Back to Class!

The Actors Workout is still on hiatus while Raye is off galavanting in London doing Nice Fish (which only runs through Feb 11, so if you are in London, get tickets now!!), so meanwhile, I've decided it's time to face my fears of watching myself on camera and take another class. 

I started Michele Hutchison's on-camera class last Sunday, and I'm super excited that it's going to inspire me to create more of my own work and start writing for myself more. Can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring! 

Now, excuse me while I go work on my lines for the scene I've got to prepare for next week...and the scene I'm prepping for Raye's first day back...


I just started rehearsals for my first ever show at Old Log Theater!  I'm SO EXCITED! And I'm playing a wicked stepsister!

I take that back...WE are so excited.  My roommate Neal is also in the show. Not only do we get to work together, but we can carpool to Excelsior as well. Neal is playing Cinderella's bird friend.

Me, and my fellow steps, Katie Adducci and Brittany Parker!

Only two more weeks of rehearsal and this baby will be on its feet. Get your tickets now!


I wish I knew more about the ins and outs of social media in regards to self-promotion in the acting world. I don't want to say anything where I could potentially get fired from my exciting opportunities. goes nothing! (Vaguebooking alert)

I got booked for a really exciting commercial gig for CLIENT, and I'm shooting the spot tomorrow! As soon as I clear it with people, I will post more info here, but for now, just be happy that I'm getting paid work, which I will then use to get new headshots (long overdue) and record my VO demo (even more overdue).

And I haven't been posting here as much as I would like.  It seems like so much work for some reason, even though it really shouldn't.  Part of it is how many auditions I've been on in the past few weeks (four auditions and a callback last week, two auditions and two callbacks the week before), plus prepping for upcoming season auditions and working a ton of cases at the U of M Medical School. I sat through the first readthrough for Candid Theater Co's upcoming production of Collected Stories, which looks like it's going to be awesome, and helped get the press release ready for the two shows they're running in rep (some of my first duties as a new board member!) I wrote a new article that I hope to shop out soon, and I'm working on another article which is due next week.  So much going on! All great things!

Until the next fortnight...but hopefully sooner,

Billie Jo


Theatrical Fortnight

I meant to post this Sunday night, but got sidetracked. Going to have to be more mindful in the future...

Part of keeping myself on track this year is going to be setting goals, and another part is going to be me writing about what I do each week.  Sometimes it's hard to see progress or feel like I'm working on "my craft" when I really am (for example: those dead spaces where I'm not in a show, but keep busy with auditions, class scenes, writing, reading plays, and other actor-related things).  And other times, I lose sight of the art I love and spend weeks doing nothing to work toward any goals whatsoever, and then wind up feeling really lost and purposeless. 
A major goal is to not get stuck in the latter one this year.  Having goals is important.  And achieving big goals requires lots of little tiny steps toward them, not big, giant leaps. 

Baby steps.

My goals for 2015:

1. Do 10 scenes for class.  Not including remounts.  Last year I only did 3 all year (plus remounts), and so I hope to do much better this year.

2. Record my voiceover demo.

3. Get new headshots.

4. Write at least weekly in my blog, and publish 5 articles before the end of the year.

5. Find and rehearse 5 new monologues for audition season.

6. See approximately 80% new work, 20% previously produced shows.

That's what I've got so far.  I might add more goals as the year goes on. 

So, the past 14 days of my life as an actor have been filled with a ton of theater-related things. There is no particular order of importance placed on these things, though perhaps there should be. Some of them are definitely more meaningful, more purposeful, and more in-line with my goals than others. I'm going to star the ones that are important baby steps toward my bigger goals.

  • I put up two scenes from Magnolia in class, and then remounted them the following Monday.***
  • At my job at the U of M Medical School, I played the mother of a sick infant; I worked on communications and presentation skills for case presentations; and I helped first years practice their exam skills with me as their patient.
  • I checked out a giant stack of plays from the library and have read quite a few of them (The Flick, Halcyon Days, Shooting Star, In a Forest Dark and Deep). I'm currently reading Trust, by Steven Dietz.***
  • I went to see three shows, all new works: Theatre Novi Most's Rehearsing Failure and The Red Eye to Havre Grace at the Walker's Out There series were both devised pieces, and Loudmouth Collective's production of A Bright New Boise.***
  • I re-watched Breakfast at Tiffany's (in the interest of making my roommate watch it for the first time ever), watched Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, and saw A Most Violent Year.
  • I binge-watched Galavant.
  • I did a private play reading with some other actors for a company I'd love to work with.
  • I had a lovely dinner with my director from Candid Theatre's production of Hauptmann.
  • I was asked to do four separate paid gigs which I was unable to accept because of conflicts with other commitments.
  • I auditioned for one play and was called back. Auditions are still a bit sparse at the moment.
  • I attended birthday festivities for three different theater friends and the Bar Mitzvah of another theater friend's son; My friend Rachel taught me two chords on the ukelele, and I tried out some new songs at karaoke, so I feel musically accomplished; and I went dancing at Transmission for David Bowie night. 

I think that's a pretty good start to my year!  Now on to my second month...

Small steps I want to take this week toward each of my big goals:

1. Email possible scene partners about a few more class scenes.  I have possibly in the works two scenes.  I'm meeting with one classmate on Thursday to discuss, and the other one hasn't gotten back to me yet.

2. Transcribe 3 commercials that I've recorded that I could use for my demo.

3. I have to pay my taxes for last year before I can get new headshots, but I will work out at least three days this week.  Gotta get more in shape for my shots!

4. I will write on a topic of importance to me, some sort of rough draft. And I will update this blog by this Sunday as well.

5. I will cut a monologue or two from one of the plays I read recently.

6. I am seeing one play this week, and it's Caryl Churchill's newest play, Love and I think I'm doing good on my percentage so far. 


Taxes.  I need to get my tax stuff for last year together.  This is not working toward any big goals, but it needs to get done, so this week I would like to get all my mileage entered in my spreadsheet.

I am meeting with a filmmaker I know to discuss a project we want to work on together.

I'm sure that's plenty...I still have work and rehearsal for Commedia Day with Shadow Horse Theater, which is February 25th.  I'm sure all of this will keep me quite busy!

Until next Sunday...



So, it's that time of year for reflection.  And I'm going to SO do some of that.  Soon.  I want to put together some statistics and compare with previous years.  I'm kind of a dork and keep spreadsheets of many things, but I do like to keep track of how I'm doing theater-wise in particular. 

The beginning of this past year was a bit fraught, with some very large life changes for me: breakup, move, giving away one of my cats. (No worries...Luna found a good home with my friend Rachel). Because of all this, acting got put on the backburner somewhat.  I was still auditioning, but my priorities were figuring out where I and my cats were going to live, if I would be able to afford it, and where I might work if I needed to find a new job. Luckily, my friend Neal needed a roommate, and I moved into his lovely home in Minneapolis. Neal, our other roommate Ryan, and Ryan's cat Milo have been wonderful roommates, and they and my friends have all been very supportive in my year of big changes. 

During this transition, I did find time to perform in World Commedia Day with my friends at Shadow Horse Theater, and then I spent eight weeks rehearsing and four weeks performing in Crazyface by Clive Barker.  That show was so physically demanding that I lost ten pounds(!) I took a breather after that and just enjoyed going to see many Fringe shows, attending the Ivey Awards, and then worked on Hauptmann by John Logan with Candid Theatre.  I acted in one music video this year. And I wrote two articles that got published, one for Minnesota Playlist and the other for Paid Actor. 

It's been a light theater year, but a good one.  I'm going to work on that spreadsheet, and I'll be back with some concrete numbers.  I like to know how much progress I'm making.

Also, I just wrote another article that I'm trying to get published. If it doesn't get picked up, then I plan to publish it here at my blog and do the follow ups here as well.  I have a plan.  Stay tuned!

Quiet Time

Crazyface closed a few weeks ago now.  Fringe was here and gone in a whirlwind of parking fees, drinking and 36 performances that I sat in the audience for.  (If you include travel time between venues, Fringe was more than a full-time job for me this year!) And most of the season auditions are now over. 

And now, it's the quiet time.  Time to enjoy the rest of summer, start working on some scenework for The Actor's Workout, finally finish my taxes (no, I still haven't done them...yes, I know...yes, I got an extension...jeez, lay off!), find a dress to wear for Theatre Prom (aka the Ivey Awards), and figure out what I want to do this fall if I don't get cast in a show. 

A lot of my friends have already begun rehearsals for their next projects, my roommate just opened Guys and Dolls at Bloomington Civic Theatre, and I am left answering the question "What do you have coming up next?" with the always tepid "You know, I'm not sure yet." 

That's not entirely true, actually.  I am scheduled to play Sarah in A Drinking Game - Minnesota's November 1st drinking game presentation of Labyrinth at Bryant Lake Bowl.  I get to play Sarah.  And drink.  At the same time!

I was also just asked to do a piece for Chameleon Theatre Circle's 15th Annual New Play Festival and Season Preview coming up September 13th.  I will be performing a monologue from Betty's Summer Vacation by Christopher Durang. 

And my friends at Shadow Horse Theatre are planning to start an ongoing Commedia Dell'Arte troupe that will perform regularly...I just don't know exactly when we'll be rehearsing yet.

So, I guess I should stop telling people I'm not doing anything.  I'm sure my time will get filled with things soon enough.  It always does. 

Crazy Talk

Announcement:  I have just recently started rehearsals for Crazyface with Shadow Horse Theater.  This fun show, written by none other than Clive Barker, will run July 10-26th at Nimbus Theatre in Minneapolis. 

I think they cast all of Minneapolis in this show...

I think they cast all of Minneapolis in this show...

The cast includes Andy Schnabel as Crazyface, as well as Derek Meyer, Matt Saxe, Megan Noel Johnson, Corey Ryan Boe, Derek Dirlam, Fawn Wilderson-Legros, Matt Kelly, Angela Walberg, Audrey Callerstrom, Ethan Bjelland, David Otto Simanek, Jay Kistler, Shana Eisenberg, Ilana Kapra, Earl Milton, Joel Raney, Jane Hammill-Golembeck and Joe Heaney.

Director: Paul von Stoetzel

More info to come!

*Note:  I saw this show when Mary Worth Theatre did it over 10 years ago, and I loved it so much I saw it twice.  I can only hope that we can match even half the brilliance of their amazing production.  We definitely have some large theatrical clown shoes to fill with this one!