Friday, December 10, 2010

Just another dose of producer crazy ;)

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have seen my tweets last week about the silliness I encountered when dealing with producers and auditions:

1. The guy who wouldn't give me an audition slot until I told him how many people I would bring to see the show, then when I politely declined an audition, wrote me back a terse email completely devoid of capitalization or punctuation informing me that 300+ other actors would be attending his call (**implication: you snotty actress, you**).

2. The very kind and accommodating producers who were otherwise nothing but wonderful, minus the fact that they sent me my audition slot in military time. Nothing wrong with that, just a first that caught me off guard!

Today I got a casting notice that actually made me laugh out loud. These guys want actors to do background work on a music video for them for the following compensation:

"No pay but Free Brunch and Four Loko"

That's the kind of favor you ask a friend to do you, not a group of professional actors looking to work and advance their careers. At any rate, I may start asking for my checks to be made out in increments of Four Loko.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One (very over-sized) dose of holiday cheer, coming up!

We were in Jack's 99 cent store last night looking for cheap ornaments to fill up the cheap vase I bought from TJMaxx. We did find those and create this (I think) decidedly non-cheap-looking Christmas centerpiece:

But what this post is really about would be this lovely holiday decoration:

The LARGEST CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT KNOWN TO MAN! Dan and I kept trying to figure out what this could possibly be used for. The only thing that comes to me would be something like decorating the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but come know they don't use dollar store ornaments at Rockefeller Center.

Any ideas?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Brunch -- Realized!

I know we're all starting to get into the Christmas spirit (at least I know I seriously am!), but I just wanted to share with you how our little Thanksgiving Brunch turned out, since I teased you with a little inspiration board already.

Here was the spread, pre-devouring (also, no one had shown up yet, so a fruit salad and some more muffins were added after this picture was taken):

I loved the tablecloth and how cute Martha's pumpkins looked. Also, there's something so fun and fancy about whatever you've cooked/baked when it's served from either a footed cake plate or on a cool platter. Thank you, wedding gifts! 

A close-up of the Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins, the Blueberry Cheesecake muffins, and the Coffee Cake. Plus, the little orange tented signs I made the night before so everyone would know what they were eating!

Please do yourself a serious favor (and your waistline a serious disservice) and run, don't walk, to your nearest grocery store to get the ingredients to make these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. They may be the best thing I've ever baked, and I bake a LOT.

Yummy from-scratch Cinnamon Buns that taste so much better than store-bought. And they're on the pretty platter my Mom bought me for my bridal shower! :)

Dan insisted of getting a picture of me in front of my masterpiece after watching me work so hard to get it all together. It took me the entire day before Thanksgiving to bake everything and almost three hours that morning to do last-minute prep and assembly! Totally worth it, though!

We had some seriously yummy things to munch on while loving that view.

And just in case you wondered if everyone else enjoyed themselves, too...

After the parade, we went to a friend of a friend's house and had a delicious and entertaining Thanksgiving dinner with new friends. All in all, an absolutely lovely Thanksgiving, if a bit a-typical!

How was your Thanksgiving? What did YOU make (or eat?!)?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

File this fashion statement under, "Thanks, But No Thanks"

The only possible use I can think of for this hat would be if your occupational hazards including "freezing to death" and your work address is "#1 North Pole":

Just thought you could use a laugh on this dreary weather day :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

First NYC Snowfall of the Season?

Last night, while walking home from "Fuerza Bruta" (go see it!!), we came across Madison Square Park blanketed in the first snowfall of the year:

Or was it?

Not really, since the rest of the city is decidedly NOT covered in snow. Actually, it seems like they must be filming something set during the winter, since they put a whole lot of effort into trucking in snow machines and blanketing four whole blocks in man-made snow, then proceeding to rope it all off with caution tape.

It was just a funny thing to all of a sudden step into a winter wonderland and then right out of it again. Only in New York, huh?

Has your area had its first snowfall yet?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Cards 2010 Style

We had a very talented photographer friend come over and take some cute pictures of our little two-person, two-canine family last week for the express purpose of sending holiday photo cards! I don't want to show you the photo we chose to use (because some of you may be getting our cards in the mail!), but I can show you one of the silly outtakes:

So I started looking for places to get holiday photo cards printed (since I am way too lazy to go the DIY route this year), and I fell in love with the adorable charm of the Shutterfly cards.

These are a few of my favorites:

I love the simplicity of the message: "joy." How lovely, right?

I think the charm of these fun fonts just won me over for this card. I love a good word montage.

And finally, this one, which is the card we'll be getting, minus the adorable child, of course:

Again, I think the fun fonts and the cheerful colors won me over. And I think the swirls are sweet, too. I can't wait to see how our cards turn out, as this is the first year we've ever done photo cards! I always write a little family newsletter to include in our cards, too, so hopefully everyone enjoys opening our little paper holiday greetings! :)

*Disclaimer: Shutterfly is currently offering 50 free holiday cards to bloggers who write a post about their holiday products, so I am being compensated for this little dose of holiday stationery cheer.*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet Inspiration Board

So what do you do when you love to craft/plan/organize and you've already gotten married? Create an inspiration board for your home parties, of course!

Next week is Thanksgiving, of course. Which on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan means birds-eye Macy's Parade views. You might remember from last year that I posted a picture or two of the awesome view we have of the parade from our balcony.

Well, this year, I wanted to take advantage of our view and the fact that we don't have time to travel and be with family for Thanksgiving, so we are hosting a Thanksgiving breakfast/brunch for friends who would like to come over and share in the parade and some yummy food with us. I can't wait! I'm so excited that I bought a new tablecloth (we only owned one before...bad wife, bad wife...) and have spent time imagining how I want our little brunch spread to look:

(Photo credit, from L->R: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,10&12 are personal)

The serving ware we already have from wedding gifts, I bought that pretty tablecloth at TJ Maxx, the flowers are mums from the corner deli, I want to craft those paper pumpkins a la Martha, and the foods are all ones I'm considering making.

Whaddya think? This will be my first time hosting more than four people for a meal -- any suggestions?

What are your interesting/a-typical Thanksgiving plans?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Actors Day...I mean, Halloween Costumes!

Of course Halloween is one of our favorite holidays -- it's no secret that one of the most fun parts of an actor's job is the dressing up part, so why wouldn't we love a holiday where everyone gets in on the fun of our profession? :)

I was looking through old Halloween pictures to try to write a blog post taking you through my costumes in recent years, but came across a problem when I realized 1. Most of my Halloween costumes in college aren't really appropriate for general internet posting (haha), and 2. I had FOUR separate costumes for Halloween my senior year alone. Woah. In my defense, we had many, many Halloween events to go to that year, but I'm not sure why I needed a separate costume for each event. My Mom says it's because I'm a diva. Whatevs.

I guess I'll just share one from that year because it's one of our best couple costumes ever. Not because it was such an original idea, or because it was perfectly executed or anything, but just because it was so appropriate for us as a couple: Roger and Jessica Rabbit.

And now for this year...

If you haven't seen the "Double Rainbow Guy" video on YouTube, please check it out. It's hilarious, although the audio prooobably isn't safe for work, but you won't understand my costume without watching it:

This year I went as a double rainbow:

And we went to the Village Halloween Parade and saw two other double rainbows while we were there, although both were very differently executed.

Dan went as YouTube, making us quite the pair:

And our lovely friends went as a flapper and a dead, Mexican gunslinger, both very well done:

It was absolutely freezing last night, and by the end of the night, both of us ladies were wishing we had that Mexican blanket as a part of our costumes!

What did you dress up as this year?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Have a Frighteningly Fun Halloween!

Just wanted to take a second to say "Happy Halloween, All!" We're particularly excited about Halloween this year because we missed it last year, given that we spent the whole day flying back from our honeymoon in Greece. Not that we were complaining or anything, but we did miss celebrating one of our favorite holidays!

This year, we carved some really fun pumpkins. Mine was an "Elphaba" pumpkin:

And Dan carved a ghoulish "Rock On" pumpkin:

Not to mention, we're dressing up and attending the Village Halloween Parade with some of our new and old besties tonight. I'll be sure to post costume pictures when we get them, but for's a surprise!

Hope you all have a fun, costume-and-friend-and-candy-filled Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Crime Against Actors

Every weekday, producers and casting directors are looking for actors to fill roles in their projects, which happily results in me getting dozens and dozens of similar casting notices in my inbox each day:

NYCastings is just one of the sites I use to find auditions. Many of the roles on there are for paid positions, but more often than not, the work is unpaid. Which is fine. I've done LOTS of unpaid work for resume and reel building purposes.

And when the producer isn't paying the actors it's almost always for a good reason -- you're working for a fledgling off-off-broadway theatre company that couldn't keep its doors open if it paid its staff, or for a production company doing fundraising short films to raise money for a bigger, more exciting project.

This notice, however, is for "Mystery Diagnosis." A nationally syndicated tv show. On TLC. There is absolutely no reason why the TLC producers can't afford to pay their actors, and it is a crime to ask them to work for free just because you're cheap. Even a flat rate of a couple of hundred dollars a day, which is still pennies to a production company and isn't even much to pay someone who spent weeks of auditioning to land this one gig, would make this less insulting.

To my fellow actors, doesn't this just make your blood boil? Please let's respect ourselves enough to not work for free for producers who can afford to pay us. The only way production companies get away with doing something like this is because they WILL find actors who are willing to work for free, even when it's unfair.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Promo Shots with 60b Photography!

So a few months back, I spied one of my actor friends' little sister posting some absolutely AMAZING photographs on her facebook, and I clicked over to find out who she was and how she had such gorgeous photographs. As it turns out, I accidentally stumbled across what turned out to be the incredibly talented Jillian from 60b Photography.

I immediately fell in love with her shots, and emailed her to ask if she would be interested in doing a promo shoot so I could have some more shots for my websites, mainly my acting site, but also a few great shots for my dog boarding site, as well. She quickly wrote back that she would love to, and she started following my blog and suggested that it might be fun to do a shoot that was "a day in the life of Kate" themed, and I thought that sounded like a cool idea!

So here goes nothing!

Every morning, I wake up to at least two sets of similarly pouty puppy eyes staring into my face:

Coffee is a first-thing type of deal in our household, although I promise you that I don't look nearly this put together while I'm still on my first cup, haha...

Once I get myself together, it's time to hit the subway for auditions/rehearsals/work work work!

Don't try to keep up ;)

This picture perfectly captures how I feel when I'm out and about in the city on a beautiful day, getting work done, sipping on coffee, and just generally loving living here:

I also spend a lot of time at the library, borrowing scores, reading scripts, watching tv shows (strictly as research, of course...).

Doesn't everybody have tea parties in the park?

It's the best place to learn lines, work on audition sides, update my websites -- Bryant Park and I spend a lot of quality time together in the warmer weather!

But then it's time to get back to the doggies who depend on me for snuggles. I meet with prospective clients, exercise the pups I currently have, and send out emails in response to queries I receive, all while in the company of these two cuties:

And I'm sure to end each day with a doggy snuggle, as well :)

Jillian took beautiful photos, and I'm so happy to have them for my sites! If you'd like to see some more of my pictures, head on over to my actor website here.

Also, if you're in the New York/Connecticut area and engaged, getting married, or wanting anniversary shots, Jillian is a great bet. Head on over here to see what she's done with other couples. And you know she comes highly recommended by me!

Thanks so much, Jillian!

Friday, October 15, 2010

My New Life Motto

I've decided that this is my new life motto:

Haha. Just kidding. Mostly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Top Ten Ways to Relax in New York City (On a Budget!)

Anyone who reads this blog must know how much I love New York City. I mean, why else would I write a whole blog about living here, right? New York is a vibrant, eclectic, exciting, and intensely interesting place to live.

Which also means that it can be hectic, frazzled, stifling, and overwhelming, too. There's a reason those high-priced, $400 facial type spas exist (and it's not just because The Real Housewives need something else to do).

While Dan and I were at the beach a few weeks ago and I was thinking about how relaxing I find it there, I realized there was one "top ten in New York" list that I had never seen. And so, without further ado, I bring you:

The Top Ten Ways To Relax in New York City Without Prostituting Yourself to Pay For It:

1. Enjoy a (plastic) bottle of wine while watching Shakespeare in the Park. Seeing Shakespeare performed in Central Park for free has been a New York tradition for fifty or so years now, but the recent advent of the online ticket lottery has taken all the stress out of snagging some tickets. Head over here to enter yourself into the lotto any time before 1 PM on show day, and with a moderately flexible schedule, you're sure to get tickets. There's nothing more relaxing than seeing great theatre at sunset with a breeze blowing and the city muted around you, in my opinion. Bonus relaxation points: bring a bottle of wine with you to enjoy during the show. Food and drink are totally allowed in the theater, the only rule is no glass.

2. Walk home after midnight. The city is ever so much more peaceful then.

3. Ride the Staten Island Ferry. This is another freebie steal. Get out on the water, take in the stunning skyline views, and get up close and personal with Lady Liberty herself. Sit outside on the top level for the best views and zen. Get off at Staten Island and grab the next ferry right back and you've got a full 90 minutes of tranquility lined up. Just avoid commuting hours (7-10 AM and 4-7 PM).

4. Have drinks at a rooftop bar.

5. Get a pedicure. Unlike everything else in New York, pedicures are cheap. Cheaper than they are elsewhere. And there's nothing so relaxing as being forced to sit still for a few minutes in the middle of the day, plus there's no better way to feel fresh, groomed, and pampered than to have a cute, new coat of nail polish on.

6. Sip on an over-priced and calorie-laden latte at Starbucks, cuddled up in an armchair and watching snowflakes fall through the windowpanes.

7. Lay in the middle of the lawn in Bryant Park after dark.

8. Eat dinner at a sidewalk cafe.

9. Take the B train to Brighton Beach. Sure, it's not the cleanest or nicest beach, but it IS pretty incredible that you can hop on the train in the concrete jungle of Midtown and hop off an hour later at the beach.

10. And I know this isn't actually in the city, buuuut if all else fails, get out of the city! There are so many great places to escape to overnight or for the weekend without even having a car! Take the metro north railroad to a quiet inn in Connecticut or to a cabin in the Hudson Valley. Take NJ Transit and stay at the Jersey Shore (I promise, it's not all like that TV show...). Take Amtrak to a weekend getaway in Philly. It doesn't have to break the bank, but just getting away from the hustle for a couple of days can really do wonders for your sanity.

What are your best relaxation tips in New York City?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Weirdest Thing of All

I've always thought that it must be seriously be the weirdest thing ever to see yourself plastered up on a huge billboard at ten times your actual size. But after walking by this the other morning:

I now know that the weirdest thing ever HAS to be seeing your face torn off the side of a building in sheets. What a strange world we live in, haha.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Adventure in Vermont Concludes -- Reasons Why I Still Want to Live in NYC

After reading all of these posts about how lovely Burlington and its surrounding areas are, you might be worrying that I'm about to pack up and move my little family to Vermont, leaving my poor Manhattan-centric blog to wither and die a lonely death.

I assure you, however, that this is not the case. Although I adored Burlington and would jump at the chance to spend a few weeks there again (this time, with husband in tow!), there's nothing to worry about. I'm still a New Yorker at heart :)

I thought I'd put together a little post with just a couple of the reasons why I couldn't live in Vermont as a permanent kind of thing. For one, the culture and energy in New York is impossible to beat. Everything happens here, and I love that. For instance, there are whole rooms here in libraries filled with works by New York authors. Here's what I found in a giant bookstore in Burlington:

12 whole books by Vermont natives. That's right.

Also, although I'm surely generalizing, New York tends to be just a tad more liberal-minded:

Yes, that does read, "Satan's ploys are no match for Christ's power" in the window of the laundromat. I mean, I'm all for exercising your religion, but at the laundromat? I really just want to wash my clothes, thanks.

And although we were fabulously lucky because August was the perfect time to be in Burlington and this was about the worst weather we saw:

Vermont looks a whole lot more like this for many, many months out of every year:

And let me tell ya, New York is about as cold a place as I EVER want to live!

But most of all, in coming home to the city, I was just so thrilled to be back with this:

The people that I love, of course. I so so so missed my family and friends while I was away, and am very happy to be home!

Have you ever been away from home for many weeks or months at a time? Did it make you consider moving? Why or why not?

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Adventure in Vermont Continues -- Daytrip to Montreal!

One of the last parts about my stay in Vermont that I'd like to share with you was one of my favorite parts of the whole month -- my solo daytrip to Canada!

Being in Burlington, we were only about a 90 minute drive from Montreal, and though I've been to Canada many times, I'd never seen Montreal and I'd never been to Canada period as an adult, so I knew I had to go! I couldn't get my fellow castmates to commit to a date and time, which bummed me out at first, but then I decided what the hell? I'm a big girl and I don't want to miss out on this opportunity, I'm going solo! Then I remembered that Kelly (AKA Mrs. Flamingo) and her brand new baby lived near Montreal, and I was sold!

Although I've been out of the country dozens of times in my life, this was the first time I'd ever left by myself and, I'll admit, I was a little nervous! I made it through customs fine, though, and I was into Canada!

After a relatively short drive and a little bit of a frazzled time trying to find parking in downtown Montreal, I met up with Kelly and adorable baby Mavi, who slept through most of the time we were together!

Sadly, Kelly and I didn't think to get someone to take our picture together, so you'll just have to take my word for it that she looked beautiful and stylish, and that I was so excited to finally meet her.

She took me to this cute cafe where their specialty is all different kinds of pie. This whole case was filled with different pies:

I settled on some sort of divine chocolate pie, of course. I don't remember what it was called, but it was heavenly:

After lunch, we wandered around the streets of Montreal doing some shopping. Kelly took me into several fabulous stores, one of which was this great vintage store where I wanted to buy everything, but ended up buying this awesome robin's egg blue vintage Italian leather jacket for $35:

I wish I had a better picture of it, but don't worry, you'll be seeing a lot of it around these parts, I'm sure, since I wear it allll the time.

Then after a couple of hours, Kelly and Mavi had to go (sad face!), but I still wanted to see a little bit more of Montreal before I headed back, so I drove over to the vieux port and did some wandering.

I ran across this adorable little street fair with wonderful art vendors in a small alley:

Admired the quaint cobblestone streets...

And found my way into the Notre Dame cathedral, which was absolutely breathtaking. My sad picture doesn't do it justice, I assure you:

At that point, I grabbed a postcard as a souvenir and packed myself back up into the car to head home, as I was getting a little worried about how well my little yorkie was behaving for my host family, who graciously offered to babysit her for the day.

On the way back, the gray skies cleared and I was treated to the most stunning farmland scenery to drive back through:

All in all, I had a fabulous day, and I'm so glad I went, even if it did have to be by myself. I adored Montreal, and I'd love to go back for a weekend someday with Dan because I know there's a ton more to see!

Have you ever taken a trip by yourself?