February 26, 2010
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but some of my posts appear to have been written either late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. I noticed that my post from yesterday came up dated with today’s date. It seems that my time zone was not set for Central time. The problem has been fixed, so everything from here on out should be carrying a correct time stamp.
Now, on to more important things. It’s time for another installment of Featured Fridays!
Store Name: 3BearsStudio
First Name: Rachel
Tag Line: Welcome to 3 Bears Studio!
Physical Location: DFW Metroplex, Texas
Inventory: art work (paintings, chalk, mixed media)
If you read my post last week entitled, “If We’re Not Funny, It’s Your Fault,” then you learned a little bit about the improv comedy troupe that I’m involved in, After Hour’s Improv. Last week, a handful of us were out of town doing a corporate gig, when I discovered that one of my fellow cast mates, Rachel, has her very own Etsy shop as well! How did I not know this until now?
I hurried home that evening to check out her store, and I was so excited by my new discovery. She has the most adorable collection of art work! Her work is full of vibrant colors and animal characters. Some are reminders of love and friendship, while others communicate stern messages, such as “Be nice or leave,” and “Mind your own beeswax,” in a soft and playful way. You’ll find crocodiles, singing birds, spider princesses, and don’t forget the elephants. “Elephants are lovely guys. They are good & true & tell no lies.”
Here are a few of my favorites:
I am so excited that my sisters are coming to Texas for a visit in April. It’s hard living far away from your family, especially during holidays, and Easter brings back wonderful memories of lunches at my grandparent’s house.
But, like I said, they will both be here in April for a handful of fun-filled days. But filled with what?
Living in Texas, I feel like I have lost the ability to see our area through the eyes of a visitor. I’ve been racking my brains to come up with some fun things to do while they are here. I have a list of, oh, maybe 5 or 6 things, but I’m stumped for more ideas.
If you were going to vacation in the Lone Star State, what are some things that you would like to do? And if you live there already, what are some of your favorite things to do? Leave me some comments. I’d love to see what you can come up with!
February 24, 2010
It seems a little weird to be in Easter mode already, but Lent has already begun, and when I was at JoAnn’s buying fiber-fill today, I noticed they already had St. Patty’s and Easter stuff on SALE. Crazy, huh?
Now, why was I buying fiber-fill, you might ask.
I’m working on adding some stuffed Easter eggs to coordinate with other items in my shop. Originally, I thought I would like to make “bean” filled Easter eggs, however that did not turn out so well. (See picture below) When I got through with the first one, it kind of reminded me more of a hacky sack than an Easter decoration, and it didn’t hold it’s rounded egg shape very well either.
My second attempt stuffing the egg with…um, stuffing…seemed to turn out much better. What do you think?
February 23, 2010
This weekend, my deal-loving hubby and I headed out to Trader’s Village, a huge flea market just a few miles away from our house. We hadn’t been since the weather began getting cold last year, so we were looking forward to a day of exploring and hunting for good deals. We both set out with our own individual goals. Adam, as always, was looking for retro gaming systems and games, while I had my eyes out for vintage china or porcelain that might be cool enough to make it into a Treacle And Ink listing.
While Adam most definitely met and surpassed his goals, I didn’t have so much luck. However, the day wasn’t a complete loss. While wondering among the sea of sellers peddling everything from produce to car parts, we spotted this little beauty:
I love Star Trek: TNG! I used to get to watch episodes with my dad when I was younger, and Adam and I have been Netflix-ing our way through the series from start to finish for some months now. We’re definitely not at the Trekkie level, but we are fans of the show. Can’t wait to play my new game!
I am a part-time actor who, like most of the rest of the part-timers, wishes she could be a full-time actor. It’s an awesome thing to discover that one thing you truly love to do – that thing that you love to do so much that you would even do it for free…which brings me to this post.
Paid acting jobs are not an easy thing to come by. I have a great agent who stays on the ball, and I submit to various casting calls every week. She also sends out a newsletter about once a week that is full of opportunities that have been sent her way, but with which she is not directly involved. I also get a newsletter from the local actors’ career center, S.T.A.G.E., as well as another popular DFW area actors’ newsletter called The Column. All of these newsletter are filled with a variety of acting opportunities from stage to screen, with 95% of these opportunities having one big thing in common. No pay.
Now most, if not all, of these non-paying projects will have no trouble finding actors aplenty to fill their needs. Like I said earlier, most actors, myself included, love what they do so much that they are willing to do it for free. But today, I got to thinking…
What if we just stopped working for free?
What if “great experience,” “footage for your demo reel” and “drinks and snacks provided” was no longer enough?
We just filed our 2009 taxes today, and let’s just say that, as an actor, I managed to bring home a bit more than you start off with in Monopoly, but no where near enough to win the game. According to K. Callan‘s Book “How To Sell Yourself As An Actor” (6th Edition, 2008), 39.5% of Screen Actors Guild members earn between $1 and $3,000, and 27.5% earn nothing at all. So, I actually did pretty well in comparison.But you can’t call that a living. It’s really a crazy balancing act to pull off. In order to afford food, shelter and basic necessities, most actors have to have another job. But making a go as an actor requires you to have complete schedule flexibility to be able to go wherever, whenever for whatever audition or call-back, sometimes with less than a 24-hour notice.
Many actors, myself included, have gone to college and gotten undergraduate or graduate degrees in Theatre or Acting, or something similar. How many other professions that hire degreed individuals can you think of that expect their qualified employees to work for free? If a nurse or a teacher contribute their skills to a project or institution for no charge at all, it’s viewed as charitable, noble, even philanthropic, as it should be. To be quite honest with you, if, over the years, I manage to make enough money as an actor to recover the cost of my schooling, it will be a goal well-met.
So, I ask you again, “What if we just stopped working for free?”
Well, I can come up with a handful of negatives right away. Community theatre, where so many people first get bitten by “the bug,” would suffer a great deal. Granted, there are some community theatres that manage to pay actors a small stipend – maybe enough to cover gas back and forth to rehearsals – but there are many that are just trying to keep the doors open and the electricity bills paid. It would be a devastating blow to so many small town theatres if the love of the craft were no longer enough to compel actors to donate their time and energy to making magic on the stage.
Then, there are the small indy film productions. Most great directors got their start in much humbler beginnings, and with less grandiose productions than, say, Indiana Jones or Avatar. My husband is a wonderful director/producer. I would jump for joy if he decided to helm an independent production and was able to assemble an all volunteer cast and crew. There are already so many other costs involved in making an indy project.
For actors who chose to not invest the time and money in a classical education, non-paying jobs offer great on-the-job training experiences, in most cases. You learn something new with each and every project. These individuals would likely have a more difficult time landing paid jobs when competing with others who already have the experience and resume to back up their more fully developed talents.
With these negatives, however, I could also see a few positives. There would be more paid acting projectsavailable to us would-be working actors, which would be a HUGE blessing. If you have had difficulty finding a job in this economy, then you have had a small taste about what it is really like trying to make a living as an actor. Sure, jobs are out there, but the hiring pool is deep and wide. I’ve read that 90% of an actor’s job is looking for a job, and I’d have to say that my own experience is reflective of that.
I also can’t help but wonder if the overall quality of work would improve. I have witnessed absolutely phenomenal performances, both in live theatre and on film, and I have also seen performances that were so bad it took all of my willpower to not run out the door, or turn off the television. It is in these later instances when I have often begged the question, “How did that person manage to get cast in this production?” Well, was it a paid job? You’re probably not going to get Anthony Hopkins to audition for “My Senior Year Film Project.”
I know actors are at the bottom of the totem pole. I get that, I’ve accepted that, and I have no problem knowing where I stand. I’m not saying that actors should or should not stop working for free.
I’m just wondering, “What if?”
February 19, 2010
Hop on your broomstick and get ready for a magical ride with this week’s Featured Friday!
Store Name: Celestefrittata
First Name: Chiara
Tag Line: Celestefrittata Bottega Online
Physical Location: Bari, Italy
Inventory: paper goods, hand bound books, Harry Potter themed items
This past weekend, my hubby and I happened upon a Movie Gallery that was going out of business and selling their DVDs at deep discounts. Among our purchases that day, we snagged a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the only one we were missing up until now. That got me thinking about today’s featured shop.
We went home to spend this past Christmas with my family. Now, this makes Christmas shopping a little tricky since I really need to buy everything online and have it shipped ahead of us to avoid having to check more bags and get slapped with those ridiculous baggage fees. In my search for the perfect gift for one of my dear cousins, who is a huge Harry Potter fan, I was very pleased to discover Celestefrittata.
This shop is a must see for Potter fans. She has the most awesome collection of hand bound notebooks that look like textbooks that came right out of the shelves at Flourish & Blotts. Astronomy, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, she has it all. I purchased a spiral bound Daily Prophet Journal and a set of Owl Post stationary that came complete with stamps in various denominations or wizard currency – and the shipping from Italy was much less expensive than checking another piece of luggage at the airport! Here are a few pictures to tempt your inner witch or wizard.
The rumors are absolutely unfounded – I did not fall off the face of the planet. WordPress was having some issues yesterday, and I wasn’t able to get my post to publish. So far, it looks like everything is moving smoothly today, so you’re going to get a double dose!
Yesterday, after a full day of steadily working (and completing!) my new April styled table runner, I was very much looking forward to kicking back and relaxing with an evening of comedy. That’s right, last night we served up another healping of After Hours Improv comedy.
Now, being a cast member, “kicking back and relaxing” may not be the right term to use. Improvisation required you to be alert and on your toes, because you never know what is going to happen. But, there’s nothing like the feeling you have after a show well-done, and last night was no exception. We had an awesome crowd, and that only makes for an even better show.
Thursday night is not is not our regularly scheduled performance time. We’ve been blessed with a good many private gigs in the month of February, but we are in the house and open to the public delivering family friendly, serious comedy every Saturday night at 8pm at the After Hours Improv Theater in the historic Rogers Hotel in downtown Waxahachie. So, come out and see us if you’re in the general area, or hire us out and we will bring the funny to you!
Here’s a bonus to all of you savvy shoppers and super cool blog readers out there. You can find a coupon for $1.00 off admission here.
February 17, 2010
I have been having a little bit of a crazy day today. For some reason, I decided that I would prefer to work from home this morning. I thought it was so that I could get a jump start on my Easter table runner. Little did I know that the real reason I was working from home today was because I have a puppy with an upset stomach whom I’ve been cleaning up after all day. Yuck!
In between the cleaning and furniture re-arranging and nanny-ing this sweet little girl, I have also been racking my brains trying to decide what to post for today. Then, I checked my email and got the cutest video from my best friend. It instantly took away my stress and made me smile and sing along, so I knew I wanted to share it with you.
Even though I didn’t get anything done with my runner, here’s a little Easter celebration a few weeks early.
*I have no idea where this video came from, or who these two little boys are, but if you have an info, please leave me a comment so I can give credit. Thanks!
February 16, 2010
This weekend, we loaded up the car and headed south, leaving the snow behind, to visit with my in-laws. Now, in our family, my mother-in-law is the queen of the garage sale/thrift shop/antique store. Hunting for interesting vintage goodies is always on the “to-do” list when we go for a visit, and this weekend was no different.
Well, except for one thing. I’ve been mulling over the idea of adding some vintage items to my Etsy shop – things to put atop my tablecloths and runners. So, this weekend, I headed out with purpose. I’m pleased to say that I came home with a creamer and a coffee pot/creamer/sugar bowl set. All of these pieces were made by Eschenbach. This was a German company that started production in 1916. It was absorbed into another company, which also now includes Winterling, Triptis, and Freiberg, back in 1995. Unfortunately, the Eschenbach Porzellan Group, as it is now called, has no information on patterns prior to 1995, so I am still trying to find out a little more information before listing the pieces. But keep your eyes peeled, because there are more tempting goodies on the way!