I (Probably) am Figuring This Out
My agent Melodi called me as I was unpacking my clothes into my new room. I had just moved in with John and my world was turned upside-down! We had met the previous day for brunch to not only catch up, but also to come up with a game plan for my career. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have a team that works so hard for me. Melodi is one of those special agents that makes every little triumph seem special. We mapped out what roles I wanted to be submitted for, what actors I wanted to model myself after, etc., etc. It felt so nice, but also so necessary to create realistic visions and goals for myself as an actor.
Melodi told me over the phone that I was on "avail check" for the role of 'Pregnant Woman' on a brand new ABC show called "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World" starring Jason Ritter. We both started cracking up! I don't even think I could fully explain why we were both in a giggling fit, but we just couldn't stop. I think we were simply so excited, especially given that we had basically manifested this job at brunch the day before!
For those of you who don't know what "availability check" is, it's basically when the producers/ the director are looking at you and possibly a few others for a role and they want to double-confirm that you would be available for the project, should they offer it to you. It's tough because getting a call like this can be so exciting, but you have to remember that the role is still not yours. Nothing is official or set in stone. They're simply letting you know that there's a good chance you'll book it. You still may need approval from the director, which was the case in my situation.
Well, as you can see by the photo above, I was lucky to book it! My third network role in the last year! I didn't have a name, which is never the best news for your resume, but regardless, it's a day of work on a network show, and being paid to do what I love is the dream at the end of the day!
One of the many amazing perks of working on SAG projects is that, oftentimes, you get a fancy-shmancy trailer! I've learned that you never know how long you may be in there, so it's always good to bring things with you to keep yourself occupied. This time, I brought my laptop and edited some recent photography work for a client. I want so badly to be the girl that goes to set and makes a lot of friends and is really social, but at least right now in my life, while this is all so new to me, I have to be honest that I feel like quite the introvert on set. On this shoot, when I got the knock on my trailer door that we had an hour for lunch, I grabbed a big plate of FREE food (hell yes!) and I brought it right back to my trailer.
Is anyone else out there like that? I don't think anyone on set really blames you for wanting to keep to yourself. They all have been working together for presumably a long time, and you're the new kid on the block for the day. I feel weird because usually I would jump at the chance to get to know people, but I think my nerves for my scene also keep me chained to my trailer, and I think that's OK for now.
Having my own trailer will never, ever get old to me.
Getting your hair and makeup done in a real HMU trailer is a really interesting experience! It's always a little tough for me because the makeup that needs to be done to you for camera is usually much more that you would ever dream of wearing in real life. It may not look super gorgeous to the naked eye, but the objective is for it to look stunning on camera, right? I know I struggle with this sometimes because I feel like I don't look like myself when I look in the mirror. Too done up. I just have to trust the professionals and know that they have all of the best products and experience in the world to make my character come to life. On that note, it's also a great way for you to fully feel like your character. You've been working on their walk and their talk, now your hair and makeup team will artistically help illuminate the spirit of your character by making you look like them as well.
OK, so I have to say that this wardrobe had to have been my favorite wardrobe ever, EVER. I mean, come ON! Maternity clothes?! The comfiest shit ever.
I got to wear a silicone baby belly, so it was actually very heavy and lifelike. Most people on set thought I was sincerely pregnant! I had a few people ask me how many months along I was and I would poke my squishy belly and say "about squish months", which I'm pretty sure only I thought was funny...
Every girl is lying to you if they say they have never wondered what they would look like pregnant, so it was pretty amusing to see myself this way!
Every once in a while an audition will come along that I'll just get a certain feeling about. I can't quite explain the feeling but it's somewhere along the lines of knowing that the part is meant for me. When I received this breakdown from my agent, I called up my go-to taping buddy, Adrian Mechelle, and told her I was really going to go all-out for this audition. (Shouldn't I always be doing that?) The character is in labor in the back of a car and her husband asks the main character, Jason Ritter, how to get to the hospital while she screams and moans in the back seat. I was told to have a slight southern accent.
I sprayed myself down like I had been sweating and put my hair in a messy look. I even did my slate in a southern accent. In my opinion, you don't want the casting director to be imagining you as anything but this character, so why would you slate as Amber Neukum? You would slate as a southern pregnant woman. Take a look at my self-tape, taken at home, that booked me this role!
I was super excited for my scene because I admire Jason Ritter, and I am especially, as the world was, a huge fan of his dad, John Ritter.
Isn't it the best to find that his son was equally as kind, gracious and friendly as he was? John would have been so proud to see him on his own show on ABC. I didn't get to chat with him too much, but the interaction I did have was very sweet. This may sound silly, but I had a 90's child fan-freakout-moment, and no, it wasn't for Jason. It was for the actor Sam Huntington.
Not sound familiar?
Does the below GIF spark any young sexual awakening memories for you...?
I think I've seen Tim Allen's nineties flick 'Jungle 2 Jungle' about 200 times. The character Mimi-Siku, played by Sam Huntington, was who got me into boys with long hair. In my episode of 'Kevin (Probably) Saves the World," he plays the son of the owner of a bar. You can watch his moment with Jason's character below (also a sneak peek of my episode!)
Needless to say, I was freak-ing out when I saw him in real life. I'm sure he would have appreciated my saying something, but what was I going to say?! I loved your work in 'Jungle 2 Jungle'...? You made me have a fetish for long-haired men for most of my life? Can we do the 'waka teppe' handshake please!?
My scene was another 'first' I got to check off my bucket list! I got to do a real stunt! My husband's character was actually a stunt driver because the maneuvers of the scene would be done much more safely by a trained professional. We had to come to a screeching halt next to Jason's character, and my husband asks where the hospital is, Jason points, and we go speeding off at lightning speed! It's a super quick moment, and if you blink you might just miss me. But, it was SO COOL! It took everything out of me not to scream 'Wahoo!' overtime we would go speeding off.
I had such a great time and it doesn't feel like work. It just feels like playing. Like being a little kid. Many acting teachers I have been to have recommended trying to revert to your 5-year-old self. Zero inhibitions. Fuck it. Just jump. I hope I get to keep playing forever. I hope that I get to sit in thousands of more hair and makeup chairs. I hope I get to read thousands of more scripts and submit many more auditions for big shows! I have a friend I was in a movie with last year, and he just booked a lead role in the new 'Avatar' film. (Shoutout to Jack Champion!) Anything in this life is possible. It may be cheesy, but I'll just be here, working my booty off, waiting for my own time to come.
Take a look below at the trailer for 'Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.'