Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All Warm and Gooey

So. Like the Grinch, my heart grows during the holidays. Embarrassingly. So much so, that it practically reaches out of my chest and tries to hug everybody. And it makes me ooze endearments all over the place. And while the endearments are all completely, well, heart-felt, in an age of irony, they confuse people.

But the good? It's been an embarrassment of good!

My dad had cancer, and damn if he didn't cut that bitch. Gone!

The man and I made it up to NYC for a little pre-holiday get-away. I saw Grace and enjoyed the crap out of it. I went all tourist-y, joined the tour group for Radio City Music Hall and lucked into a Rockettes Christmas Spectacular dress rehearsal.

In Austin, I've shot two shorts and a commercial in the last couple of months. Amazing. We had the F1 here, and it was such a great thing for the whole city.

I'm back in ballet class, and my ankle is finally, FINALLY, feeling like it never broke. Such a good lesson for me. The first few classes were depressing, but now? I'm so much stronger. It bends so much better. I almost feel like a dancer again.

And tonight? I'm about 14 hours away from a chocolate martini--the official kick-start to my favorite day. The dressing's ready to cook. Cranberry sauce is made. The rolls rose and are beautifully browned and ready to share, and we're just a quick drive away from family. Thankful? Damn straight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am obsessed with checking my entry status. I look at my email at odd times day and night thinking, well, maybe they are up early. Perhaps they are working late. Who's they? The lovely folks at Esquire. The runners of the 2012 Short Short Fiction contest. The keepers of my entry. The masters of my domain.

I wrote 10 entries. I could only enter one. The one I chose skirts the bounds of impropriety, despite this caveat:

"Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and unfettered discretion to disqualify any entry that it believes contains obscene, offensive or inappropriate content, that does not comply with these official rules or that is not consistent with the spirit or theme of the contest."

It came down to my heart. It was my favorite story. It is my favorite story. And if I entered another and didn't make it to the finals, I would have kicked myself. Finalists will be notified on or about September 15. It's coming fast, but not fast enough...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday Night Live: Sketch in the City

Time for a little back story. You may know I sunlight (that would be the opposite of moonlighting, because you have to do it during the day) in advertising. When I began to work as a copywriter, presentation skills became critical to my job. One problem: presenting--any type of public speaking in general, actually--terrified me.

So, I did what any normal person would do.
I decided to take improv classes.
No? Not so normal?
I figured if I could bomb in front of an audience doing comedy, presentations would be cake. (It worked. Now they are.)

I loved improv. It changed my life. My Second City grad teacher, Kim McGaw, was a friend and an inspiration. As I began creating characters, I found myself writing back stories. I got good at playing the straight man. And my fellow improv'ers began to ask if I'd considered acting.

That's it. That's all it took. I started auditioning for community theater. (Also terrifying.) I got a part. I moved to Austin. I began taking Meisner classes. I began working in films. I kept working in films. I stopped working live. Until now.

Brent Foshee, a really talented comedian/improv'er/writer I worked with in Joe Nicolosi's Midnight Bumper knew I used to do improv. He had joined up with some of Austin's best--Bobby DiPasquale, Daniel Sawtelle, Scott Moss and Elizabeth Bigger--to create The Austin Comedy Hour and its first show--Sketch in the City. He invited me to join them. I agreed (and was terrified).

We've had two shows. We have one more to go. It's amazing. It's scary. It's fun. It's invigorating. It's great to be back on stage.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zombies? Fantastic!

Holy cow, you guys. So. This is my third appearance with zombies. 1) Joe Nicolosi's SXSW Film Midnight Bumper (I survived.) 2) Joe Nicolosi's #Zombies (I survived.) and now 3) Stephen Mick's No Talking PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse/Fantastic Fest (Jury's out on my're going to have to go see.)

This was such a fun shoot and a great reminder of what a close, talented film community we have here in ATX. Cliff Wildman (Project Rant) called to invite me to participate, and Luis Caffesse (Project Rant) was on set. Ben Ploughman, who I worked with on an indy film called Favor did an amazing job on make-up (huge job), and I was finally able to meet actors who have been friends of friends for ages--especially Jennymarie Jemison (The Quiet Girl's Guide to Violence) and Ben Wolfe (Austin Playhouse).

All told, it was a fabulous few hours on a beautiful horse farm in Austin, punctuated by blood (fake), sweat (real) and the walking dead. Look for it at our favorite moviehouse--the Alamo Drafthouse--and maybe, just maybe, during Fantastic Fest 2012!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Inside My Fridge?

Perfect dinner for two, no cooking required
Last month I received an unexpected request from nutritionist Robin Plotkin's intern--could they have a look inside my fridge? And would I answer questions about how I shop and eat?

If you guys know me, you know I LOVE food. LOVE it. And I thought about how pretty my grocery cart looks sometimes--you know, on the weeks when it's packed with produce (because I bought all the chips, cereal, brownie mix, etc. the week before...). So I said sure! Unfortunately, my fridge itself didn't look particularly pretty on any of the days between the request and the publishing. And I didn't have the time or money to food style it. On second thought, I didn't have the inclination either. 

To remove the booze would be misleading. The tupperwares are a part of life around my house (when your schedule is crazy, you cook when you can--to take care of  multiple days if you have to--and then put the components together for each meal). You can't even see the produce--it's in the drawers and in a fruit bowl on my counter. And to style my fridge to look like a fridge commercial would undermine the entire purpose of the blog. Let's own our fridges in all their messiness for what they are--proof of how freaking lucky we are to be in a place where we have not only fridges, but food to put in them. And computers to look in other people's...

If you want to check out my fridge--it's here. And if you want the recipe to anything I wrote about at Robin's Bite (or anything else for that matter!), just ask. And, hey, the only things you have to be embarrassed about in your fridge are the things that have been there longer than your significant other--check the expiration dates! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things I Love

So, I'm one of those odd ducks who really likes auditioning. I mean really. I liked interviewing whenever I was looking for a job, too, so it's not an acting-exclusive kind of thing.

I also love, love, love cooking. I love it enough to wear a paper hat and spend an entire day of vacation in a kitchen. (A longer story, but one of the best experiences of my life!)

Today I had an audition that, happily, combined two of the things I love most--acting and food! The audition was a Q&A, conversational thing. Really fun, actually. And in the process, I got to meet someone I otherwise probably wouldn't have and enjoy an interesting conversation about food and farms, brothers and sisters, divorce and reconciliation.

There are a lot of things I love about acting, but some of my favorites are the meeting new people, the working together toward a common goal and, yes, the auditioning. And craft service. I love craft service.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Little SXSW Magic

So. I've been remiss. Obviously. Since it's the end (for me anyway) of day four of my SXSW experience, and I've written...nothing. Few tweets. No blog posts.

The Luddite thing kicked in. I'm taking notes in a notebook (a very cool notebook. with owls on it) with a pen. I can't seem to tweet and listen at the same time, so all the hashtags assigned to panels are somewhat (what am I saying, are entirely) wasted on me.

I would say my favorite part of SXSW this year, every year, are the luddite-esque moments. And now, so you can live vicariously through me:

1. The I lost my cool owl notebook, but when I retraced my steps, I found it in the hands of a guy I met walking from the parking garage more than five hours earlier. Super amazing.

2. The sitting in movie theaters, genuine movie theaters, like in a group experience, watching a movie together. I know. Old school.

3. The SXSW as summer camp experience of meeting friends because you're all foreigners, making a little clique where you're on the inside (for once), and feeling as if you've known each other for days.

4. Photo booth with new camp friends!

5. Eating with my hands in front of a trailer!

Why are they Luddite? None of my favorite bits required any exceptional technology. Buuut, I'm learning. Because now, through technology, I get to keep up with my SXSW camp friends. Until I can see them again next year.

And, so I remember later, the movies watched so far: The Will, Black Pond, The Scarlet Road, Jeff

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear John

Dear John,
Today, Auggie and I went down to Shoal Creek to watch the marathon. We sat in the sun in the backyard. We took a nap on the couch. And then we went to Central Market to walk around the lake. Teo's was to be the sweetness in an already wonderful Sunday.

When we got there, I looped Auggie's leash around a metal chair not too different from the one in this picture. I gave him a milkbone and his chew toy. And when I tried to go into Teo's to order, he pulled that chair almost through the front door.

And then you! You came over and asked if you could watch him while I went inside. And you picked up your New York Times and your coffee and sat in the chair and pet him while I waited for the five people in front of me to taste everything in the case and then pay in pennies. So John, it may have felt like a tiny kindness, a nothing-at-all kind of kindness, but you made Auggie happy, and you made me happy, and we hope that your kindness is returned tenfold.

And John, is there any better place in this world to live than Austin, Texas on a warm, sunny February afternoon? With homemade gelato, perfect coffee and a sweet puppy at your feet? We don't think so either.

Aimee & Auggie

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The other side of the camera

So, my alter ego (the one who pays way more of my bills), works in advertising. As a copywriter. So that me has written commercials. Has seen them in my head. Has hoped they translate through the talent (or get any better). So what fun to get to do that for someone else this weekend!

I spent Saturday afternoon shooting a couple of commercials--unfortunately, they'll only be playing in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but if you live there, watch for 'em! In the movie theater! (Sorry. I understand if you don't want to watch commercials after you've already paid to watch the movie. I do get it. Really.)

I played the wife of a good real-life friend of mine, Kevin McCarthy from Cell, and his kids and dog, Zoe, also took part. All in all, it felt way more like fun than work, which is really awesome when it works out that way. And I saw the rough cuts--they look great!

In related news, tonight was the Super Bowl, and I have to send a shout-out to the copywriter(s) working on Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" commercials--"It's Half-Time, America" was really spot-on. Great, great job.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012's First Project: Weird Girls!

When I heard myself actually say, out loud, to witnesses, that "I wish I was 13 again," I knew something amazing had just happened. Because I thought there was nothing on this earth that could make me wish to be 13. But then I was invited to participate in Lovable Varmint's Weird Girls first season table read, and over a Saturday afternoon, I saw four bright, unique, independent girls brought to vibrant life by four really talented young actors. Must admit, I loved their parts--I wanted to read those parts!!--which even in this early stage are exquisitely crafted by writer Mark Gardner.

I am really excited about this project. Really compelling story line, honest relationships between the characters, scary, funny and fun to watch. (But the little secret that makes me super love it? These weird girls are loyal, resourceful, funny and smart--they are the kind of girl I would have loved to be at 13, and they're the kind of girls I want the girls in my life watching and emulating right now.)

Keep an eye out for this web series--I've seen nothing like it out there, and it's going to be great.

Want to read more? Check out these links:
Lovable Varmint: Weird Girls Meet the Actors
Weird Girls First Table Read Recap