Friday, June 23, 2006

Everyone has a special skill

My special skill happens to be talking fast. REALLY fast. Fast enough to be on America's Funniest People, where the head writer of an annual musical revue I was in happened to me and has found a way to incorporate a fast talking bit for many years since. Night after night, before hundreds of people, I've done a high speed radio traffic report, a voice mail system, 101 dull motions, summarized the millenium, and last December went over the new Medicare Part B plan. In about a minute.

Most recently, the outgoing president of the Chicago Bar Association asked me to read the list of all the people he wanted to thank but wouldn't have time to if he did it. The day before the luncheon, he e-mailed me 118 names. Clearly I'll do a lot for a free lunch. Fortunately I was familiar with many of those on his list.

Little did I know there'd be 500 people attending the event in a huge ballroom, or that there'd be assigned seating and I'd be right in front of the head table. After the president introduced, I made my way to the microphone. I got my first laugh by saying "this won't take long" and holding up the 5-page-list I'd taped together.

As usual, I received laughter, huge applause and many compliments from luminaries of the bench and bar. A chief judge wished I could do his motion call and make his days go faster.

Now I just need to find a way to earn money with my special skill.
What's yours?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New York, New York

Even the Gainfully Unemployed need to take a vacation once in awhile. I jetted off to New York, primarily to see Ralph Fiennes from front row center. Fabulous. In addition to seeing three other shows such as the play Julia Roberts is in, I attended an RWA chapter's luncheon with more editors and agents per capita than most conferences. So even while on a whirlwind vacation I managed to fit in some productive and enjoyable networking.

Now back to reality...which for me in the short term means completing my work in progress because I've already had a request for the full manuscript. On the acting front: had an audition, the first I've been on that asked people to come in their pajamas. And, got a call from a producer of the documentary I worked on last week saying they should want me to work again soon. Finally, looks as though I'll be participating in four Sondheim in the Park performances mid-July. More to follow!

Monday, June 05, 2006

When one door closes?

Went to see The Break-Up Saturday. Faithful readers may recall that last July/August I spent several days riding up and down Michigan Avenue on Vince Vaughn's tour bus, and then returned in March to be an extra in the final scene. Well. That bus scene is not in the movie. AT ALL. And, the credits start to roll before Jennifer A reaches the corner I'm standing on. Sigh.
Now I await the DVD release date to see if the deleted scenes include the one I worked on.

The scene is funny... Vince as Gary gives his tour of Chicago, talking about Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the Water Tower. Then he launches into a discourse about his ex-girlfriend (Jennfer as Brooke). After a few takes, his improvisations made it hard not to laugh.

On the other hand, yesterday I got hired to work on a documentary. One day for sure with at least one more day likely.

Today's motto: don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

More on Patience

The view last night from my condo. It's relaxing and soothing. Those of us whose lives often revolve around waiting need to find ways to enjoy and appreciate the journey. Logically we know that sitting by the phone or checking our e-mail every five minutes won't make editor, agent or job application responses come any faster, yet the urge is there.

We want the world to acknowledge our efforts. To recognize that we are talented, creative individuals who deserve to be published, represented, hired. Yet only rarely do the recipients of our resumes, submissions and queries operate at our hoped for pace.

Yesterday I spoke with two friends also mired in waitingland. One had submitted over a month ago to an agent who'd loved her pitch. For a few days she actually belived the agent would grab her manuscript as soon as it arrived and read it immediately. She'd forgotten that in person enthusiasm doesn't often translate into speedy replies. Phone tag with one company and a cancelled, not yet rescheduled interview by another frustrated a friend who naturally wanted potential employers to share his readiness to work.

Comments welcome on ways to stay on course and remain productive instead of allowing the emotions of waiting to divert us.