Monday, December 7, 2009

Frozen Frogs

Photo by Fabiani.Thomas

There a few select species of Frogs that live in cold climates and can survive being frozen. These frogs have a natural glucose antifreeze built into their systems. A partially frozen frog will stop breathing, and its heart will stop beating. It will appear quite dead. They estivate during the especially cold months and once warmer weather returns they thaw out and resume normal activity. How cool is that!

A photo I took one evening at the farm this past Thanksgiving

I, however, do not have this amazing ability. Though I do come from cold weather all I want to do, December through March/April, is curl up with a fuzzy blanket, big slippers and become the victim of a tv induced comatose state. Instead I bundle up, face the cold and continue to work and audition. Here's what I have been up to.

A woman I met years ago often refers me for work she is involved in, she is Shinako Sudo and she ROCKS!! She recently booked me to work with students from the Tokyo Hair and Beauty School. Once a year the college flies the students to NYC for hair and make-up tests and projects. This is my second time working with them. This time I had the pleasure to work with six students (2 groups of 3). Below are photos of the teams and the final looks. Enjoy!

Hiroki Takamine, Tetsuhiro Komachi, Me, Ayumi Tamura

Ryosuke Mitomo, Maya Mada, Me, Mami Murasugi

Last week I had a test shoot with amazing sports photographer Monty Isom. We were creating a couple of different shots. The first was a group photo, 2 girls 1 guy, all stretching with a strong yet calm confidence. Sounds simple. But when you are wearing tiny shorts and a tank top, holding the same stretch for a period of time outside in the middle of traffic in 40 degree weather... well it becomes battle of mind over matter. You have be tough, suck it up and get the shot and make it awesome. I just kept telling myself how hot out it was, or running around between shots, jumping helped... And from what I saw on his camera, I think we got a great photo. I should be receiving pics soon, I will post when I do. Other looks we took included a running action shot, individual confident shots, and more stretching.

Speaking of running, I have completed my 9 races and 1 volunteer event and now qualify to run the ING New York City Marathon next November. I am thrilled!!! And a little nervous, the idea of moving my body 26 miles is a bit daunting. This next year I really need to do some serious training.

My reel is almost completed. Just going through final edits. When it is finished I will post that as well.

Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon

Kiss your Frogs

Monday, October 12, 2009

Okay, so it has been a LOOONG time since I wrote. I have a lot to talk about.

Autumn, I love this time of year. The cool crisp air, flushed rosy cheeks, jackets and boots, the changing color of leaves, and that smell in the air.... its just beautiful, and I love it. Another reason I love fall is the feeling that its time to get down to work again. Time to move forward, accomplish something. Perhaps its because as children we all went back to school at this time. It starts with buying new school supplies; pencils, pens, paper, a school bag, as well as new clothes. You were preparing for the advancement of you for the next 9 months.

So, I too am pulling my tools and resources together. My new business cards just arrived in the mail. I found a fabulous editor who is working on my reel as I write. (A reel is a 2-4 minute mini movie of the work you have done thus far to show to agents, directors, casting directors and so on, so they can get a feel of who you are before they call you in to audition.) And I have goals! Oh goals, something to work towards, something to focus on. I know what I want and I have a plan to make it happen.

This is what I have been doing over the past few months (as I abandoned my blog, that's a bad Deb! but I'm back now :)

OPPONENT - This is a film starring Jeremy London and Roddy Pipper. I play a fabulous woman named Kitty Kat. I had the honor of working with Mr. London in a scene where I punch him in the face a few times at the end. The film is an Action/Creature Feature/SciFi movie and will be seen on the SyFy Channel (once called SciFi) probably next year.

MASK - This is a great film I worked on last summer that has been making the rounds on the festival circuit winning 13 awards. Starring Robert Clohessy, I play a young timid woman who is taken advantage of, realizes it and stands up for herself. Soon the film will be available on Netflix and Amazon and the such. I will let you know when it comes out. To see more visit

LASH TRIO - a testimonial for a new Lash product

- A new site/record label for established bands and artists. They make the decisions. I am the host for the site. The clips are rough demos.

I was invited by Red Bull Theater to be a part of their reading of The Wild Goose Chase. It was an amazing day starting with a 5 hour rehearsal and performance that night. We had a full house of over 100 people. It was great!

Fight Ring was shown at the Silk City Flick Festival in Manchester, CT. It was great to see people from the Cast and Crew, as well as old friends, and new contacts. They had a great seminar on Special Effects Make-up w/Matt Corrigan (I am Legend, 300, and more). Very cool to see how they accomplish these creatures and effects you see in movies.

Other small jobs, one day gigs, classes, and seminars were peppered in between those jobs and events.

You may also remember that I am in a band, backing vocals for PABLO . Our new album, There's Rope to Leave is now available on iTunes. The band is traveling west in November; LA, SF, Seattle, Portland (unfortunately I cannot go as I have previous plans :( next tour I am going no matter what!)

I have been running races to qualify for the New York Marathon in 2010. I have three yet to complete this year then I'm in! I love running the races, such a high! To see my times visit NYRR

thanks for reading!

and don't forget...
kiss your frogs today

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What do I do

When asked as to what I do, I will often tell people that I am a small business owner, an entrepreneur. I am CEO, CFO, Marketing Director, Negotiator, and Artist. I believe that everyone needs a little of what I have to offer - Me! Egotistical? Perhaps. Self-involved? Sure. But, it would be no different if I invented the newest, biggest, better______________ and went into business for myself. Just happens my invention is me. (Though I suppose I'd have to give my parents proper credit for that one - but I'm sure if pressed, they would claim they have no clue where I came from :)

The business of acting/performing is so much more than what it appears on the obvious surface - auditioning and the actual work. It is a daily pursuit. My typical day starts with a cup of coffee at the computer. I begin with submissions for myself on my favorite casting sites (ActorsAccess and NYCastings), I'll move on to weekly articles written by casting directors, agents, actors, reading scripts, researching, updating online profiles and casting pages, learning new software, and much more. Even when I travel, I am working; on scripts, my new blog, writing shorts scenes & films, working out (yes that's a big part of it, my body is my instrument and it needs to be in tune.)

There are also little silly things which have to be done on a regular basis, that if you knew me from 0-20 are embarrassing and hard to admit. For example, my nails always have to be done. So every week I sit down a give myself a little mani/pedi. In this world you always have to be camera ready. So I do it. When you grow up on a farm, the state of your nails is a petty affair, it was difficult to switch that mind set. I like getting dirty, scraping my knees, climbing trees, clumsily falling down. Unfortunately though, bruises and cuts are not flattering in the audition room.

What I do allows for a pretty flexible schedule, and it's not all work. I have my fun too - kickball in Astoria Park, bbq's, visits to the beach, a rousing game of Catan...

I am constantly working towards the next step. And I love it. I love what I do. Its freaking scary sometimes. Like when you don't book a job for a month, or when your paycheck that should have been in your hot little hands long ago is three months late. But like I said in a past post, certain uncertainty is the name of the game. Deal with it or get out.

So this week, besides auditions, I am taking a marketing seminar and a class called DnA.

DnA, Directors 'n Actors,
"DnA is a diverse group of directors working in film, television and theater who meet weekly to explore the craft of directing actors."
Actor participation is by invitation only, so I feel extremely honored whenever asked. The actors are given a short scene to prepare about a week before. Then in class each director has about 15 minutes to direct and work the scene however they like in front of the group, followed by feedback from the actors about what worked for them and what didn't. Its quite amazing how many different ways a scene can be interpreted. I have been asked to come back next week. I am thrilled! It is an intense workout.

And speaking of working hard, this Sunday, June 7th I will be running my first Marathon qualifying race, a 10k through Central Park. Wish me luck, lets just hope I don't collapse! Thank you to the girl who inspired me! You know who you are.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, a good joke, or just want to give me money... please email me at I'm also on Facebook

kiss your frogs today! thats an order

Monday, May 18, 2009

hurry up and wait

Some frogs can leap up to 20 times their own length! (If I were a frog, I'd win the long jump at 114 feet) With mileage like that, they can be tricky little suckers to get your hands on.

To catch the best frogs, you may need to sit in uncomfortable and unnatural positions as you zero in on your opportunity. Weighing all factors and variables. If you launch yourself too soon, your waiting target will surely catapult away. But, if you have the patience to wait for the right moment, the rewards could be very cool.

The best things in life are worth waiting for. With the advancement of technology we have become consumers of NOW. The internet has brought the world to our fingertips with the click of a mouse. Which creates wonderful opportunity, but we lose our patience when required to wait. Life is a dichotomy. Sometimes you need to jump in and grab what you desire, other times it is ideal to wait for your moment.

A phrase that is heard often in the entertainment business is "hurry up and wait." This used to frustrate me to no end. I felt time was being wasted. Ticking by. But you have to hurry to get to the location, then wait. Hurry into makeup and wardrobe, and wait. Finally get on set, and wait - for last adjustments, fix the lights, sound checks, touch ups, someone has to run to the bathroom, and "whose phone is ringing?", and wait some more.

After training and few years of experience, I've learned that this time "waiting" is not wasted time, it is in fact extremely valuable and necessary. What you decided to do with that time has a huge impact on your performance and overall experience. I've seen many people fall into the trap of gossip, breeding ground for negativity. This time can be spent preparing for your scene, bonding with your fellow performers and available crew, not to mention networking. I always like to ask if there is anything I can do to help. Usually the answer is no, my job is be on and ready when I'm called. But, it resonates with others when you reach out. It shows you care about the project and are a team player. Many times on non-union or low budget jobs, there are things you can do to help stay on schedule, which makes producers HAPPY!

Here are a few projects I was able to land that I would love for you to check out - music, print, and film.

We are a band. We rock.
Check us out...
Be our Fan on facebook!!!
Myspace too
The album "Half the Time" by Pablo is available for purchase on iTunes
We are currently working on and recording a new album which will be released soon!
Come check us out on Wednesday, May 27th, 10:00pm at Fontana's in NYC. ($7 Cover)
Incentive**** - I will buy a drink for the first 3 people to walk up to me at Fontana's and tell me I'm a "big fat frog" (Band mates not included - sorry guys) ****

A new hands free baby carrier. If you purchase one, my smiling face and the sweetest little baby will greet you on the front of the package. I love this carrier. Family owned and designed by a new mother when none of the other carriers on the market were adequate for her. Very comfortable with many positions for you and your child as they grow.

A tense mixed martial arts independent fight film. A secret cash prize contest. Whenever you meet a ring bearer you must go somewhere secluded and fight. The winner takes the ring. The one with the most rings wins. No rules, no refs. When a black clad ninja group gets involved it becomes a matter of life and death. FIGHT RING is available for pre-queue on Netflix and pre-buy on Amazon NOW! Release date June 16th...

Thanks for reading! I'll be back with more in a week or so.

have you kissed a frog today?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

skinny bean pole legs

So getting back to The Great Frog Hunt....

During those childhood years, when it would rain, frogs and toads were EVERYWHERE! You could fill buckets with them! Tons of tiny little guys, and a couple of big fat hoppers here and there. As if suddenly it was amphibian day at the fair. But when it was dry and hot for several days, those happy jumpers were hardly seen.

So far, as an actor, this I know - when it rains it pours, and when its dry there's a drought. Its a constant fluctuation. You may not have a job for a month, then all of a sudden you are offered one the same day you already have another job booked. Argh! You have to turn one down. But that's how it goes. You can't dwell on it. You need to deal and move on. Certain instability is the name of the game. Last week's weather report in Deb world...Rainy!

This is a rundown of what I needed to accomplish in 3 days...

Wednesday - up at 2am to travel to the shoot location in New Jersey. Work through the morning, all teleprompter scenes and a few memorized monolgues. By the end of the day we're behind schedule by a few scenes. Travel back to NYC around 11 am. At noon I have an audition, I'll work on the copy during the car ride. At 1:00pm I have another audition (which I will go into further embarrassing detail later). Get home around 2pm, memorize tomorrows lines for the Industrial. In bed by 9:30pm.

Thursday - up at 2am to travel back to the shoot location in NJ. Get motion sickness in the car...with the producer and client! (always make an entrance I guess) Shake it off and work hard through the morning to catch up from the previous day. Travel back to NYC and home around 1:00pm. Work on tomorrows lines. I have a lot of memorization to do, my brain is foggy and tired, staying focused is difficult. But I'm in bed by 8:30pm and feeling confident.

Friday - up at 2am once more to travel to the location. Work through the morning and wrap the shoot by 10:30am! Travel back to NYC and home around 1:00pm. Breathe a huge sigh of relief that the job is completed and I don't have to memorize anything more today! But I need to get some sleep quick because at 10:30pm I have to be at a distribution modeling job until 4:00am. After that the weekend is mine. Unfortunately I'm too tired to sleep (been there?) and I get maybe and hour of rest. But I work the job with a smile on my face, and was even offered employment by the venue's Manager.

It was a tight crazy schedule, and sometimes its like that in this business. When it is, you need to be grateful and go with it. Take each experience head on. Usually there is plenty of waiting; for the next audition, the next job, the next scene, the next pay check. Work now, rest later. This job was a test. My most challenging to date. If last week had a quote it would be, "one minute at a time." That is literally how I got through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

There were many obstacles in which I could have used as excuses for myself to not be at my absolute best. Like...
-Working odd hours, with travel and work time from 2 am - Noon, strange things will happen your body and brain after a day or two. Lack of sleep and fatigue made focusing extremely difficult.
-Very copy heavy job, 70+ pages of memorized scenes and monologues as well as teleprompter scenes. I received the script only a few days before filming. I've never memorized so much in such a short period of time.
-This was the first job booked through a new agency I am working with, and I need to be sure I make a good impression to prove I am valuable to them.

When "Action!" is called NONE of that matters, you have to let it all go and connect with your material. Excuses only make you appear pathetic and unprofessional, either your prepared or your not. You must focus on the task at hand, be sure not to get overwhelmed with thoughts of all you have to do, breathe and take it one moment at a time.

For a period of time I ran on the cross country team. One race in particular had a lot of hills and I was having an extremely difficult time finishing. I kept thinking "I could trip... I could just, oops!, trip on my laces, twist my ankle and be done with this race!" But I'll take on any challenge with all the heart and grit I can muster. So I didn't trip myself and I kept going even though I felt I was going to collapse and die right there on the golf course. I finished. And though I did not place, I did PR! It was my best time ever. I had no clue of that while I was running though. Imagine if I had let my destructive thoughts take over my actual actions. I would have never known how far my skinny bean pole legs could take me.

Last week was a huge test, and I feel confident I passed. Perhaps not with a bright shiny A yet, but a good solid B (kinda like my grades in high school calculus). In the end, I learned so much. It was a valuable experience in which I am very grateful to have had.

So... now that I've given myself a sufficient pat on the back, its time to reveal...

Deb's Embarrassing Story of the Week

The synopsis... An audition for a candy bar commercial!
The set up... At a party a woman seductively flirts with a guy across the room as she eats her candy bar.
Sounds easy right? Well, give me a candy bar and tell me to be sexy and somehow my awkward girl goof button gets turned on. When they were looking for Cindy Crawford, I gave them Tina Fey. Complete with eating my own hair, tripping awkwardly over my shoes (flat heeled even) and having bits of chocolate stick to my face - none of it purposely though, I was being serious! Ohhhh it was a HOT performance! Clearly I'm not getting a call back for that one. All I can do now is laugh at myself. Though it was not the performance they were looking for, I took a risk and gave them something that probably none of the other girls had. Lets just hope they had a good laugh at it and will remember me for the next comical job.

Thanks for stopping by to read! Come back in a week or so to see what I'm getting myself into next.

have you kissed a frog today?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

and it begins...

This is NOT a blog about hunting and killing frogs. FAR from it. I love the amphibs! So why would I call this blog The Great Frog Hunt? Let me explain...

Where I come from there were only a handful of things to do as a kid. When your closest neighbor is a mile away and just happens to be your cousin, you find creative things to do. We had four basic activities we used to entertain ourselves...
- ride our bikes over miles and miles of gravel road
- play Ghost Kickball, complete with two full teams of Ghost players
- have a rousing game of Blind Man's Bluff
- or go Toad Hunting
many many times we did the latter.

Toad Hunting is easy, you just bend over, pick the thing up and wait for it to pee on you. Simple. But the sophisticated art of
Frog Hunting is a whole other story. It takes stealth, cunning and cat-like reactionary & stalking abilities. You're locked on your target, you wait for your moment, and when the adrenalin kicks in- you LUNGE for that big green slippery sucker! But he's on to you, he gracefully pirouettes through your hands and gives you the finger, "argh! almost had it!" And that's how it goes with hunting frogs.

But sometimes, every once in a while, you catch one! (and let it go, of course) As you do it more and more, you catch more and more. That's what this blog is about, metaphorically speaking I guess.
Hunting frogs is like trying to be an actor. Every audition is a frog waiting to be caught or slip through your fingers. This blog is to be a documentation of the trials and errors, the hits and the misses, the frogs that I've caught and the ones that got away, as I navigate through this business. Ultimately, I want to share my personal experiences trying to make acting my full time job.

So lets jump into it (pun intended)

April 21st, 2009
  1. I need to finish memorizing a script for an In-House Training Industrial which I will be working over the next 3 days. All days I have to be on set in New Jersey by 4 am. (yes, am, that's not a typo) Thankfully, the production company has arranged for a car to pick me at 2:20 am. Which means, I need to try to be in bed and asleep by 8:00 pm.
  2. With an audition scheduled directly after tomorrows shoot, I need to print out and go over my sides to be prepared.
  3. Throughout today I will continue to submit through my favorite casting sites, and as well as read archived articles by Casting Director and Author, Bonnie Gillespie (I can't link the articles, you need to have a subscription to actorsaccess, but I have linked her website)
So come back in a week or so, I'll let you know how the Industrial went, auditions had, tips gathered, photos & links to past work, as well as any recently caught FROGS. Thanks for reading!

have you kissed a
frog today?