All posts by la_colleen

(Shameless plug alert) 10 beautiful years, 10!

In a town where strip malls trump history and disposable is a modifier for relationships as much as diapers, I think it’s pretty remarkable that the theater company I’ve been in a committed relationship with for six years has been around for 10.

We’re celebrating (and whoring for dollars for our upcoming 10th anniversary season) with a whiz-bang mother of an event this Friday, Saturday and Sunday: a live radio-theater restaging of our hit pulp/noir drama, No Orchids for Miss Blandish. Synchronized Foley, live music, a fantastic cast (including a number of ER peeps like O-Lan Jones and some ER favorite sons, John Fleck and Dan Butler) and, in Los Angeles’s greatest lobby/party space ever, a host of fabulous eventy-type things: cocktails, lounge acts, a rentable tuck-and-roll backseat for, um, whatever you’d use that for, etc.

Details below (full flyer after the jump) and at our newly-styled (by moi, with a big assist from local web diva, Jen Rocha) website. (And kids, it’s BRAND new, so I know there are glitches. Feel free to email me at communicatrix – at – gmail – dot – com with gripes, helpful hints and anything in between.

evidEnce room presents
a speakeasy radio-play concert celebration:
by James Hadley Chase
Fri – Sun, Feb 11-13 @ 8pm
at evidEnce room
2220 Beverly Blvd (at Alvarado)
Tickets $20
Info/Reservations: (213) 381-7118
Continue reading (Shameless plug alert) 10 beautiful years, 10!

They heard the “hosanna” all the way up in Sacramento

So I get this notice last December for my vehicle registration renewal. And it says (woo-hoo!) that I can now go online and pay via credit card. Convenience! Postage savings! Extra Yahoo! points!!

Only I can’t. After three tries inputting the renewal number printed on my form and my CA plate number, I get frustrated, give up. Try again in late January, rested and refreshed from my week in the cold and three weeks here getting over a cold. No dice. (I then tried paying via automated voice system over the phone, but telling a computer your three middle license characters are “G”, “P” and “D” is an exercise in frustration I’m not repeating anytime soon.) The voice then tells me that I can either mail in my payment or bring it to a local DMV office–but only cash, check or M.O., no credit cards.

Well, that did it. I immediately dashed off a letter brimming with (polite) righteous indignation demanding that an actual human DMV employee call and straighten this out with me, and enclose a check as a measure of good faith. And I think, “Yeah, right–like they’re gonna call. 10-to-1 I see my insane letter reposted on Craig’s List for the amusement of the R&R crowd.”

Only I got a call. Today. Make that TWO calls: Dan, the DMV guy, left a message, then CALLED BACK before I’d had a chance to reply. He explained that the system wasn’t set up to accept payment more than 90 days before renewal was due, which explained December’s comedy of errors. Neither of us could figure out why it didn’t work in January, although my transposing of numbers on my (polite) letter of righteous indignation makes me suspect operator error.

Anyway, Dan was sweet as pie and seemed very sincere in his desire to square things away. He stayed ON THE LINE with me while I submitted the form in its entirety.

The third time was, apparently, the charm, and I am now 158 points closer to a fabulous Marshalls gift certificate. Perhaps somewhere pigs are flying and I’m pretty sure someone in hell just threw on a sweater, but fair is fair: ALL HAIL THE CALIFORNIA DMV!

You say you want a revolution?

viacomoutdoor.jpgOkay, here’s how NOT to endear people to your product in 3 easy steps:

1. Design weenie car. (Shoot from low angle to counteract weenie-ness.)
2. Have ad agency create marginally amusing outdoor ad for car.
3. Pay media company to install ad at high-visibility 3-way intersection on artery route during morning rush hour.

(To maximize consumer disenchantment, use minimum number of safety cones so route narrows to two lanes in one car length.)

The lamest awards show in town

Actors rank just below chewed gum in this town, and if you don’t believe me, all you have to do is look at the mouse type under the movie ads this time of year.

Where the members of “good” alphabet soup orgs. (AMPAS, DGA, WGA, etc.) are generally invited to see a film in up for one of their awards in a Real, Live Multiplex, invitations to SAG members (aside from those select few on the nominating committee) are few and far between.

I did get a free pass from Fox Searchlight to see Sideways (seen it, thanks) in the participating theatre (sic) of my choice, but mostly, if anything, we get invited to special (read: inconvenient) screenings with the other food chain plankton.

I don’t know what financial genius at SAG decided that us having our own stupid awards show was a good idea, anyway, but this year–and every year until the playing field is equalized–I’m sitting things out. I mean, seriously–watch a movie with a bunch of other actors?

I’d rather chew used gum.

Nice work if you can get it

I guess it’s indicative of my cow-town roots, but one of the things I love about L.A. is running into the random celebrity pretty much anywhere: the towers of Cedars Sinai, the Starbucks, the supermarket. Anywhere, that is, except at my commercial auditions.

Granted, today’s run-in wasn’t on the wattage level of those two one-time lovebirds currently monopolizing the front-page real estate of every rag on the newsstand. Or even one or two people I’ve auditioned with in the past. But she’s a Name, and all I know is that if I’d been a series regular that many times I’d chew my arm off before I’d do the commercial thing again.

So what was someone with a year on “In Living Color”, a year on “Melrose Place” and recurrings on two currently running shows doing at a cattle call?

“Just trying to get a gig like everybody else.”

Ugh. It’s almost enough to send me back into advertising.

Shag’s world

Mid-century Modern Fan Alert: today’s L.A. Times has a fantastic piece on the gorgeous Santa Ana-area house of local artist Josh Agle, a.k.a. Shag. Complete with scads of yummy photos.

Link works today, but with the Times, you never know, so get there now!

Via BoingBoing, of course…source of all things great.

Photo: Mark Boster/L.A. Times

More tagging

ERtag.jpgSo I show up at the old ER yesterday for more of the glamorous scut work that is the life theatrical, and found we’d been freshly tagged…again.

We have a few econo-cans of almost-matching paint we keep handy for this purpose so I don’t need the city service Gregory blogged about last September, but I am curious about the tag itself. Is it a gang tag? Is there a resource that I.D.s tags?

We’re over in Rampart/Echo Park and I’d love to know who we’re dealing with.

Arty weekend

taxali-laluz2.jpgI finally met the great Gary Taxali, who was in town for his opening at La Luz de Jesus. He’s quite nice; we chatted a bit about how the rain was delightful compared to the Toronto/Chicago meridian and about how nice our mutual acquaintances, the sixspace people were. Then he introduced me to about seven L.A. artists hovering nearby, none of whose names I remember, as well as Gary Baseman, whose name I do remember, and who took this snap.

The piece behind us is “Good Husband/Good Lover”. It’s delightful, as is the rest of his show. It runs through January 31st, and I highly recommend you go see it. The photos on the La Luz website don’t do it justice.

I also braved the rain to see the new show at sixspace which Sean told y’all (y’all?) about last week. Some wonderful pieces there, too; I especially loved the Jen Corace drawing (which I see has sold) and Chad Robertson’s paintings (which I see haven’t–hmmm….)

Again, the website doesn’t begin to do them justice. Hie thee to the galleries! Go!

Can’t See the Forest runs through February 12.

Gary Taxali at La Luz de Jesus runs through January 31.


I was headed to my audition on the Westside in kind of a rotten mood (southerly migrating cold = Margo Channing soundalike ≠ “Casual Mom” shilling for Zyrtec) when I was suddenly cheered by the sight of TWO trucks turning left onto Olympic from Barrington bearing enormous “Peet’s Coffee” store signage.

Checked the Peet’s site as soon as I got home and, alas, it looks like there’s only one Peet’s scheduled to open soon (on Westwood…like those kids need to get any more amped up).

But that’s one more coffee safe zone between me and the Pacific. Let’s hear it for Eastward creep…

That Truffaut was a little racy…

wildchild.jpgNow I know why people drive from all over the city to CineFile Video: those special, uncut versions you just can’t get at Blockbuster.

To be fair, there’s a big fat sign on the front page that indicates the site is undergoing a major overhaul. And I hate to have any fun at the expense of an institution that not only stocks Eric Rohmer’s entire ouevre but gives you a searchable database to check in the first place (do you hear me, Rocket?!).

But you really should go on and search while it still pulls up cool results like a sketch of Spike Lee for Autumn Sonata or a menacing dude with a spear and a lantern for The Conversation. (Modesty prohibits me from mentioning the photo illustrating O Brother, Where Art Thou?; let’s just say I don’t recognize this particular gal from the sirens scene…)

Holiday dregs

weird_thumb.jpgYeah, it’s behind us, but maybe if I post a little objective praise for the holiday show I tactlessly plugged my first week here, I’ll have more cred with the b.LA crew next time around.

This just in from KCRW’s Theater Talk with James Taylor:

But, the real treat of this season was the next installment of what is turning out to be a true local Christmas tradition: The Evidence Room‘s annual “99-Cent Only Store song and dance extravaganza.”

The success of last year’s Splendor: A 99-cent Only Store’s Wonderama guaranteed that writer/director Ken Roht would return this year with the third edition of this series, entitled Peace Squad Goes 99: The Greatest 99-Cent Only Story Ever Told…Ever! .

As the title (complete with exclamation point) suggests, these “99-cent Only Store shows” are heavy on camp รณ but they’re also heavy on production design, providing even more eye-popping spectacle than Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!* Most importantly though, Ken Roht’s christmas confections are filled with a genuine sense of theatrical wonder.

Not bad for a bunch of lunatic misfits armed only with cheap plastic goods, willpower and several miles of packing tape.

*Shameless boldfacing mine…all mine! Cackle, cackle, cackle…

Happy (EST) New Year!

04-1231.jpgI have a longstanding annual rendezvous with my favorite flick in the midnight hour, but since my friends kindly timed their party with the actual NYC ball drop, I was able to be social this year as well.

I’ll spare you the documentation from the home front (two fat steaks in a white-hot cast iron skillet–sorry, Caryn) but I will share this link to an amazing shot of Times Square by Jook Leung from Hans Nyborg’s panorama site (via Jeff Jarvis’s BuzzMachine).

Everyone okay out there?

Okay, I know there are far worse natural disasters happening elsewhere in the world, but there was just such a sudden downpour and shock of thunder that a CAR ALARM got triggered!

I was gonna go down and get my mail (I was out all day playing chauffeur to my Atavan-schnockered, gum-surgery-getting sister) but I think the new MacMall catalogue can just molder away in the mailbox ’til tomorrow.

A car alarm?!? This is like a rain after-shock or something…