Welcome to Ali-land

Finally figuring it out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I know I said it was going to be a while but...

I just had to post that my voice over website is up! I'm THRILLED! I am so happy with how it turned out.

So! Now time for promoting and getting me an agent! :)

Check it out here if you feel so bold, and remember to turn on your sound! :)

Peace and Love,

Would kill to be on a show like this one!

Thumbs up, Tick. Thumbs up.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Hey everyone! I'm taking a short time-out from this blog to work on my other blog. If you're interested in checking it out it's called Accountable Process.


Although it's towards a very specific goal, (well, goals), I am posting there every day and would LOVE some love all up there!

Check it out. And, trust me, I'll be back here soon.

Peace and Love,

Monday, November 23, 2009

News, Everybody!

Hi. Been a while. Been quite a while.

There's been a LOT of changes and, then, very few changes.

I think I'll post the updates as they come...got a few events in the works.

So, for one of my SHORTEST blogs ever (holy crap!), here is the most recent news:

I have been cast in a feature film called Fall Away. I'm super excited about it. Here's a bit about the film:

"Fall Away is a feature film scheduled for production in January 2010. Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Julian Grant, starring Grant Stokes, and produced by Boris Wexler,“Fall Away” follows the life and death of Jake, the secretly bi-sexual lead singer of an alternative country band who gets brutally murdered in a Chicago alleyway."

Yes, yes, yes! And I play the back-up singer, Pat, (the sister of Jake).

It's quite exciting!

If you want updates on the film here's the website! Subscribe to the blog! They will be posting updates as we shoot!!!! :)

www.fallawayfilm.com (website for the film)

http://fallawayfilm.blogspot.com (direct link to the blog!)

One last, quick, thing... I know it's incredibly weird, this business of "acting". Those who are in it understand this better than those who aren't...especially the family members...

Some actors tell the world when they are auditioning. They tell all the details and are more than happy to "tell all". They have no qualms talking about the audition (good or bad) and will give all the gory details (good or bad)

Then there are the other types of actors.

These actors REALLY, no I mean REALLY don't want to talk about their auditions. Some actors can discuss it after the audition is over, citing, "well it's now out of my hands...what happened, happened". Others, don't even want to think about it when it's over. That definitely includes explaining what that "10:15am appointment downtown" actually meant. It's often due to superstition, or just feeling like there's so much emotion that goes into each audition. There is so much rejection when you are not called back or cast.

I fall into the latter category. I DO NOT TALK ABOUT MY AUDITIONS. I will almost NEVER tell you if I am auditioning for something. I may only reflect that I "did audition for that" if it's plenty of months later. I am not superstitious about it, I just don't want to talk about it.

If you've encountered a "talkative actor" (redundant?), they will absolutely tell you about it. They will probably announce it on their facebook status. In that case, by all means, they've invited questions. Go ahead and knock yourself out.

So. Just like a woman you may THINK is pregnant, if you're not sure which actor type you're dealing with, it may be better not to ask the question. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Actor Taking a Stand (Part 2)

One of my beloved teachers and mentors, Ted, told me a good actor is a smart actor. An actor who does his/her homework and researches and learns, will be an overall BETTER actor. I've always believed this.

I find myself to be a perpetual student. A student of life, a student of knowledge, a student of puzzles. It is difficult to come to grips with the fact that there really is no "right" answer all the time, in acting. However: Casting Directors, Theatre Directors, Producers, fellow Actors, Writers will constantly use this term when they are talking about one thing: the acting BUSINESS.

"There is a 'right' way to send in a submission"
"There is a 'right' way to act when entering an audition room
"There is a 'right' way to approach an auditor at a party or on the street"

The business side of acting:

It's ugly, we don't like it, but most of us have learned over time that there is more than just 'nailing the monologue'.

So, like a good student who wants to learn the most she can, I study. I read all the books/articles/blogs I can get a hold of. I ask former teachers, collegues, friends, etc. to help me be a contender in this business.

Here are some things present in almost every tip I've gotten and every book/article/blog I've read:


Something I do very well is write thank you notes. Mom ingrained that notion when I was a little girl and for every present I am sent, a thank you note goes out. The same thing goes for acting. I send them to theatre companies, casting directors, directors, or whomever I know the name of that took the time to audition me. In my opinion, it's a NICE gesture.

I will note here, that I've only ever received 7, yes SEVEN responses from companies that have THANKED ME for coming into their auditions/callbacks. That's all.  In the day and age of the internet where everyone has an email address, it's astounding that the other side doesn't think that it would feel good to give a thank you. I gotta say, I don't even mind when they are FORM email thank you's! They are so far and few between I'm pleased as punch to GET one.


This one also seems like common sense, but you never know. I am pleasant to EVERYONE at an audition. Having BEEN a casting director, producer, writer, assistant director, monitor, I've learned that you have NO IDEA who is actually giving you the "sheet to fill out" or your "on-deck".

So, it also helps when the monitor is pleasant to us. I've had MANY an experience of feeling "afraid" to ask a question of the monitor for fear she/he will be "annoyed" with my "stupid" question. I've seen monitors roll their eyes and act just as unprofessionally as can be while actors are trying to get centered and work on their "moment before". Also, keep us updated on a situation. If things are running behind, just alert us. Keep us informed and you'll meet with a much more patient group of people. We know it's not your fault things are behind. It helps when you apologize about it. We're less likely to lose focus and have a crappy audition. So, yeah, rule of thumb for monitors, treat it like it's a job-job. Think of it this way: you've GOT a job, we're interviewing FOR a job.


I have decent writing skills. I proofread my emails before I respond, I proofread my thank you notes before sealing the envelopes. Again? Common practice.


Let's get into this. I realize we are all busy people. But as I stand up for actors everywhere, you have to know we are JUST AS BUSY AS THE CASTING DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, CASTING ASSISTANT, ETC! Sometimes, moreso. Actors struggle with every word of an email. Rereading it twice, three times, four times to make sure the "tone" is correct. We've been told over and over again to 'be nice'. 'Casting directors, and directors, and producers, are people too'.

But so are actors.

And, honestly, no offense to ANYONE on the "other side of the table" (trust me, I've been there) but our feelings are just as fragile (more than we'd ever like you to know). So, please extend the same courtesy in your email-responses that we do for you.

Here's an example of what I mean:

I received an email from a theatre company I'd heard of but had not actually seen any of their productions. Truth be told, I'm not certain how they'd heard of me since I never submitted my materials to them. Anyhow, the email was a "form" style, inviting a select few to audition for the upcoming show in their season. They specifically named this particular show and invited those on the email list to find the sides on their website. As always, I was flattered to get "chosen" to audition. (That feeling really never gets old, right?). I looked over the two dates of the email and realized I was not available for either audition date. Furthermore, as I surfed to their website, I realized the dates of the show conflicted with a few major things planned, including a family wedding I had already responded "yes" to.

But, I didn't want to miss an opportunity to audition for them. Afterall, they'd sought me out. I wanted to let them know I was appreciative and hoped to work with them in the future.

I emailed them back.

"Thank you so much for your invitation to audition for [insert show name here] I am, unfortunately, not available for this project.
I do appreciate the opportunity and hope you will, please, keep me in mind for future projects, though.
All the best,

Alexandra Goodman"

In the email I specifically sited the show they were doing but, as you can see, it's a fairly standard RESPECTFULLY WRITTEN email.

The response I get is one line, saying that "these are the general auditions for the all projects coming up this year."

Yup. That's it. No "Dear Alexandra" no "We're sorry you're unable to make it. These are, unfortunately our generals for the whole season. We will keep you on file, but encourage you to resubmit to us later in the season."


I felt like a jackass for "missing" their opportunity. And a "too bad, so sad" attitude from THEM.

Um, really?

I mean, wow. It made me NEVER want to audition for them again. Seriously, they'd have to be doing my favorite play with a role I just HAD TO PLAY for me to consider it.

Rudeness goes BOTH WAYS.

So should courtesy.

Even though I was taken aback, I did respond to that "terse" email with this:
"I'm definitely sorry to have to miss it.
Thank you, again, for thinking of me.
All the best,

Alexandra Goodman"

Raise your hand if you think I got a response to that one? Anyone?

You're right.
I didn't.

The problem, again, is there are so many of us. So we allow these auditors to treat us like this and we TAKE it because we need the work. We want the work. We're desperate to perform. We tell ourselves, " eh, it's not a big deal". But it is.

Actors! Our self-esteem and self-worth is so in the toilet that we have to remember we don't need this kind of aggravation in our lives. If we don't treat ourselves well, no one will treat us well.

PLEASE realize there are dozens and dozens of directors, producers, casting directors, agents, writers, who WILL treat you with respect. The point is to recognize THEM.

I guarantee you I WANT to work for any of the 7 companies that sent me a thank you note. Truly. I'd go out of my way to be available. A little bit of respect goes a long way.

Honestly, I've had some AMAZING experiences with auditions where I know I bombed, but they treated me so decently I didn't actually WANT to go home and down a pint of Ben and Jerry's. And THESE are the companies you should want to work for. Not the ones that make it seem like you should be HONORED to just GET an AUDITION with them.

We have to remember something. Most people say, "crap I gotta go to work today." Or "Ugh! I don't WANNA go to work today". It's rare you'll hear an actor say, "I don't WANNA do a show today". Artists in general are born workhorses. We WANT to work. We CRAVE the work. How many managers can say that about their employees?

If we start respecting ourselves, Actors, I just know we can beat this trend of rudeness, anxiety, and self-doubt. We deserve more. Let's expect it from now on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Actor Taking a Stand (part 1)

I've been an actor for 29 years. From day 1 I was told, "Do something else if you can because this is a very difficult career choice". Throughout my life there were variations on that theme. Often, I listened and tried other avenues, but I always came, and continue to come back.


I love acting. I love actors. I love scripts, and sound-booths, and stage managers, and costume designers, and techies, and DP's, and directors, and dramaturgs, and set designers, and sound designers, and engineers, etc. etc. etc.

I do it, because I love it.

So why do our fellow artists often insist on making us pay, dearly, for this love?
I'll explain this in a minute.

These are economically hard times, right? I don't know of any one person getting an artistic subsidy from the government. Would be nice, right? Well, sadly, they are not handing them out. We, artists, are forced to "act as though" our career choice is, essentially, a hobby.

A hobby.

With an average of 4 hours per weekday in rehearsals and often 4-6 hours on the weekend, NOT including tech week or shows, it's like having a second, very intense, part time job.

But you're not getting paid.

Hey, Starbucks employee: you know how you work those extra 24 hours per week on top of your OTHER job? Well, we're not planning to pay you for any of it. Not even $5/week because we believe you can't put a price on talent. We appreciate your service so much we'll pay you in thank you's. And we'll just put your name on this wall of appreciation with your picture. Thanks for all your training and fantastic customer service. You're quite a talent and we're lucky to have you. You are quite the professional.

Yeah, that one would go over like a lead balloon.

Now, before you insist I'm making this all about money and NOT seeing the other side of the coin, understand, this is not the situation. Like I said earlier, I've been in this business a long time. I'm well-versed with the budget of a theatre company, especially one just starting out, and I fully understand the lack of funding for the cast when you're dumpster diving just to finish making the set or costumes. Been there. Used my OWN money. Done it.

But, I'm taking a stand, finally, and saying, I'M DONE WITH IT. I have a "pay to play" attitude. Mind you, I'm not talking a big wad of money. Just treat me like a human who treats THIS like a professional. $5/week. $50/rehearsal process. SOMETHING.

"Pay to Play" is my new outlook with only 2 exceptions:

1) if the money raised is going to charity. That is something we all could add a little more money to. And by charity I do mean a good cause, not for your buddy's ability to hold ANOTHER fund-raiser. Or a kegger

2) if the role is so incredible (a bucket-list role, if you will) or for the director of my dreams.

Other than that, I'm done acting for a hobby.

Actors act as though they will NEVER GET CAST AGAIN after "this" show. Their egos and hearts and confidence shatters with the thought that, "holy crap! I have to start this process all over again!" It's frustrating and scary. And with the continued increase in actors on the street, and theatre companies dying out due to the economy, it always feels like an uphill battle. Always.

I used to try and think of this business as a commission-based job. You know, you try to land the client (auditions) and then you perform your services (rehearsals/performance). In any other career you'd expect payment at the completion of your services. But we actors are often stuck in volunteer land. Doing it for free. Doing it to help the theatre company that may reward you with a chance to become an associate of the company where you will come in on your days off to help build the sets, sew the costumes, drive the u-haul, etc, all for the chance to be part of a theatre company that still won't pay you.

It may seem like I'm a bit bitter. I'm not. I'm just seeing the forest for the trees. I used to audition for ANYTHING. Anything. Because I believed it was better to be cast than not. At least I was a "working actor". I believed I was doing it for the "love" and nothing could stop me. But because the company didn't say "community theatre" it didn't mean that I wasn't doing community theatre. Volunteer theatre. Hell, at least in community theatre they pay for the royalties of big shows. Often in small theatres, in order to avoid the cost of royalties, the director or company member decides to "write his own script" and it will be "experimental" and "less costly" and "minimalist". And when you get there, you often have an un-workshopped, over-written script that, (even with the best actor who is hoping for at least a good shout out in the critic's review), is ALL the critic sees and bashes in his/her review.

Now, no one is forcing actors to be actors. But, I can believe, that like myself, many actors really cannot find another calling like this one. It's frustrating. It would be so much easier if there were some other aspect, a money-making one, for instance that was the calling instead. Does the world truly believe we'd put ourselves through financial and certain frustrations just for attention?

Maybe so.
(In part 2 I will tell a true story about how "professional theatre" treated me in an email where I declined auditioning for their show due to scheduling conflicts)

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Short and sweet, I MUST address this.

Michael Jackson was a PEDOPHILE. He touched kids.

His death was symbolic after the first accusation and continued as a long drawn-out and pathetic battle these past years.

We lost the innocence of a pop icon who charmed us in our youth and made pretty fantastic pop songs we remember with nostalgia and glee.

But! He stopped creating such great tunes MANY YEARS AGO. You have not lost ANYTHING except a pathetic PEDOPHILE who hated himself so much he PRACTICALLY DEFORMED HIMSELF and HELD HIS CHILD OVER A BALCONY. This was a SICK man. SICK. S.I.C.K!!!!

So, by all means, grieve for the image you had through the Pepsi ads and the moon-walk and the one-sparkly-white-glove. Grieve for the really gnarly music and incredible Thriller video that scared you and yet you couldn't stop watching. Grieve for a musical genius who stepped over the line from genius to SICK and INSANE. But, seriously, you should have been grieving for YEARS. Because this PEDOPHILE doesn't deserve your sympathy.

Get your motherfucking hands off our kids you sick and pathetic waste of skin.

That's my eulogy, Michael. See ya, you SICK FUCK.

Peace and Love,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update of 1001 things in 101 days as of 06/11/2009

Real post coming soon. This here's just an update.

Peace and love to you all,


1. Hit my goal weight (and maintain it)
2. Send the trains
3. Sell the beanies
4. Sell the Magic the Gathering cards
5. Sell the wackies
6. Get proposed to
7. Finish Stop...Look...Listen scrap book
8. Go to 10 shows I'm not directly involved in
  • My Left Breast/Back Story
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Little Foxes
  • Parlour Song
  • The Fugget Show
9. Go to 5 shows where I don't have a friend in it.
  • Avenue Q
  • Bronx Tale
10. Move/buy a bigger place
11. Finally scan all my photos
12. Organize all my photos
13. Read 3 classic books
14. Semi-supine every day for 1 month
15. Finish Mom's awesome Hanukkah gift
16. Write 10 actual letters
17. Finish any/all 1/2 done cross-stitch projects
  • Finished the lighthouse for Dad
18. Learn how to use a sewing machine

19. Go Vote

20. Refile/organize monologue box

  • Finally started to tackle that...
21. Get my MRI mammogram

22. Take a tap class
23. Take a jazz class
24. Take a modern class
25. Take a circus class
26. Finish the Ender series

  • Ender's Game
  • Speaker For the Dead
  • Xenocide
  • Children of the Mind
  • Ender's Shadow
  • Shadow of the Hegemon

27. Take a "day job" that gives 2 days off in a row
28. Visit K. in
New York
29. Visit Raina in
30. Do film, as much as possible

  • Been submitting for student films and indie features
  • booked on The Defiled directed by Julian Grant (filming summer 2009)
  • booked on a promo for Project Runway (shot 6/9/2009)
31. Get an agent - one who cares about me
  • Been submitting to them - now re-promoting all my new stuff!
32. Watch the entire West Wing series

  • Season 1 = complete!
  • Season 2 = still in the middle

33. Watch 10 classic (oscar winning movies) I've never seen (preferably before 1980)

  • M.A.S.H.
34. Do the 3 day walk for breast cancer
35. Submit my play to 3 theatres

  • XIII Pocket
36. Finish writing the Jezebel play
37. Get Sparky's teeth cleaned (with Vet approval)
38. Go to (at least) one Cubs game a year
39. Finish playing Kingdom Hearts
40. Knit 5 scarves for others

  • Jon's was done in January 2009 :)
41. Be more diligent about recycling

  • we bought a cart and are filling it and bringing it down to recycling once/twice a week on average
  • we are keeping containers (jars and such) and reusing them as much as possible
  • we are continuing to check labels and reuse any paper products we can

42. Try to use organic/green non-chemical products
43. Go to 4 movies - IN THE MOVIE THEATRE -

  • Milk
  • Wolverine
  • The Hangover
  • Star Trek
44. Treat myself to 3 massages at Urban Oasis
45. Watch more Olbermann and Maddow

  • MSNBC is now the default channel on our TV

46. Trade in Dad's guitar to get one that fits me
47. Keep up on my blog www.ali-land.blogspot.com at least once a week- even if it's just an update
48. Scan and organize MOM's pictures
49. Read more of and try to incorporate Alexander Technique into my life

  • Working through reading a book called Anxious to Please which has opened my eyes to many things - specifically - it uses the process of The Alexander Technique in many of the practices. Cool.

50. Finish putting together the crossword jigsaw puzzle
51. Don't let the file basket get to the top without filing it.

  • This is a constant struggle but I finally attacked it today!

52. Take a combat class
53. Take a ballet class - even though it scares me-
54. Run a 10K (6.2 miles)
55. Do 3 Stuart's sun salutes a day for a week
56. Play my keyboard, once a month, for fun

  • December - :) Played for 3 hours!!!
  • January - played for an hour
  • February - mmm, didn't play really busy at school
  • March - played for about 2 hours
57. Perform 10 random acts of kindness

  • Bought mom an orange rose and surprised her when she was sick
  • Got Lisa some Ginger Ale and lip balm when she was sick

58. Get an ivy (English?) plant

  • Danni is giving me a plant!
59. Read 3 previously unread books on acting
60. Ride my bike as often as possible (seasonal)
61. Drink 64 oz of water every day for 2 weeks
62. Finish all seasons of the Venture Brothers (for Jon)

  • Season 1 = Complete!
  • Special Christmas episode = Complete!

63. Watch 5 movies Jon wants (only 1 will be MST3K)

  • Excalibur
  • Let The Right One In
  • Iron Man
  • Sin City
64. Try my watercolor pencils and make something pretty
65. Hang out with Dante 2x a week for at least an hour
66. Go to the Shedd Aquarium
67. Go to the
Brookfield Zoo
68. Go to
Lincoln Park Zoo
69. Go to the Art Institute
70. Read 8 plays I've never read before

  • Who Made Robert DeNiro King of America? - Jason Katim
  • A Dead Man's Apartment - Edward Allen Baker
71. Visit Charleston (finally)
72. Help Jon get on the path to Bio-medical visualization
73. Have a "date night" once a month

  • Went to Sushi for November's date! Mmmm!
  • Went to Sushi for December's date!
  • Went to Uncle Julio's for January
  • February - we were broke :)
  • March - we were broke :)
  • April - Delilah's and Sushi and a proposal!!!

74. Say something kind to someone once a day for a month -even if it's "I LOVE YOU"
75. Do my taxes by March (instead of waiting until the last minute) for 2009 and 2010
76. Get my credit score
77. Find out how much I'd be approved for, for a mortgage
78. Make a realistic budget
79. Get a new computer (mmm...MAC)
80. Do my 2 affirmations out loud for 2 months
81. Graduate from ACT ONE!
82. Get out of my contract for ******
83. Transfer my VHS tapes to DVD
84. Get my compass tattoo
85. Vinegar the carpet!
86. Go on 5 auditions I have no chance of getting or don't even want - blog about the experiences -
87. Keep an audition journal
88. Get back to my "limber self" and do full splits on both legs!
89. Play my Dance! Dance! Revolution once a week for 3 months
90. Floss every day for 3 months
91. Spend at least one night (with Jon) at a B&B
92. Make the "butterfly" tray
93. Listen to 3 recommended rap albums
94. Learn basic sign language
95. Write a letter (not to be sent) to those whom I feel still "hold me back" emotionally
96. Experiment with "freezing a goal" and wait 3 months to see the progress
97. Be adamant about making 3 hours of "down-time" for myself a week and STICKING TO IT
98. Re-establish my donations to Sierra Club for the Polar Bears.
99. Keep practicing "drawing on the right-side of the brain"
100. Get new glasses
101. Accomplish at least 50 on this list by
August 10, 2011 :)