I arrived at the front desk of the building.

“Hi! I have a food delivery for Maloof.”

Concierge: “Great! I’ll give her a call…”

Me: Yesssssss!

Other concierge (about the first concierge): “Dude.” I just love it when guys call me dude. “He totally wrecked her car the other day.”

Me (to first concierge): “Oh no! Well, it can’t be too bad – you’re still here.”

Concierge: (Mouthing this, while waiting for Adrienne to pick up) “It was so bad. I almost got fired.”

Me: “What kind of car?”

Concierge: “Escalade.”

I made a pained, yucky face.

Finally I got clearance to go up to her condo on the 25th floor. Via the back entrance elevator. For service people. Trash, repairs, deliveries from Frontgate, and me.

The housekeeper answered, gave me a good tip, and closed the door. I pressed the elevator call button and waited.

The doorknob turned again and out walked a guy about my age. I remembered Adrienne had kids on the show, but I wondered if she had older ones that weren’t mentioned. Like, a really old one.

“Hi.”

Guy: “Hey. You get lost?”

Me: I was waiting in a tiny hall for the one elevator I had to get clearance to ride. How could I be lost. “Heh. No, I just dropped off some food here. Now I’m waiting for the elevator.”

Guy: “Ah.” Pause. “I’m Ryan.”

Me: “Lauren.” We shook hands.

The elevator arrived and we stepped inside. He was wearing workout clothes, without a bead of sweat upon him. Perfect hair.

Me: “You look like you’re gonna go work out.”

Guy: “I already did.”

He made the motion of looking at his arm tattoos, and I said what I was thinking.

Me: “Did you just check out your GUNS??”  Yay! We’re having fun in here!

Him: (Silence. Staring ahead.)

Me: Oh no. Is he ignoring me? Did he not hear my joke? I think I said it at normal volume. It’s a joke! Come on – don’t be one of those people who takes yourself seriously… AAAAH now I feel awkward!

He had the blank face of someone who tires easily of banal elevator conversation, and preferred, rather, to check off a mental to-do list. Wallet – check. Phone – check. Tattoos still there – check.

It was the longest elevator ride ever. If I could have activated any of the other floors, I would have freed myself immediately. But lo. “L” for lobby, here I slowly come.

Finally. He let me out of the elevator first. Or I ran out. I don’t know. I lost all sensation in my body.

The bunch of concierge dudes asked me how it went and I spewed, “Success! No one’s gonna starve on my watch!” and I speedwalked out to my car and Googled “Ryan Maloof”.

Which isn’t his name.adrienne-maloof-sean-stewart-black-leather-date__oPt

His name is Ryan Stewart, and he’s Rod Stewart’s 32 year old son, and the confirmed boy-toy of Adrienne Maloof who recently divorced her surgeon ex-husband.

I watched him drive off in his $135,000 car. Oh, Hollywood. You crazy bech.

I sat in my car as the lingering ghost of linguini alfredo lovingly hugged my face, and I thought… this is why I like this job. The pay? Crap. But awkward elevator rides with celebrities who are ignoring me? Priceless.

XX,

L

Image of Adrienne Image from Perez

 

 

Marco, (Red) Polo.

15 Jun

red-poloAVERAGE. PRETTY BUT NOT TOO PRETTY. NOT RAIL THIN. BRUNETTE (NO BLONDES!). WARDROBE: RED POLO, KHAKIS, COMFORTABLE SHOES.

When I read that, I think of a pretty brown haired princess with pleated khakis jammed up her lady bits and an ill-fitting cotton shirt, sweat-stained Keds and unfortunate, mousy hair tied back in a greasy ponytail, her stubby hand on her chunky, average hip.

Average. Everyday. ME.

This was for an audition I had this week, for a linens company. I got the audition call from my agent:

Me: “Hel—-“

Agent: “—YES. Audition tomorrow. Can I confirm you?”

Me: “OK, I haven’t seen anything about it in my email…”

Agent: “Well, here it is. You’re at 11:55am in Santa Monica…….ah, Kari Peyton Casting. That’s all I know.”

Me: (Why, it must be a VOLUNTEER job! Is there a rate, maybe?!! A role?? Also, I would have to find someone to cover me for my lunch shift. A pain in the ass, but – worth it, possibly.) “—– Sure. Thank you!”

Click.

I found the email and read the thing about the red polo. That is for sure one kind of shirt that I don’t own.

I drove to Ross near my apartment. I hate buying things for auditions, but I know how unimaginative clients can be, in entertainment. If they say “red polo”, and you don’t wear one, your new superpowers will be “INVISIBILITY!” and “NOT BOOKING!”

I found a discount orange polo, a hot pink polo, a baby-boy-sized red polo, and a red v-neck. I decided the least offensive (and flattering) option, was the hot pink polo. Red-ish. And appropriately square.

You know when you are looking for something and suddenly you see it everywhere? I saw random people walking on Sunset Blvd in RED POLOS AND KHAKI PANTS. Entire schoolyards of children in RED POLOS AND KHAKI PANTS. Ryan Gosling in a RED POLO AND – I’m kidding. He would never let that happen to him.

The morning of the audition, there was a shooting in Santa Monica where three people were taken to the hospital. This followed a tragic shooting the previous Friday, where a young gunman took his own life and the lives of four other people, also in Santa Monica.

Nice, pretty Santa Monica. Devastating. The story was still unfolding.

I could vividly picture myself, shot in the arm (straight through the sleeve of my polo shirt), lying face-down on the ground, my headshots splayed across the sidewalk and pleasantly smiling toward the sky, my khaki pants stained from having pissed myself, and my sensible shoes nowhere to be found.

Headline: “[SANTA MONICA] TARGET EMPLOYEE SHOT IN ARM. FASHION POLICE ON THE SCENE. AVERAGE VICTIM IN STABLE, SELF-CONSCIOUS CONDITION.”

I drove into Santa Monica, to the casting office. My eyes quickly followed the trail of red polo shirts into the lobby.

I signed in and took a seat. There we all were! A bunch of average joe brunettes, with our red polos tucked in to our khakis! There’s always the rogue in the bunch. The odd model who walks in with adorable khaki cropped cargos and a sexy red tank. And heels. HEY! YOU! THEY SAID “AVERAGE”, OK? THIS IS OUR CHANCE – SCRAM! (And then we resume our dinner like a bunch of hobbits.)

We made friendly chit-chat. One girl referred to us as a bunch of “Joey’s sister’s” (Joey from Friends… we were all in that broad ethnic bracket, looks-wise.)

“So, OBVIOUSLY I am not wearing the red polo…” This girl in a black tank top piped up. She was also in jeans. “I just didn’t get this notice until it was too late to do anything about the wardrobe…Shit…”

We all smiled at her and futzed with our awful shirts.

She approached the casting director. “I didn’t mean to be rude and not pay attention to the wardrobe, I just didn’t have time. Do you think it’s ok?”

The casting director said, “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t worry about it. If they can’t imagine you in a red polo, then do you wanna work with them?” She didn’t say the obvious, which is, “They will pass over you when they’re reviewing the tape. So, if you’re cool with that, no worries!”.

Having no emotional attachment to my shirt, I made a declaration. “I’ll switch shirts with you, if you want.”

“OMG thanks!”

We switched shirts for her audition. She was up first. We found a cool, modern conference room with a big sliding wood door that revealed a giant glass panel to the lobby, when we closed it. It was purely for sound, I guess. No matter, it was like my days back in the theatre. Just GET THE CLOTHES ON THE PERSON.

She went in, did her audition, and I waited in the lobby, in the black tank she had on earlier.

If we all looked the same, how come we didn’t act the same? Why was I the only one offering my shirt, while everyone else checked their email?

I gotta say, it’s easy to throw people under the bus in these situations. Just assuring that girl in a sweet and friendly voice that she didn’t need to change, would have done it. Boom. She’s out. One less for me to compete against and I seemed like I cared, while I did it.

But that doesn’t help MY chances. At all. And it makes me feel like shit for the rest of the morning. I feel like we need to support each other. I’m not giving her my own ideas for her audition, but I’m putting us on level playing ground.

HOT PINK POLO PLAYING GROUND! YEAH!

She returned, and we switched back to our old selves. She thanked me profusely and said she would totally pay it forward.

“Please don’t make anyone else wear a polo. They are horrible.” I squirmed in my shirt that must have first been designed, using an orangutan as a dress form.

“Seriously. You went above and beyond the call of duty.”

“Well, we actresses don’t really have that much duty to do, so…”

“Thank you.”

“Of course! Also, you owe me 10% if you book this thing.” We laughed. I always feel like it’s meant to be or it isn’t, and you just move on to the next thing, either way.

I auditioned like a boss – literally, it was just a few seconds of a facial expression (I don’t know how they choose who they want from that, but….) – and walked back out into the world, with renewed spirit somehow.

I wasn’t even worried about being shot.

It was a good day.

XX,

L

*I tried to take the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen of someone in a polo shirt with a window A/C unit. (I think this is it!)

Network It.

5 Jun

CityBaby-cora-jillianTonite is the “City Baby” Los Angeles premiere!!

Which totally reminds me of last week when I gracefully attended the Opening Nite Party and so shmoozingly made my way through the packed crowd of beautiful filmmaker attendees, with whom I rubbed the elbows and — no. No, no. That is not what happened.

At all.

I had picked out my go-to fancy outfit for the night. Black Herve Leger dress. A hand-me-down from Mischa Barton. The night before,

ERVIN: “You sure you’re not gonna be too dressed up?”

I Googled last year’s party photos, and realized, it was more of a “daytime dress up” situation. I ditched my Spanx-like-bandage dress in favor of a teal strapless number I had also inherited from Mischa Barton. And some rainbow snakeskin platforms. Obviously. The day of,

CORA: (Star and writer of CITY BABY, and model and always looks amazing) on my voicemail: “So, we’re gonna dress fancy, but not too fancy…”

ME: Oh no. What does that mean? I feel like I have two levels: NIGHT AT THE OPERA, and WOULDN’T EVEN WEAR THAT TO GET THE MAIL. Normally, I wear the latter, tell myself “Everything works in LA. You just have to sell the shit out of it” and pull on my cheetah-print leggings. This time I did white pants and a tank.

I drove myself to Hollywood and Highland where we would be partying at Preston’s in the Loew’s Hotel. I parked 40 miles underground and escalator’d back up to Hollywood Blvd. I walked the reverse path of the Oscars, out of the Dolby Theatre entrance, and thought…”Some-daaaaaay! I’ll be going the other waaaaay!” Before dirty and anatomically incorrect Spiderman asked me if I wanted a flyer. I said no. He said “You’re beautiful.” Aw. Spiderman’s so nice. And he smells like Colt45.

I walked at a slow, methodical pace, like I was on a Sunday stroll. Because it was hot as balls and I could already feel the sweat beading on my mustache. That, and my right heel was flip-flopping off my foot.

I arrived at the party early, and decided to freshen up in the ladies’ room. There, I realized yes, I had back sweat (you know what? F*** exercise. Take the air conditioned elevator!) dripping down my spine. Oh, and I had my underwear on backwards. Like a respectable lady.

Back out in the action, I tried to seem like a person who knows what they’re doing! I pretended to check my phone for something important. (Let’s see what’s happening on Instagram with those cats…..). I smiled at other people, “Yes, Hi, I’m a professional and I know what I’m doing…” This cat has no visible ears. Like.

It wasn’t long before I realized that maybe sitting down would be a better cooling off option. I found a chair next to a man with a filmmaker badge around his neck.

ME: “Do you know who’s sitting here?”

HIM: “Nope! Go ahead.”

ME: BE NETWORKY! “So what film are you here for?”

We chatted about his short and my feature. I did my part. Then, branching out, I wanted to tell a FUN story about something related, but…

ME: “So, I do this job in Beverly Hills where I deliver food from fancy restaurants to rich people and –“

HIM: “– THAT’S where I know you!”

ME: Gah. “Oh! ….. Cool!” I mentally tried to stabilize my social status.

HIM: “YEAH! I thought you looked familiar.”

This is like being recognized as that stripper from that seedy place on Sunset Blvd, as you’re interviewing for your dream job as a dental assistant. I totally forgot where my original story was going.

ME: “Well, maybe I’ll see ya around! Like, at your house some night!” I meant for it to sound cute and creepy.

HIM: “Yep!”

I walked away, and then immediately ran into him like 3 more awkward times.

I finally found my group and hugged and air-kissed everyone and got a handful of City Baby postcards to swap with other filmmakers. I’m not big on the hard sell and I hate initiating conversation for that purpose. I would be the car saleslady who doesn’t mention cars until our 4th lunch date.

I anxiously twirled my hair and found a knot. My hair never gets knotted – it’s too coarse. I tried to tuck it in, then figured the best option would be to scalp myself and quickly rip out the clump and let it fall to the floor. I’m a caveperson! And not a cute Paleo one.

I thought a glass of wine might give me some mojo. I pulled up to the bar and ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio. A man next to me ordered RedBull. They didn’t have that. He said, “I don’t drink. Whattaya got.” They had Gingerale. I bought his Gingerale, because we were at a cash bar and it’s just Gingerale. He said thanks. I said, “You’re welcome. This is my movie. It’s good.” And slid him a City Baby card. “Cool! And… thanks!” He said.

That was pro, right? I’m cool actress girl! I buy you drinks under $1.99, no strings attached!

Then I was alone. Ugh. I scanned the room for my next victim—[LOUD SPLAT!]. I accidentally dropped my bag and ALL of the City Baby cards took flight and sprayed themselves across the floor. I laughed nervously as I stooped to collect my things. A guy wearing a knit hat and sunglasses indoors bent down to help me.

ME: “I FEEL LIKE I’M IN JUNIOR HIGH” I yelled. Because I felt like a dumbass, as I swept up what seemed like 500 cards and some of my own hair, from earlier.

GUY: “Hey! I know this movie!”

ME: “You should come to it Wednesday nite. Pick a card! Any card…”

GUY: “I have a card already.”

ME: “OK! Thanks for your help!” SAY YOUR NAME. “I’m Lauren.”

GUY: “I’m ______________!” I’m good at remembering a lot of names. But all I could focus on, were the LA-centric Ray Bans and how if I were wearing that knit hat, I’d be a sweaty pig mess.

He walked away. OMG, was it time for this thing to be over yet? In reality, like 2 minutes had passed. Only 3 hours to go! NETWORK, YOU SWEATY BITCH!

I saw a really cute dress on a girl near the food table, where the only food seemed to be Taquitos and hummus. I walked over.

ME: “Your dress is SO CUTE! If there were a cuteness competition, you’d get first place according to me, so, yeah! So cute! I love this lace-y part here–” STOP TALKING FOR CHRISSAKES.

GIRL: “Awww, thanks!! That’s so sweet!”

ME: “So, you’re in a film?”

GIRL: “Yeah! I’m in this (she hands me a card). I play the Transvestite male.”

ME: “Cool!” I quickly replay everything I’ve just said to see if I noted her gender. Or his. What’s happening. I’ve had a huge glass of wine and no Taquitos. “Well, Congratulations!” On what? Who knows. MOVE ON.

I walk over to the bar because y’know what I need is another glass of wine, when thankfully, the Dances With Films festival creators get up to give a speech. They can’t get anyone to shut up and listen, and they’re losing their own voices, when they introduce the President of SAG (it’s the actors’ union), Ken Howard, and he says a little about how we are the heart and soul of this industry, the unknowns, the hustlers.

I start crying. Holding my glass of nothing, I must have looked like the picture of wasted elderly wanna-be-starlet. But I felt like he was speaking my words. This is one of the hardest fucking hustles you could go for.

Then it was over. Oh shit, back to it. WERK. I got a fresh glass o vino and listened to the cinematographer guy standing next to me tell me about his daughter. And that he and his BabyMama weren’t together. And that I’m interesting – we should hang out.

ME: No thanks. “Got any photos of your daughter?” THEY ALWAYS DO. It’s the perfect sideline.

HIM: “Oh yeah.” And he busts out his phone.

I say she’s cute. But since I now compare every living child against my ridiculously perfect nephew, this poor girl doesn’t stand a chance. It’s comparing apples to unfortunate gene-pool oranges.

I hand him a card and make my escape. I have mascara smeared on my left eye from crying at the President’s speech, but I won’t know that until I get home.

Finally, our little City Baby crew makes our way to the green carpet where we pose for photos in front of the festival scrim and I try to hide all my parts. My big teeth, my arm-guns, my feet, hands, gut, bank account, split ends. It doesn’t work.

Then we’re interviewed and we all say the Dances With Films slogan together into camera. “DEFIANTLY INDEPENDENT!” we yell.

We all do kisses and hugs again and everyone breaks off. I meet up with Ervin who just finished teaching guitar at Musicians Institute, and we go get a burrito at Mexico City in Los Feliz. Kenneth from “30 Rock” is eating there, also.

I see a voicemail from my agent, which alerts me to the fact that she’s called 4 times in the last hour. I had gotten a text alert about an audition earlier, but didn’t have time to really take a look at it, while doing so much successful networking and crying.

AGENT: (On voicemail) “WHERE ARE YOU. I CALLED FOUR TIMES – I THINK I DESERVE A CALLBACK. IF YOU DON’T GET BACK TO ME, I’LL JUST FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR THE AUDITION. BYE.”

What?

I remove myself from my burrito and go out on the street to call her back.

AGENT: “Hello?”

ME: “Hi, it’s Lauren Bair.” THE ONE WITH THE FAKE KIDS, REMEMBER?!

AGENT: “Where have you been!”

ME: Where have YOU been! This is my first audition all month! (Or, alternately) OMG, I’m losing my MIND dealing with these KIDS, y’know! SO much running around with soccer and piano lessons and inoculations every day! (But really,) “I just got your voicemail. I was at a film festival opening for the feature film I’m in – I emailed you about it. And I’m available for the audition tomorrow.”

AGENT: “O-Kay. I’ll confirm you.”

ME: “OK. I already confirmed online.”

AGENT: “No you didn’t.” We have an everlasting misunderstanding about technology. Among other things.

ME: “OK. Thank you!”

AGENT: “Bye.”

I go back inside the restaurant and sulk at my burrito. I need a new agent.

ME: “I need a new agent.”

ERVIN: “Yep.”

ME: “This is an audition for a little $500 job. Another mattress thing. Why is she getting all upset about it!” I mash refried beans with my fork.

ERVIN: “Don’t worry about it, Babe.”

ME: I almost cry, but then I just feel frustrated and tired. I eat the rest of my burrito, and lean in to the increasing bean and cheese coma.

(That, is like a perfect description of my life in Los Angeles.)

The movie is tonight. It would be great if you could come. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to take you out to lunch 4 times already, but just know that’s how much I care about connecting with people. For real.

“City Baby”. 9:30p, Wednesday June 5, Chinese Theatre, $11. Tickets here.

Free Dirty Spiderman compliments.

XX,

L

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