The Dread Pirate Tina

I was watching an episode of Sesame Street with my 4 year old the other day. I stepped away for a minute and suddenly heard her screaming “Mama! Turn it off! Not this! Turn it off!” She’s at this age where there are a lot of things on shows and movies that freak her out, so we have an agreement that I will fast forward through whatever she wants. 

So I rush back into the living room figuring it was Cookie Monster (scary), someone fighting (scary), maybe someone making a mistake they get upset about (scary). But no. 

It was Tina Fey singing a delightful song with some muppets. Wait, was one of the muppets too freaky? I didn’t see cookie monster…

“What’s wrong kiddo?,” I asked “What don’t you like?” She pointed at the TV and whimpered “The pirate.” I looked again. Ah yes. In fact, Tina Fey was wearing a pirate hat and an eye patch – but also a big smile. 

“That’s Tina Fey!” I said, excited to clue my daughter in on a strong funny female role model “She’s an actor like mommy. In fact she’s sorta one of Mommy’s heroes.” 

“Why?” 

“Well, she’s really really smart and funny, and she’s a wonderful actor and writer. I just really admire her. Don’t you think she’s funny wearing that hat and dancing with those monsters?” #ABC eyed the TV warily. “No. I don’t like the pirate.” 

“But it’s Tina Fey, she’s not a real pirate-“

“I don’t like the pirate!”

Alllllllll righty then. My daughter is officially scared of Tina Fey. Damn. So is this a ding to my mom cred or my comedian cred? 

#momfail #comedyfail

 

Booked It!

I’m so looking forward to being on set later this week in the short film, Pointing Fingers. It’s a dramatic morality tale about grey areas and tough circumstances. I play a supernatural professional, whose job just happens to be judging and ushering people into the afterlife. No pressure there, right!? LOL. Follow me on Instagram and check out my stories to peek behind the scenes!

Left turn at Albuquerque

Ok, let’s just get right to it and bring everyone up to date. We are leaving LA and moving the family to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What? Why!?

Well, it’s a complex answer. Let’s start with cost of living. LA’s rental costs are getting out of control. You can see it in the rising homeless population and the number of middle class who are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s real bad. It’s always been important to Joe and I to be saving regularly for rainy days, emergencies, retirement. We’ve been making that work while in LA by living below our means for many years now but with a pair of young kids, our needs have changed.

We’re currently walking sideways around our small apartment to accommodate 4 people and their things (and their wiggly bouncy bodies). To go play outside is a big production which involves making sure both kids are awake at the same time, properly attired, that we have snacks and diapers and water and and and… By the time we walk to the playground or park after all that, it’s almost time to turn around for somebody’s nap or lunch. It’s an event. We need easily accessible outdoor space. We need more indoor space. And we need all this without jeopardizing our savings because we now have 2 little ones who are depending on us being able to feed them in an emergency, ya know? (Pffff kids are so NEEDY!)

30 Rock Eye Roll GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now, there is a chance we could find all this in LA for the low low price of Mommy getting a full time non-acting job or Daddy quitting the freelance life and working for a company that requires he be out of the home 9-10 hours a day but that completely defeats the purpose for us. We are in LA for my acting work. We started a family to spend time with them. Neither if us are willing to trade away either of those things.

…Plus earthquakes. Plus fires. Plus summer air quality (see fires).

OK that’s why not LA anymore. Why Albuquerque?

ABQ has acting work. A number of shows already shoot there. Netflix just bought ABQ Studios and the new film-friendly governor just expanded tax incentives. It’s a market with a TV/film scene and all signs point to it growing over the next few years.

ABQ is really not so far from LA. A 2 hour flight or 12 hour drive. When I need to get back here for work, callbacks, meetings, I can. It’s closer than Atlanta and Chicago, 2 other promising smaller markets.

And of course, affordable housing. We are renting a 4 bedroom house with a yard (see easily accessible outdoor space) in ABQ for the same per month as our 1 ½ bedroom apartment in LA. And that’s before June 1stwhen our LA rent is scheduled to go up 10%.

Plus honestly, I’m drawn to the slower pace of life. This has been a surprising realization for me. I am no stranger to hustle. But my kids are too young for hustle. I’m hoping that by putting a little distance between my family and LA, we’ll all be able to slow down and enjoy these early years together. I don’t want to miss them.

This is a very strategic move. We plan to try it out for a year and reevaluate. I am feeling very optimistic and my LA agent is completely on board, reassuring me that as long as I’m willing to travel there’s really no reason I have to live in LA as an actor/writer anymore. Things are changing. Most first auditions are self-tape, even if you live right next to the casting office.

And just to be clear, I’m not an LA hater! LA has been very good to me and if it were still just Joe and me, I doubt we’d be leaving. I look forward to visiting and working in LA every few months. It’s just not fitting our current goals.

I’ve got a vision of a new way to do this actor/mom juggling act. I’ve thought about it a lot (like A LOT!) and I think it’s going to work. But there’s only one way to find out. Wish us luck!

Maternity Leave – the web series

I had the pleasure of playing a high and mighty, highly ridiculous mom in the new digital series Maternity Leave. Created by Angel Laketa Moore (That Chick Angel TV), it’s a hilarious look at a new mom trying to get back into her acting career. (Yeah. I can relate.) In episode 2, I play one of the over-the-top mothers in her lactation support group, The Milky Moms. Check it out!

Make sure you don’t miss the bonus material from the episode as well, where all of us Milky Moms got to improvise. Watch the crazy come out! Look, if you leave the camera on me long enough, I’m gonna start singing!

One Funny Mother

Call it typecasting but this new mother got to play a new mother on a new digital series “Maternity Leave” written by Angel Laketa Moore. My character, an absurdly perfectionist mom is part of a breastfeeding support group full of misfits. I had a great time with the cast, working out my scripted comedy and improv chops. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Make it!

I’m currently being interviewed by a blog about strong women (more on that later!) and was asked how I found myself wearing so many hats (actor, writer, singer, sometimes director and producer). Aside from my creative family upbringing, upon moving to LA I discovered that everyone here was making things! I had ideas… and I had inspirational go-getters to shadow. So I dove in!

I’ve been looking at the amazing and amazingly large catalog from my sketch group onewordnocaps. We’re a bunch of actor/writer/director/producers who are constantly stretching our creative muscles and wearing multiple hats to make it all happen. Check out a few of my favorites (so far) that I’ve been involved in!

ICYMI: Easter Fools

I was very excited when WhoHaHa decided to feature a sketch I wrote and starred in for my sketch group onewordnocaps. Not familiar with WhoHaHa? “Cofounded by Elizabeth Banks, WhoHaha is a digital platform whose goal is to shine a spotlight on funny women.” I’m so glad WhoHaHa exists and so proud to be included!

Easter fell on April Fool’s Day this year and the moms in this sketch took the opportunity to celebrate in that spirit. Check it out if you haven’t seen it and keep your eyes peeled for the littlest actor making her cameo, my 2 year old daughter.

Happy Easter Fools!

New headshots

I’ve updated my headshots for the new year. You can see them throughout the site and in the gallery. (Theatrical shots taken by Dana Patrick. Commercial and comedy shots are by Karin Schneider.) Happy 2018!

I’m back on ABC’s Speechless Weds Oct 18th!

This Wednesday October 18th at 7:30/8:30c, I’m back again on ABC’s Speechless as the English Teacher who is… um, not so good at her job. I’m excited and grateful to be recurring on this sweet, poignant and funny show.
For this episode, I had to do some physical comedy, a minor stunt, and learn a new skill! I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the edit.
Check it out! And thank you for your continuing support!