Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Secret

It's a little creepy, how such a cheesy DVD can happen to be watched at just the moment before things start going really well in your life. The video is called THE SECRET, and it's this positive-thinking self-help type video that Oprah got us all to watch recently. It plays like it's been directed by whoever ruined the Da Vinci Code movie. The Secret, by the way, is to think positively and visualize what you want as if you already had it. Apparently they didn't apply their own secret to visualizing some better editing and effects, but they aren't completely crazy. I watched the DVD last weekend, and now I am having the awesomest week I've had in a while. Maybe its coincidence, but I won't be the one to say it.

My friend Tiffany, after watching The Secret, booked 3 weeks on a Stephen King movie, OUT OF ATLANTA. Anni watched it and now gets to park in the best spots wherever she goes. She's also working on visualizing a house for herself. I watched it, and within this one week, I stumbled upon a friend who wants to help me make my fleeting idea of combining my gaming, writing and acting talents into a viable commodity. (Sorry I can't be more specific, but if it all happens the way I'm visualizing, trust me you'll be the first to know exactly what I'm up to!) Also this week, I met and signed with a great new commercial agency - Coast to Coast. AND my journalism teacher? Get this: at the beginning of class this week, he calls me out in front of everyone to tell me I'm "ready for the papers", a great writer, and he would write me a referral to any paper "Right NOW." Seriously, this stuff is for REAL. And there's more, that's just some of the rockin' stuff that has made me realize...maybe...just MAYBE... there's something to all this corny hippy California feel-good voodoo. MAYBE. Check it out for yourself. Supposedly you can watch the whole video on You Tube. Someday soon you'll be able to see the future on You Tube as well. I won't be surprised.

Thanks for the really kind emails/comments after my last post. I guess I'm a little more transparent than I originally thought. You all know me too well. That's it! No more painfully soul-searching posts. It's all Video Game reviews from now on!! HA HA! You'll never hear my cry for support through a scathing review of the latest God of War release! ("Kratos should just give up... Why even bother fighting those big bossess? He's just going to find that the world doesn't appreciate him and no matter how many dungeons he clears, he'll never clear the dungeon that is his soul... I give this game 4 lonely sobs.")

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Seeking Representation

I was all ready to give my agent hell. There are some who would characterize me as a bit of a push-over, a doormat, perhaps a martyr, but I was about to prove them all wrong. You see, I know a last straw when I see one. Its yellow, and... dry.

I got a call from a casting person who we'll just call Lynne, saying my agent had "f***ed up." I had been requested for a commercial audition and my agent had never gotten the message, much less passed the message on to me. Lynne strongly inferred that, had I been there, I would have had a job. It was the bittersweet end of a long chapter of missed calls, disorganization, unavailability, and general laziness on the part of my agent. Sadly, I wasn't surprised. Lynne referred me to a new commercial agent, and I was on the phone with them the same day, scheduling an interview.

The only thing left to do was confront my agency. Here's the problem with that. My agency also represents me theatrically. So if I cut them loose commercially, which is where I make all my money currently, then I lose them theatrically as well. Theatrical jobs are anything and everything that will impress your friends and family, from movies to television. Commercial agents are fairly easy to land, depending on how many sheep you want to share the fold with, and with my resume, I'm not worried. The theatrical agent? Not so much. Was all this drama worth losing my theatrical representation? Well, yes. Time to set the SS Tara out to sea, and find out what kind of waters she can handle.

So I got my agent on the phone and waited patiently for the excuse. It would be like a pebble to this stone giant. My agent began: "I'm sincerely sorry about what happened yesterday, but the truth is -

I don't want to do this anymore."

OK, so maybe it was David's pebble, in a fairly unexpected slingshot. She went on to tell me that the office is shutting down, the money's not there, neither is the passion and nobody is capable enough to take over the reigns. (Does this sound familiar? My therapist would nod smugly right now, had I not stopped seeing her because she cost money I'd rather spend on shoes). My agent would help me find other representation, but it was end of the rails for this train.

So here I am, set adrift. A free agent without an Agent. I feel a bit like Custer, maybe. So I'm probably not gonna die, but there is this feeling that if I can't find new representation, maybe its time to move on. I've always been big on signs from above, (asking for them, misinterpreting them, failing to apply them to the bigger picture). This is a turning point for me. Either I will find the right agent and so will begin the history of a successful actor, or maybe I just needed someone to take off the golden handcuffs and put me in a position of nothing-to-lose.

My life has felt like a holding pattern recently. Now I really am cut loose. No boyfriend, no agent, no debt, and I'm caught up on the Heroes episodes. Now what?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Hate Homework

LOS ANGELES, Ca - A 30-year old Burbank woman was astounded to discover this week that UCLA Extension courses require attendees to "learn stuff", a roommate reported. "I shoulda taken that wine-tasting course instead," Tara Ochs muttered, as she begrudgingly logged off her MySpace page and began an assignment due tomorrow.

UCLA Extension course "Basic Skills in Writing for the News Media" is offered every semester at UCLA, and is a pre-requisite to obtaining a Journalism Certificate through the highly respected university. It's title is "misleading" though, complains the Burbank resident. "News Media could be anything," insists Ochs, "from fashion magazines to entertainment industry broadcasts."

Ochs, who is only enrolled in the single once-a-week Winter semester course, has expressed interest in a career change, specifically in the field of Video Game Journalism, said a long-time friend. Her penchant for playing console-based RPGs was also noted by her roommate, Ryan Smith.

But the UCLA course is no tutorial mode for impulsive career-hoppers, and it does not lend itself to a gifted imagination. "This course is not for writers with a capital W," warns the professor of the Basic Skills course. A career in journalism is a low-paying, thankless job which requires self-motivation and a great deal of reporting skills, according to Professor Gougis.

Which is not what the former-actor Ochs wants to hear. "Why do I continue to flush out career paths like this? Acting, video games, journalism? Where's the driving urge to be a lawyer or an engineer?" Ochs' parents have also been asking their daughter similar questions.

Tara Ochs is still enrolled at UCLA, as of press time.