Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Let Your Light Shine

During the eclipse I was sitting in a small audition room amongst a glorious array of women. We sat just inches from each other. White, Asian, Indian, Latin, African American- all there for one TV role. This is what progress looks like! There was an energy of nerves masked by casual disinterest. Some were fighting to cram lines, while others were fighting to imagine they were the only one there. One lady was awkwardly standing to create separation. A friendly voice reached out to me,“Your shoes are fabulous!” “Thanks!” I replied. “I like your hair” “Thanks, it’s really big.“
We were parched. We drank water, wore headphones, fixed our faces, asked who was next, hid our work, and averted our eyes. The first actor was summoned into the adjacent audition room. She immediately flubbed her first line and broke down apologizing. It hurt to hear it. The casting director kindly told her it was ok. She encouraged her to start over with a stronger intention. Take 2: Flubs peppered with, “Oh my God I’m so sorry! Wow, I don’t know what is happening to me….” Take 3: More misspoken words, pauses, and apologies. Finally, it was over. They thanked her and she came out.
It was the girl who betrayed herself by telling me her hair was too big. My heart went out to her. She didn’t believe in herself. Her critical, fearful, inner voice eclipsed her desire to perform. We’ve all been there.
We can take acting classes, dress impeccably, work out, and have killer photos…but no one will ever see what we can really do if we don’t believe in ourselves. If we can’t take our moments knowing that what we have to offer is precious and unique… all of the training won’t matter. Loving and believing in yourself is some of the most important work you will do in your lifetime, no matter what your profession. You are a masterpiece.

Think Big, Think Thin

Think Big, Think Thin

Hey Everyone! I have always believed in thinking big. Why not? When I was in college I started my own Craft Service business. The production company that hired me was Epoch Films. I worked on several car commercials for them. When the actors came to my table for a bite to eat, I would ask them questions about becoming an actor.  It was a secret dream of mine to be in their shoes.   My nest egg from all that craft service work  gave me the confidence to  drive to LA to become a full time actor without the burden of waiting tables.

Fast forward to me just booking a national think Thin Commercial.  When I arrived at the wardrobe fitting in Beverly Hills, a wave of nostalgia hit me.  Above the door I saw the name of the production company: Epoch Films. How funny that after all these years, I end up being talent  for the same production company that I used to serve coffee, finger sandwiches, and smoothies to!  Life has a way of making things come full circle.

Screen Shot

Click on the photo to watch the commercial

We had a great time on set in Long Beach.  I was told that they did not have any specific ethnicity in mind for the actors they were casting.  How refreshing!  Friends have seen it airing on  the Today show and on the Cooking channel so far.  think Thin bars are high protein and sugar free. I’ve seen them on Amazon, at Trader Joe’s, and Costco.

Production Company Epoch Films

Production Company Epoch Films

Ladies & Mens room at Epoch Films

Ladies & Mens room at Epoch Films

Arriving to base camp well before the sun.

Arriving to base camp well before the sun.

Getting rushed to set

Getting rushed to set

Its a wrap!

Its a wrap!

Chow Time!

Chow Time!

Monkey, Monkey, Monkey!

They say you should never work with children or animals.  In my last 2 commercials I had the pleasure of working with both. Just call me Jan Brady. ;P If you haven’t already seen it, here is a link to my national Sears Commercial with Lorenzo Lamas! Jeanne Chinn Sears Commercial

Many people have asked what it’s like to work with a monkey.  I met Katie,

Katie as Marcel on the TV Show “Friends”

at her refuge to rehearse before the shoot.

At Katie's house.

At Katie’s house.

Katie lives with several feathered and furry creatures including a zebra and this hungry giraffe.  I’ve never been this close to a giraffe before!

Much SearsGiraffelike working with a celeb who demands that everyone avert their eyes and not address them directly,  I was advised to give Katie similar diva treatment.  After all, she’s a monkey who needs to focus on her tasks for the commercial.

The trainer told me that Katie sees me as a tree. My job was to say my lines and pretend I didn’t notice this monkey jumping on me, and rooting through my hair for ticks.

The monkey dictated my stance, hairstyle, and clothing. We discovered that my shoulders were not broad enough for Katie to perch on.  I had to keep my hand on my hip to create more surface area for Katie.  My hair needed to be pulled back so Katie could perch on a clean shoulder.  Speaking of clean, we needed to have several identical back up shirts in case the monkey had an accident on me.  The wardrobe also needed to cover the skin on my shoulder where she landed. Spaghetti straps would show paw marks after 2 days of being a human jungle gym.

On set in Pasadena, Katie rehearsed yanking on my pant leg. She was absolutely hilarious. “And…action!”  Yank, yank, yank…bark, bark, bark?! A barking dog in the yard next door inspired Katie to stop doing her trick and….bark like a dog instead.  Unable to do anything but mimick the dog’s bark,  Katie was escorted back to her trailer.

Katie’s monkey double didn’t know how to yank, yank, yank on a pant leg.  I was directed to perform the motion of my leg being pulled while the monkey was coaxed to hold on to my leg.  We got the shot.  The followng day the neighbor’s dog was at it again. With both monkeys spooked into a barking fury, we were out of luck on shooting any monkey business.

The task of acting oblivious to the monkey jumping or climbing on me was an exercise in concentration!  I  focused on delivering my lines truthfully, as Katie stuck her foot in my mouth,  erased my eyebrow makeup with one swipe of  her damp hand, and yanked my hair into my eyes.  I had to act like there weren’t 2 monkey trainers crouched at my feet intensely commanding the monkey, as I strained to hear the director guide me from 20 feet away.  I loved the challenge of it all.  Here is a “remix” of the Sears commercial– a series of out-takes that show how crazy Katie steals the show! As for what it’s like to be married to Lorenzo Lamas…I’ll never tell!

I kind of miss working with the monkey. I even bought my pup, Mr. Truffle, a monkey sweater! It has monkey ears on the hood! The cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Hey, its a necessity, Chihuahuas get cold in the winter time. 😉

Shortly after the Sears commercial, I booked the role of a piano teacher in a Lenscrafters commercial.  I’m ready for my master shot Mr. DeMille!  I guess 30 seconds doesn’t always leave time for a close up! LOL.  It was an adventure stepping on those piano keyes.  Surprisingly, the talented child actor I did the scene with suffered a fate worse than mine. He was almost completely obscured.

Well, thanks for stopping by. I know I don’t check in as often as I used to, but I do cherish your kindness and support. Have a wonderful day!