Table Read Fun!

Hey artistic warriors! Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

I had an opportunity to act in a table read for an exciting and powerful feature film. I was asked to be in it by the writer of the film. He and I met at the Richard Lawson Studios two years ago and we kept in touch by sharing our artistic endeavors with each other. Plus, he had seen my work as an actor and liked it. He mentioned at the table read that he hand-selected each of us because he knew what we would bring to the characters.

And although I can’t talk about the storyline of the feature film, what I will talk about is the process I employed for the table read. First of all, the scripts would only be available at the table read, so none of us had the opportunity to read it and work on our characters beforehand. We were only emailed our character names and their breakdowns. So essentially, this was a cold reading! Which I thrive on!

Based on my character’s breakdown, I came dressed as the character. I decided to wear something “hip nerdy” and I wore non-prescription glasses. When I took my assigned seat at the table, I literally had five minutes to find my scenes and read through them. On the first read through of my scenes, I just read them in order to gather the facts that the writer was giving to me. What’s going on? What’s happening?

When I finished the first read through, I went back and created a quick history for my character. Then, I created a moment before and then I began reading through my scenes again. I allowed myself to be open and present so that my instincts and impulses could come through. As subtext and thoughts popped into my head, I wrote them down on the margins of the pages. I didn’t question myself, I didn’t flinch, I didn’t critique. I honored my impulses. When I finished the second read through of my scenes, I closed the script and let it go. I didn’t do any more read throughs.

A minute later, the table read began. I connected with my other scene partner and found moments where I was impinged by him and where I impinged him. I allowed myself to have a moment of real reflective delay when he delivered some bad news to me and I allowed myself to have an experience.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and the writer loved and appreciated what we all brought to the table read. We had a quick Q&A afterwards and he shared with us his upcoming plans for the film.

Until next time! Have a great artistic week!


I Can’t Act!

Hey artistic warriors! Today’s blog entry is inspired by several scenes I have on the schedule for my scene study class. Coming up, I have: Best In Show, Black Mirror, The Out Of Towners, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and a repeat of a scene from Weeds, to name just a few. And I thought about a blog entry I wrote back in August 2015 that addressed the doubts I have about my talents whenever I do a first rehearsal for anything I’m working on.

I wanted to share the original entry below for laughs, shits and giggles. And also sharing this entry to see if anyone else has a similar experience when it comes to picking up material for the very first time (Like a virgin…touched for the very first time…)

Original entry below…this was when I was rehearsing a scene from “I Like It Like That”

On August 2nd, 2015, my scene partner and I began our first rehearsal for a scene we’re putting up in class. We met at a neutral midway point since we both live far away from each other. And “neutral” meaning no coffee shops and no restaurants. Somewhere where we could sit down with minimal to no distraction and start digging into our scene work.

We settled on a small park that was inhabited by a handful of people. It was a very quiet park and we both knew this was a perfect setting for our first rehearsal. We sat on the lawn and became really excited to start working together on this powerful scene. We pulled out our scripts and before we even read one line, we talked about the movie: Our observations; our relationship to each other as these characters; where in the movie this scene took place so that we understood the magnitude of the event and evaluation of what was going on; questions that I had; questions that she had; we talked about how to effectively rehearse and what today’s rehearsal would encompass.

Everything was going great! We were quickly getting on the same page. We were bouncing ideas off of each other. We were very “yes, and…” Meaning that we were building upon our ideas: “Yes, that’s great and how about…”, “Yes, and I can bring this…”, “Yes, and if I do this, then…”

Again, everything was going GREAT…

…Until we read the scene for the first time.

OH MY FUCKING GOD! I WAS SO AWFUL. As soon as I started saying my first line, I was like, “I should quit acting right now. Who the fuck am I kidding? I’m terrible! I can’t act.” That’s right. I said it. I’m a terrible actor and I can’t act. I should just move to Hawaii and open up a surfboard shop by the beach (LOL Does this sound familiar, DawnMarie?) As I continued saying each of my lines in the scene, I could hear discordant piano chords gradually getting louder in my head. Each off-key, jarring chord made my body twitch and jump. My head kept cringing more and more to the left. I could hear missiles getting closer to hitting their target (the target, by the way, was me!) I could hear nails scratching against the chalkboard.

Even WORSE, I could see all of fellow Vassar grad Meryl Streep’s 18 Oscar nominations flashing before my eyes. My eyes crossed. My vision got blurry. I may have even slapped myself to snap out of it and become present again. My scene partner–thinking I was making an inspired, bold choice in the moment–slapped herself as well. I looked up at her and saw Meryl Streep sitting across from me, pointing and laughing hard, while she was surrounded by her 3 Oscars, 8 Golden Globes, 2 SAG Awards, 2 Primetime Emmys and countless other awards. And just when I was about to lose my mind, we finished reading the scene.

Depleted, exhausted and shaking, I looked up at my scene partner and said, “That was really cool. Let’s read it again.”


What I just described is an interesting phenomena that occurs 80% of the time when I first pick up a script for scene study class or sides for an audition. The first read through is so horrendous and I always question my abilities as an actor. Does anyone else experience this? If so, I’d love to know why it happens to you too. And look, I’ll be honest, Meryl Streep has never laughed at me, but I’ve heard and experienced those discordant piano chords. I think part of it has to do with starting from scratch. I’m picking up a script again for the first time and embarking on a brand new, unknown journey. I’m starting with a clean, blank slate that I now have to start filling in and piecing together bit by bit. It’s that first step into the unknown that is the worst.

Bottom line: Can I build another scene from scratch again and deliver a fully-realized performance? (Even though I have delivered fully-realized performances countless times before.) Will this finally be the scene where people discover that I can’t act? That I am a sham artist? That I am a fake?

However, by the second read through of the script or the audition sides, I feel better (That’s how I felt when my scene partner and I read through the scene again.) I got through and survived the first read. I got it out of my system and no longer felt this expectation to deliver an Oscar-winning performance. I am now open to actually receiving what’s on the page. And then I read the script or audition sides a third time. And then I read it again. And again. And again. Each time, I gain more understanding of what’s happening. I know which questions to ask. The picture comes into focus more and more.

I believe another reason for this phenomena is that I want to know and have all the answers right away. Instead, I have to remind myself that part of the journey with rehearsing a scene or preparing for an audition is the willingness to have patience and not know the answers right away. To trust that by doing the work, the answers will eventually come. The “ah ha” moments will hit me along the way.

And like I mentioned earlier, this phenomena doesn’t always happen. There is that remaining 20% where I immediately connect with a new scene and I know exactly what’s going on and how to play it. Interestingly enough, however, whenever I have to do a cold reading at an audition (where the casting director gives you the sides on the spot and you have a few minutes to look them over), I DON’T experience this phenomena. With cold reads, I put no pressure or expectation on myself because it’s a COLD read. I know that they know that the performance I’m delivering is based upon the few minutes I’ve spent with the sides. I have a few minutes tops to figure out what’s going on in the scene, what’s the relationship between my character and the other character(s) in the scene and to make one or two strong choices that supports the story.

My scene partner and I have had more rehearsals since our initial one and I am having fun with the process. I am gaining more clarity and certainty with the scene and with my character. I am honoring my genius and instincts. The unknown is no longer an issue and doesn’t scare me anymore. I am piecing together the wardrobe of my character and have taken my character public on two occasions so far. By taking the character public and interacting with people, I’m enhancing my belief as this character. If the public believes who I am, then my belief is enhanced as well.

We are exploring subtext. We are figuring out WHY we are saying each line. We are looking at the chapters in the scene (a new chapter occurs when there’s a dynamic shift in the scene). We are looking at our relationship. What makes this night different from other nights? What’s the moment before? What is this moment about over here? Why do I turn off the music? I bonded with my scene partner’s child this past Monday for a few hours because in this scene, I’m arguing with my sister about the way she’s raising her child (my nephew). I need a nephew. I need to have a real kid that I can connect with and fall in love with and fight for. My scene partner and I even took a picture with him so that I can frame it and make it part of our set (Specifics equals belief) We had another great rehearsal today where we connected to what the scene was about!

So our rehearsal process is progressing beautifully.

What allows me to build confidence in my work is a set of solid training tools which helps me to create and construct things from scratch. To take words on a page and bring them to life. Tools are vital. Without them, you’re fucked. You’re kind of hoping and praying that you’ll get lucky and deliver a great performance. And let’s say you DO deliver a great, solid performance. Great! But you have no idea how you did that. How you got there. So, when you’re asked to repeat it either by an acting teacher, a casting director or a film director on set, you’re fucked because you don’t know how to repeat that experience or moment. You were just winging it. I’m glad I have tools to work with to help me understand how I got there and how to repeat a performance. I have structure that helps me be free and play within it. I’ve done the work. Now I can go play.

So whatever your acting training is or wherever you currently study, use those tools to embark on the journey of the unknown and into the known.

And yes, I CAN act. See you soon, Meryl Streep.

My 2018 Goal

Hey kitty girls! I couldn’t resist. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 premiered on January 25th and I am getting all my life right now!

We’re still in January and 2018 is still very much new and filled with wonderful possibilities. I wanted to share with you all what my goal is for 2018. I recently shared that my birthday wish was to continue honoring my imagination as an artist. Which I love! So, what is my goal for 2018? What am I focused on?

When I look over my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka my personal business plan), one of my postulates is:

I am a household name infiltrating and conquering mainstream Hollywood through my film acting work and by creating TV and Film content that is just beyond the margin of comfortability (Daring and artistically free content that falls within the wheelhouse of HBO, Showtime, Netflix, A24 and powerful indie studio houses)

Which is great! I still love and believe in this postulate. However, as I looked at it, I realized that in order for me to fulfill that postulate, there was a prior step that I needed to accomplish. There’s a step that comes before becoming a household name and I need to achieve that first. And that is to become an industry name first. I want name recognition and name value with industry professionals (e.g., producers, writers, directors, casting) That fellow colleagues know my name and respect it because of my professionalism and hard work.

So the goal for 2018 is to close the deal on at least one writing and one acting project that puts my name in the entertainment trades (e.g., Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, IndieWire, etc.) I have created a DOIN’ specifically for this goal. My 2018 DOIN’ as I call it. I’m so excited to have a plan of attack to make this goal happen in 2018. Close the deal so that fellow colleagues in the industry take notice of my name.

What is your 2018 goal or goals? I’d love to read what they are in the comments section below!

Acting In Tijuana!

My scene partner, Lindsay Hopper, and I are rehearsing a scene from Weeds. It’s scheduled to go up in our acting class in the very near future. She’s playing the role of Nancy and I’m playing the role of Guillermo. And in one of our rehearsals a couple of weeks ago, she asked, “Do you want to drive down to San Diego and then walk across the border into Mexico?”

She asked that question because the show takes place in Southern California. More specifically, we’re doing a scene from the third season and Nancy’s character has just moved to a fictional town in San Diego. My character is a drug trafficker who hires Nancy on a trial basis to work for him and his boss. Seeing her potential, my character hires Nancy to manage a maternity store in San Ysidro (an actual town in San Diego) that is actually a front for a major drug trafficking operation.

I jumped at the opportunity and said yes to Lindsay! I knew that being in San Ysidro and crossing the U.S.-Mexican border would be a valuable experience in terms of really understanding the world of this particular series. Being on location would give me a reality that I could experience. Also, being on location would be another way of turning over yet another rock in the development and construction of our scene. This was another way of taking our rehearsal process to the Nth degree.

So, on January 20th, we drove down to San Ysidro. As we got closer to our destination, I became more and more excited. I was like a little kid getting closer and closer to Disneyland. My eyes were filled with wonderment. We took the 5 Freeway South and there was an exit sign that was called “Last USA Exit”. It was exhilarating to know how close we were to Mexico. We got off at that exit because Lindsay knew it would be faster if we crossed the border by foot than by car. I tried to take a picture of the exit sign, but I didn’t take it in time. However, I did provide a picture below from a Google Images search for reference.

As we got off the Last USA Exit, I saw more signs pointing to Mexico. I could see the border walls (and the various numbers on each wall just like Weeds portrayed in one of their episodes) We drove around San Ysidro for a little bit before parking the car in the lot. We then made our way over to the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Oh, by the way, I went in character. I took my character public to get into the belief of him more. To be able to interact with people in character. Again, just making sure to turn over as many rocks as possible for our first take of this scene.

We crossed the border rather quickly, and like that, we were in Tijuana, Mexico. There was an eerie silence in the air that I mentioned to Lindsay. I mean, there were people out and about and moving with intention, but it was eerily silent. We stopped by one place to get tacos and our host also doubled as a doctor. Let’s call him Dr. X and he quickly listed off a laundry list of drugs he could sell to us (from Oxycontin to Meth to Cocaine to Viagra) What a wonderful gift from the universe! What a perfect way for me to understand the reality of our scene. I engaged with Dr. X as my character and asked him for prices on one particular drug (and no, I didn’t buy it!)

We went to another location and interacted with a man who called himself Robert DeNiro. He called me Al Pacino and Lindsay called herself Meryl Streep. We walked around some more and I kept focused on my character and his physicality. I kept my space and was intentional with keeping my space. I was aware of how I affected/landed on people.

I’m so happy that Lindsay suggested this idea and that I jumped on the opportunity to do so. That I followed my instinct to say “YES!” I’m proud that I didn’t flinch or back away when she suggested this idea. Because at the end of the day, this experience was empowering and it really informed the scene even more so for me.

Below is a picture of the “Last USA Exit” sign courtesy of Google Images. And I created the collage below from some of the pictures I took.



My Birthday Wish!

January 13th was my birthday! And as I celebrated this weekend with friends, Madonna and Meryl Streep, I realized what I wanted my birthday wish to be: It’s to continue honoring my imagination as an artist. I love this definition of imagination from the 1904 edition of Webster’s Dictionary:


I just finished the 4th season of “Black Mirror”. IMAGINATION! I also watched “The Shape of Water”. IMAGINATION! There are many more examples I could give to illustrate imagination.

So in 2018–and beyond–I can’t wait to see what my imagination unlocks for me as an actor, writer and executive producer! I can’t wait to see how my imagination rocks me and others.

Who do you think has a great imagination? Let me know in the comments below!


An Arrogant Farewell To 2017!

My last blog entry for 2017! I will see you in the new year! But for now, I am here to give an arrogant goodbye to 2017. Arrogant as in “claiming for oneself” and “pride”. I have so much pride in the wins I’ve had in 2017 and I’m going to share just a sampling of them. I’m tooting my horn. As should you. What were your wins in 2017?

Cause at the end of the day, what’s a horn for but to toot it?

Here we go!

January 4th: Audited a scene study class at Jame Franco’s acting studio

January 13th: Celebrated my birthday with friends, drag queens, bottomless mimosas and twerking

February 5th: Celebrated one year anniversary with Chris

February 6th: Attended “Assassins” musical fundraiser at Rage to support my fellow Richard Lawson Studios members

February 9th: Imported the rest of my relationship map into Insightly

February 10th: Took a wonderful trip to Seattle with Chris

February 24th: Had a kick-ass audition playing a character like Huck from “Scandal” in the PDP 3.0 class

February 25th: Shot new headshots with Marisa Leigh

March 7th Made final payment to company and got rid of an outstanding debt

March 24th: Co-hosted the first of 13 viewing parties for Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race

March 27th: Took a picture with my favorite drag queen: Bianca Del Rio

April 13th My blog entry, “Sending The Elevator Down”, was accepted into the Huffington Post’s Thrive site

April 13th Had coffee with one of my favorite actors and people, Justin Huen

April 17th Signed with the Paradise Group for commercial representation

April 18th Participated in the LA Law charity event (our group raised the most money in the history of the event)

April 21st Did a kick-ass cold read audition as a doctor in the PDP 3.0 class

April 29th Attended the inaugural Wearable Art Gala wearing a custom-made metallic gold mask

April 30th Attended Drag Con and took pictures with Alyssa Edwards, Nina Bo’nina Banana Fofana Osama Bin Laden Brown and Karen From Finance; received video shout out from Shangela. Also attended a handful of wonderful panels.

May 6th Attended “Assassins” musical in Silverlake to support my fellow Richard Lawson Studios members

May 13th Attended The Bougee Party in Woodland Hills

May 13th Attended screening of Chinatown at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Chris, Lindsay, Jordan, Sarah and Ryan

May 19th Did a kick-ass procedural audition as the CEO of Caster Industries in the PDP 3.0 class

June 1st Began Round 1 of social media campaign for my James Franco feature film project

June 2nd Had a meeting with Oakley Entertainment about my James Franco feature film project

June 3rd Wrote the first draft of my movie pitch

June 4th Posted my 100th blog entry

June 5th Was a reader for a feature film that Kim Hardin was casting

June 10th Attended screening of The Wizard of Oz at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Lindsay

June 17th Attended Danielle Eskinazi’s workshop and did a kick-ass read during the workshop. I had a commercial copy from a Honda spot

June 20th Did a kick-ass cold read audition as a fashion consultant in the PDP 3.0 class

June 23rd Sasha Velour won Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and represented Vassar College beautifully (Sasha was class of 2009)

June 25th I attended first Richard Lawson Studios teachers meeting

June 26th Email sent by Oakley Entertainment to one of James Franco’s producing partners

June 30th Shot a computer hacker scene with Lindsay, Lauren and Kenny

July 2nd Final cut completed of Human Revolution short film  (a film I executive produced, co-wrote and co-starred in)

July 3rd “Curtsy, Mister” became an HBO finalist at MVAAFF (in addition to 15 other film festivals it has already been accepted into. This is a feature documentary film I acted in and also was the first assistant director on)

July 5th Signed with the Paradise Group for theatrical representation

July 10th: My weekly blog, Chasing The George, turned two years old

July 18th: Shared the computer hacker scene I shot with Twinkie Byrd, Danielle Eskinazi, Monika Mikkelsen

July 19th: Lindsay shared computer hacker scene with various casting directors on Twitter

July 24th: Dropped off cream puffs and James Franco script with Reed to Rabbit Bandini Productions

July 25th: Did a successful on-camera audition from The Librarians TV series in the PDP 3.0 class

July 26th: Oakley Entertainment reached out to Laurie Holden’s people for the lead female role in my James Franco feature film script

July 26th: Successful production meeting for phase two of the Human Revolution movie

July 29th: Started window shopping for office furniture

July 30th: Did research on 10 film festivals Lauren gave to me and I reached out to them via email for premiere requirements

July 31st: Intention without hesitation. Back to back actions on:

    • Emailed top CAA agent re: Human Revolution (HR) submission to Vassar Film Festival and drop off to James Franco’s production company
    • Followed up with Jessica re: HR viewing
    • FB message to Ryan and Sarah re: Princess Bride screening and mini-golfing
    • Tweeted computer hacker scene link to various CD’s of Mr. Robot, Fear The Walking Dead, etc.
    • Sent film festival update to HR producing team
    • Tweeted Twinkie Byrd about collaborating
    • Researched and sent literary inquiry letters to Heroes and Villains Entertainment, Rafterman Media, Original Artists & Society Entertainment

August 3rd: Chasing The George was included in Vassar’s “In The Media” July 2017 round up email which is sent to graduates all over the world

August 4th: Submitted Human Revolution to the Vassar Film Festival in D.C.

August 8th: Sent Julia (my agent) my DOIN’ (aka my business plan) and she loved it

August 8th: Human Revolution submitted to SXSW, Atlanta Film Festival, Slamdance

August 9th: Submitted Human Revolution to Taos Shortz Film Festival

August 10th: Followed up with the literary agents I submitted to on July 31st

August 15th: Emailed Julia and asked her to do an intro for me to the casting director of Gente-fied.

August 16th: Received another IMDB actor credit for a feature film called Zombie TV that comes out in 2018

August 16th: Sent Tady link to HR

August 17th: Sent FB message to the creators of Gente-fied

August 17th: Sent literary inquiry letter to The Mission Entertainment

August 18th: Sent email to Kelly Edwards re: HBOAccess program

August 19th: Sent Travis link to HR

August 20th: Participated in a career administration panel at the WACO Theater Center

August 23rd: Submitted Human Revolution film to Sundance, Sarasota Film Festival and the Utah Film and Awards Festival

August 26th: Celebrated 15 years of living in Los Angeles

August 28th: The Huffington Post’s Thrive section published a second blog entry of mine, “What Is A Win?”

August 31st: Worked with a private client who wanted to start learning an approach to acting

September 2nd: Submitted Human Revolution to the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival

September 4th: Posted my 10,000th tweet

September 5th: Submitted Human Revolution to the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

September 5th: Emailed the casting director of Gente-fied and received her response on September 6th

September 9th: Did a self-tape audition for the feature film, French Fries

September 26th: Did cold stand up comedy in the PDP 3.0 class and rocked it

September 26th: Outlined a new short film script in 32 minutes

September 30th: Took above outline and wrote first draft of script in 1 hour and 25 minutes (which became The Doppleganger)

October 10th: Auditioned for Criminal Minds and received a callback 5 minutes later

October 15th: Did my second ever video blog and had a lot of fun

October 17th: Registered my script, The Doppleganger, with the WGA

November 7th: Co-taught the PDP open class with Kelly

November 10th: Co-taught the Audition open classes with Lindsay, Kelly and Beth

November 10th: Had first read through rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 12th: Posted third video blog

November 15th: Had second rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 17th: Had first rehearsal with Courtney for scene from The Out of Towners

November 22nd: Had third rehearsal for my film, The Doppleganger

November 23rd: Celebrated Thanksgiving with Chris and friends

November 26th: Shot a self-tape audition for the PDP 3.0 class

November 26th: Shot another self-tape audition for an exciting top-secret project

November 28th: Did cold stand up comedy in the PDP 3.0 class

November 28th: I was offered the role I auditioned for in the exciting top-secret project

December 3rd: Shot the role in the exciting top-secret project

December 3rd: Had a scouting and production meeting for my short film, The Doppleganger

December 7th: Had a final rehearsal for The Doppleganger

December 10th: Shot The Doppleganger (a film I wrote, executive produced and co-starred in)

December 11th: My feature film script was emailed to James Franco’s manager

December 15th: Had a great audition for an untitled Noah Baumbach feature film which stars Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern and Merritt Wever

Recurring wins:

I taught the PDP 3.0 class several times

I was a guest DJ several times for the Richard Lawson Studios scene study class

I posted a new blog entry every Sunday morning

Overall happiness and health

Constant give and help to others in my community

Back On Another Film Set!

I’m excited and thrilled to be back on another set! Last Sunday, December 3rd, I shot an exciting project and today, December 10th, I’m back on the set of The Doppleganger. I wrote this film and I am also executive producing and co-starring in it.

I’m proud of the script. I’m proud of the cast and crew I’ve assembled. I love that 96% of my crew is FEMALE! I handpicked each person to form a wonderful, exciting and positive set.

I want to thank my co-star, Javier Lezama.

I want to thank my director and fellow producer, Lindsay Hopper.

I want to thank the GIRL POWER crew:

Beth Pennington (1st AD), Taylor Babb (Key Production Assistant), Lauren Elle Christie (Script Supervisor and Continuity), Sayaka Miyatani (Sound), Jessica Sade Ward (Camera Assistant) and Courtney Nichole (Craft Services)

I want to thank our honorary GIRL POWER crew:

Hitoshi Inoue (Cinematography and Director of Photography), Craig Taggart (Associate Producer and Location Manager) and Jordan Bull (Production Assistant)

I want to thank Chris Beber for your love and support and for always running lines with me!

And lastly, I want to thank the Richard Lawson Studios for truly creating a space where art can occur. For creating causative and powerful artists. For being a place where I and many other artists can workshop our material and take it to the next level!

Here’s a picture of Lindsay, Javier and I at our last rehearsal this past week:

The Doppleganger

Here’s a picture of me on set. Picture taken by Lauren Elle Christie:

The Doppleganger