Friday, December 22, 2017

Self Help for Success? This isn't a bah humbug. I'll just take a poem and a dollar for a homeless guy every time.

So instead of extemporaneously moralizing on the title of this post, I'll share lyrics to a song I wrote to honor my friend Mark. He writes WAY better songs for me (please see the Spy v Spia Theme Song). But I do so love writing back and forth to him. Maybe someday we will be like Neil and Tori and Amanda, only us.

:)
oh ps
you all know I luuurve me some self help but
sometimes it feels so shallow
and like today when I go walk my dog
I'm going to bring some blankets outside
and listen to the music of the city of Los Angeles






FANTASIE FOR A MARATHON MAN

Here now we Stand 
as Autumn Takes the  land
And living is  hurried now, oh
Hush, Hush, Hush.
Hush, Hush, Hush.

Posing for pictures now, 
Leaves swirling, I am sound  
Of longing and Hope, oh
Hush, Hush, Hush.
Hush, Hush, Hush.

Little One, oh why this sorrow?
"For biting Cold shall flow tomorrow!"
The snow is coming, snow is coming
Hush, Hush, Hush.
Hush, Hush, Hush.




Let me take your hand,  
You’ve nothing left to do
Stars shall light the way to wonder 
Carrying you through
To a  Marathon A Marathon
Of Melancholy Winter Too.

I Shall Take Your Hand,  
and we shall sing by the fire       

Poems and stories and thoughtful hours
Happily In Your Arms through
The Marathon, A Marathon
The Marathon Of

MUSIC! Sweet Music, Inspire, 
Inspiring LOVE!  
Sweet Love,  
 Returning, returning to
Spring!

Sing now for the marathon man
Dropping notes as slow as we can
Gather them
From the night sky
Like stars
Falling to  silent ground.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

About Artists And Actors N Stuff

I wrote this on Facebook, but then thought, I like it! It's maybe a little preachy-to-the-choir, but I guess that's the internet in general, these days, eh?

Anyhow, love to you.

Totally recommend:
The Room (2003/ Tommy Wiseau)
The Disaster Artist
Mozart in the Jungle
Spy v Spia
The Taming of the Shrew
Twelfth Night
WTF (podcast)
LA Times


Last night I saw "The Disaster Artist," (totally recommend) after having seen a midnight screening of "The Room" last Friday (with Franco AND Tommy Wiseau both appearing in person- as Tommy Wiseau, hahaha), woven together with my recent experience of hearing Franco on Marc Maron's podcast, WTF, and binge watching Seasons 1 and 2 of Mozart in the Jungle. ALL of these projects are about the way artists hand their lives over to their art........... .......... .......WHY am I writing all this as the preface to this awesome quote below? Because I'm a lifelong artist and performer. Because I am obsessed with my latest project and am gleefully rereading Shakespeare plays as source material. Because Carlo and I put it all out on the line for "Spy v Spia." Because while many couples are fighting about the trash or planning trips to Hawaii (okay, we don't fight about the trash, I just take it out! hahaha) we are spending hours and days and nights and weekends and years writing and rewriting and telling and retelling the stories of our scripts until we get closer and closer to something amazing. Because I wake up early for acting class on Saturdays and singing lessons on Sundays. Because I get to dress up in a big ol' princess gown and drive across town to sing a living room concert streamed live on Facebook with dear friends to raise money for victims of the fires. Because I am so lucky to be able to have survived in Los Angeles for 11 years without a sugar daddy (although I'm ready if Carlo is interested) (but after this long, I guess I don't need one after all) or a trust fund but with my own two hands and energy, like so many other sweaty, passionate members of our working artist tradition, be ye painters or set builders or directors or writers or hyphenates like myself. Artists explore life, and then express what they have discovered. Artists reflect society but also offer a glimpse of something greater. Artists can tell stories that change minds and open hearts. To live as an artist is terrifying, potentially anxiety-inducing, and exhilarating and glorious and bright and shining and- in short- it is to invite the deep self, the totality of one's heart/mind/body/soul nexus AKA human existence, to participate in something greater than the self and in so doing expand one's own humanity at the least... and at the best, to commune with other members of that same blessed humanity in a tapestry of stardust and story, both ancient and profound.
Robin McWilliams to MadCatch Entertainment
1 hr · 
“Actors are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, actors face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment.With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because actors are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul. Actors are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”-David Ackert, LA Times

Sunday, December 10, 2017

An Update with a Poem

Hello, my friends!

I know it has been a bit since I've posted. as you can imagine, we have been extra busy with "Spy v Spia." And that's the thing about life: it's busy. Ten years ago, being busy was a virtue. Now it just feels like some antiquated, bizarro indulgence, and by indulgence, I don't mean of the fun decadent chocolate variety, but like some sickness and since I wanted my beloved "Spy v Spia" to be the OPPOSITE of that illness of our culture at this moment, I just let myself be as present and focused on THAT as possible!!

And soon we will have updates for you. :)

But for now, I did want to drop a note and just send a few other updates and a poem.

What I am reading:
-The Taming of The Shrew. I just finished Act 3, wherein Petruccio marries Kate in horrifying fashion.
    In light of the #MeToo movement and Weinstein, Franken, and the President....
    This play takes on a new and interesting relevance.
    I used to LOVE the banter betwixt Kate and Petruccio but HATE the moral values therein.
    I'm reading it now for research on the next project I want to write, and I'm constantly shocked to find myself laughing.
    And I guess this is why we still read ol' Will. It's still so f***ing relevant.

-Lincoln in the Bardo
   Just started it.So far, only a few chapters in, I am blown away by its unconventional narrative style, its beauty, and honestly, I'm so happy to read a book that doesn't assume I'm an idiot reader. (Sorry, modern publishing.)


What I am watching:
 -"Three Billboards Past Ebbing, Missouri"
  I mean, just, wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. If ever there was any wonder whether or not Frances McDormand is a national treasure, and I don't know how there could be, THIS ensures it. She is incredible. But not just her- this whole film. I've long loved Martin McDonagh, the filmmaker, but THIS is a real beauty in the ripening of his work. I am so inspired.



What I am singing:
 -just sang an online concert to raise money for victims of the Thomas fire here in SoCal. All proceeds go to the Ventura County United Way and there's still time to help! Every video share and we will donate an extra $1 to help the victims.
 -prepping for auditions. Up next? I'm superstitious, so I don't want to say unless I book something, haha!





A poem I wrote yesterday:


12.9.17
Been a long time, then, since I have been myself
But as the moon, cut in half, smoking like the fires eating up the cliffs of the west
Reminds me that I have not been my self, it seems, too,
That the stars in population of the firmament of night
And the bright white against dark indigo ignite
In my own body the sole of truth which is-
I have never not been. Myself.

So, too, I wonder, cold air poisoning my ears,
Airs to which I listen but do not hear,
Who is this many selv’ed person, then?
Now a fool, then a sage, every always a woman.

I am divine she, divine three in one,
Ancient, fecund, life everlasting.
The remembrances of all story pulsating through my hoary
Bones, hearkened as a moan, orgasmic moment of glory
Of some long lost couple, some prehistoric child
Suckling the milky stores from my breast, until I’m wild

Again.

Joy, sticks, goddess, marrow.

The things of life am I.

-Erin


This pic was taken by Diana Delzio of Modern PR after Carlo and I won "Best Screenplay" at the Catalina Film Festival. If I get to it, it will be our Holiday Card photo! If I don't, then, this is it! Happy Holidays! eek.

Love,
Erin
the poet, the muse, the comedienne-
the singer, the writer, playing in her garden
of stars and whimsy and stunts and action.


"Who knew Linda Hamilton, Bette Midler, and Anne of Green Gables could be wrapped up in one package?"
-a recent casting director, after talking to me for a few minutes


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Why We Chose To Crowdfund Our Spy Parody/ Rom Com Web Series, Spy v Spia, and How we Made It Happen!



“It’s sooooo funny, dude! Why don’t you just sell it outright to Comedy Central?”

“OMG hilarious! I can totally see this as a sitcom. Thursday night must-see TV!”

“You had me laughing out loud on the plane. I never laugh at scripts! Good job. Get this to Netflix.”

These are comments from TV writers, directors and producers about “Spy v Spia,” a series I co-wrote with my beloved partner, Carlo Carere. The script is a spy parody with a rom-com twist, based on who we, Carlo and I, are as people. I’m sharing these comments not to toot my own horn but to validate the quality of what we’ve created. When we read these comments, we are over the moon! We want this series to be made! But…

We are not famous.

And even though both Carlo and I are professional actors and writers who have been cast by Francis Ford Coppola, appeared on TV, studied at some of the best institutions, and won awards… and  even though I’d like to believe that no one else on the planet could play the role of Erin, the opera singing spy from MN with a mean right hook, and even though I’d like to believe that no one else could play Carlo, a former Italian spy turned pizzaiolo with an Inspector Clouseau vibe, the problem remains:

We’re still not famous. AND… we don’t have the high incomes that fame can sometimes bring.

But we didn’t write this so that Anna Kendrick or Emmy Rossum or Antonio Banderas or Ricardo Scarmaccio could play the roles Carlo and I spent our lives living. They’re all amazing performers, yes, but that’s not the point…

Since I was little, I wanted to be Bette Midler, I Love Lucy and Miss Piggy. I dreamed of having my own song and dance show. And I’ve pursued my dreams and dedicated myself to my craft ever since.

And I’ve come close, SO close, SO many times. I haven’t made it yet! But you know what? I don’t let “not making” it deter me, because I know that this is about me and my soul.

Quite simply, I love what I do.

And by honoring my love of what I do, I honor my soul, and if other people get to laugh in the process, then I have been of service to something that’s about more than just me.

Carlo and I held out for a team that shares our vision and we are lucky enough to have found that.  Our director, Christopher N Rowely, and our producer, Gretchen Landau, have helped us discover things about the script, and therefore about ourselves, that we never even knew were possible.

With every passing day, it seems we might be able to be of service to you through the zany world of “Spy v Spia” after all!

We are crowdfunding “Spy v Spia” on Kickstarter because we believe in it. We believe that laughter heals, and that sometimes we humans can learn more easily in that laughter than we can in conflict.

Here’s what we’ve learned about crowdfunding:

-Be yourself.
I’m just me, and the people who want to watch our show contribute to our Kickstarter precisely for that reason. All my foibles, all my vulnerability, all my personality flaws… er, uh… quirks… It’s all helpful one way or another. I embrace it all.

-Offer something.
We offer jokes, clips and experiences, but it’s about more than the perks! It’s about sharing in the process of making a TV show, from start to finish! People who donate to our Kickstarter are actually an important part of the creative process.

-If you build it, they will come.
We started by putting our time into the idea and the script. Then we put our time and money into a clip. Is it the final product? No. But was it an important part of the process? Absolutely. It was so helpful, like an architect building a miniature scale model of a mansion. Now, we are fundraising to film the pilot, or, if we can raise more, the whole series.

-Laugh a lot.
Carlo and I laugh at ourselves a lot. It’s much better than wanting to kill each other when things get a little stressful. And they do! But if we’re laughing, chances are, you are, too.

-Keep going!
There’s plenty of time, and you have enough creativity and resourcefulness to try different methods. Have faith! There is magic and power in that!

-Honor your dreams.
I’ll quote W.B. Yeats here:

“Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths 
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

I honor you, and your dreams.

If you feel so moved to honor my dreams, then, please, check out our series, “Spy v Spia,” and our Kickstarter, here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/944205133/spy-v-spia-a-madcap-spy-parody-romantic-comedy?ref=dk2h1a


Spy V Spia, a MADCAP Spy Parody...
                        …served up with an unexpectedly romantic twist!

LOGLINE: Two rival international spies join forces only to discover secrets about their past, their future, and their hearts...

Erin Carere: singer, actress, writer, comedienne, crowdfunder, dreamer.
Los Angeles, CA
Spy v Spia Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2k63owB



https://www.facebook.com/SpyVSpia/                      nearing 10,000 likes
https://www.instagram.com/irinavolka/                      Character Instagram


Monday, September 25, 2017

SPY V SPIA KICKSTARTER! and other news!

SPY V SPIA

As many of you know, Carlo, my partner in life AND writing AND acting, and I have written a very fun WEB SERIES for us to star in. We have had some amazing movement on this series! Check out some of the info:
Spy V Spia, a MADCAP Spy Parody...
…served up with an unexpectedly romantic twist!
LOGLINE: Two rival international spies join forces only to discover secrets about their past, their future, and their hearts...
Written by and starring YOURS TRULY and CARLO CARERE...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oan2CdZU1U&feature=youtu.be

 
With a TOP SECRET THEME SONG composed and produced by MARK MALLMAN, sung by YOURS TRULY...
With DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER N. ROWLEY, whose previous films include "Molly Moon" (starring Emily Watson, Dominic Monaghan, Joan Collins) and "Bonneville" (starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Allen, Tom Skeritt!)
Produced by GRETCHEN LANDAU (whom we met on the set of FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA'S "Distant Vision" last summer!)
Director of Photography: KARSTEN HOSE (If you've seen a BMW or Suzuki commercial in the last few years, he likely shot it!)
It's a series that promises to have a lot of fun! Zany characters, a lot of heart, action, super cool spy stuff, evil organizations, an aria of death, Cheesheads vs Vikings fans, traditional pizza vs ham and pineapple pizza, and tons of Ninja, Femme Fatales, spyboys and spygirls and maybe a little romance...
Or as Carlo would say, no Romans. He's Neapolitan. ;-p
We are going to be launching a Kickstarter in a few days from the CATALINA FILM FESTIVAL(more about that in a moment) and I wanted to invite you all to share, donate if you can, and let me know what YOU would like to see as perks and promotions. As you know, I like to hear from you all, learn and grow... So please, don't be a stranger! We're planning on raising enough to shoot the pilot first, but along the way we are also seeking Executive Producers and or Private Investors, so, if you're interested, or no of anyone, we're open to talking with people!
We can share more about out commitment to diversity casting, quality of filming, and marketing plans if you like.... but also know.... it's going to be a TON OF FUN!!!
Our Facebook page is up to around 10,000 likes. Have you become a Secret Agent, too? If not, check out any of our Social Media:
*Currently links to Facebook Page, but will link to our Kickstarter once we launch!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SINGING PERFORMANCES AND WRITING CONTESTS

If you happen to be in Costa Mesa on October 1st, I will be performing that Sunday afternoon with my long time friend and collaborator, JEREMY WEINGLASS. We will be singing at a benefit designed to raise money for research into HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE... the theme of our show is BROADWAY! I'll be singing selections from everything from "West Side Story" to "Les Miserables" to "Chorus Line" to "Monty Python's Spamelot." We're going to have an amazing time. You can get tickets here.
In WRITING NEWS, 
Carlo and I have been busy!
We won 1st place in the ACTION/ THRILLER category in the StoryPros Awards and are featured in their Winners' Circle with our script "TIME ZERO."
Next week we will be attending the CATALINA FILM FESTIVAL as one of the top 20 finalists in their screenwriting competition with "Time Zero."
And the week after that, we'll be representing "Time Zero" in another contest at theOAXACA FILM FESTIVAL. We have been in contact with the people running the festival after the devastating earthquakes of the last few weeks. They are well and the festival is continuing- we are continuing to hold them in our thoughts and prayers.
If you're going to be in Catalina or Oaxaca, do let me know! I'd love to see you. :)
Until we launch our Kickstarter.... please email to say hi!
Burn after reading! 
Just kidding. 
**Erin 
and Carlo too! 
and Henry. :)



 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

That eclipse was something else, huh?

And the world is turning and the crazy energy "of our times" and the incorrect beliefs in the world being worse than ever but any student of history or of mystical texts can tell you that people are people are trees are frogs are the firmament of the blue sky are the living waters of life through your heart through the passion through the desire through discipline carrying you through the times when you have no passion and you have no desire and you give up on the overwhelm and just float down the river and you sense the oncoming waterfall and you stop bracing for impact and in stead when you think you are about to die you open your arms wide and smile at God and say "hello"

And suddenly

life is so beautiful once again

it's sort of fun
and sort of scary
and super sad
and a little angry
and really hopeful
and kind of exciting

how beautiful the world can be

how beautiful the world is when we
open our eyes up and surrender unto its beauty

no ideas
just breathing
tears are falling and the heart is heavy and yet in the belly of the best there is a roar of laughter

things I remember
dandelion seeds blowing through my fingers
the deep drink of roses in the garden
and lines floating around in the ethers of my hearing
"feed me, Seymour"

 
    "from the dawn it seem'd there came, but faint 
As from beyond the limit of the world, 
Like the last echo born of a great cry, 
Sounds, as if some fair city were one voice 
Around a king returning from his wars."
 
 
Wars. Wars and wars. Contour and highlight and shop and consume
and 
but you don't understand
 
I love you, I love you all, so much
I wish I could sing for your hearts and that upon listening
naught but the beaming light of your face would shine forth
a billion stars in the universe
that's you- that's us-
you are borne of stardust,
I know, I saw it in a vision
 
and a blog becomes a poem and still the heart breaks open, grows larger and fills, 
until, so full of its own self the cup runneth over, it  bursts forth and laughs once again.