Life 2.0: The Norwegian Pretzel
This week started with my usual private lesson in audition technique. As the name implies, I’m supposed to learn how to deal with auditions – where «preparation» is kind of a key word. But as time was highly limited last week, due to numerous film shoots in and out of school, I showed up without even reading the material – but pretending that I did.
Though I’m quite well schooled at this kind of pretending, I didn’t have much success with it this time. That same teacher who recently sky rocketed my confidence by saying that romantic lead roles will be my bread and butter, now brutally brought me back to earth when he looked at me and said; «Next time you are not prepared, cancel the class in advance so I don’t have to come here and waste an hour of my precious time.»
I tried to excuse myself, but was soon cut off; «Not only would you not get the role, but the casting director would call your agent to yell at him that he should never waste their time by sending you there ever again.» That is the reality of this business, he explained – and so he was actually «glad that we could learn this important lesson today».
One of the best things about NYFA, is the opportunity to book any kind of private lesson you’d like (as long as its what they offer). When filled with aggression after events like this, the martial arts consults always come in handy. Right now I’m in the process of learning tai chi choreographies, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, straight punch, cross punch and upper cuts.
As the small Japanese lady my teacher is, I’m more surprised every time that I still haven’t broken her. On the contrary, she still smiles, and asks me politely when I want to see her next time.
Furthermore, I also had my first private lesson with my «comedy and improvisation» teacher. One thing is to imitate and improvise together with your whole class, but doing it alone in front of your teacher must be close to the top of humiliation. For my final exam, I have to create three distinct different characters and go up on stage to improvise as each one of them.
In order to find them, she had me do handstands while imitating my 80 year old grandmother, embody an embarrassed teenage boy and a sensitive Italian American love-addict – which all three will now be my final performance. Sometimes I can’t believe my math and science exams happened on this same planet.
Even when having a lot on my plate already, I keep exploring the joys of cooking in between. As is the nature of exploring, one cannot always succeed – but after this week I hope that my failure quota is spent for a while. On Thursday I made my first hummus, which turned out more like a garlic explosion – literally and figuratively.
As I did not put on the top of the blender (that’s for losers), my walls and ceiling were all of a sudden smeared with garlic and chickpeas. As I seem to have a very high tolerance for garlic taste, I also put twice as much of it in the mix as the recipe said – which, on the bright side, at least ensures that nobody else can eat it.
For a party that same day, I wanted to surprise my classmates with some «kanelsnurrer» – as they have requested the «Norwegian pretzels» for a long time already (though nobody really knows what that is). As problems with the dough prevented them from rising and made them impossible to shape, that name suited my product surprisingly well.
Neither am I an expert on timing, so they came out of the oven as flat, destructured, hard burned…sweet pretzels. Nonetheless – they were all eaten, the chef was complimented, and new orders are already coming in. If I don’t make it as an actor, Norwegian Pretzels are now my back up plan.
I ended my week by comfort eating chicken and waffles with my classmates at an authentic American diner. Reflecting over my week as usual, I realized that a lot of things didn’t go as planned. My baking failed – but the result was still something tasty. I was humiliated by my teacher – but I learned something important.
And as I explored to find my three characters, something emerged that didn’t exist before. As they teach us about acting – maybe we shouldn’t be so obsessed with the results in life, but rather with the exploring. We might find something else than what we looked for, but that is also how we progress and learn something new.
Life 2.0 is one of Khrono’s blogs, and will be presented with new blogposts every week. Petter Egge is a former student from HiOA and journalist at Khrono.no. He has decided to do something quite different. This is his stories.
August 29th 2014:
Chronicle #29: The Carouself
This week I starred in five film projects in seven days
August 22th 2014:
Chronicle #28: The Bread and Butter
This week started with the shooting of my final scene – in other words, probably the most important day of this whole school year.
August 15th 2014:
Chronicle #27: The Voice
Hard lessons in Hollywood: Believe it or not – one of the things I devote most time to these days, is learning how to stick my tongue out, fully relaxed, so I can shake it from side to side hanging out of my mouth. Who wouldn’t want to learn that?
August 5th 2014:
Chronicle #26: The roommate
Though quite a lot happened this week, including a couple of film shoots and a lot of script reading, I feel that the time has come to devote an entire post to my roommate.
July 30th 2014:
Chronicle #25: The Home Run
This week Petter Egge found himself crying in front of a class full of professional actors.
July 23th 2014:
Chronicle #24: The Hidden Hollywood Hardships
There is no secret that there are many obstacles for a young, naïve man who goes to Hollywood to search for gold as an amateur actor.
July 17th 2014:
Chronicle #23: For Crying Out Load
Before acting school, I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried.
July 9th 2014:
Chronicle #22: The Week of Independence
While I was already on that wave from last Sunday, I started this week with some hours in the gymnastics gym.
July 2th 2014:
Chronicle #21: The Upswing
This week started with a Q and A session with casting director Chris Devane, which might be described as a rather tough start.
June 17th 2014:
Chronicle #20: The Circle of Life
Ok, this is a hard one, folks. So please bear with me. This week, I circled halfway around the earth to catch the circle of life at its closure.
June 10th 2014:
Chronicle #19: Back to business
Life 2.0 - the chronicles of an emerging actor facing Hollywood: After a really nice visitor, the company has left and Petter Egge is feeling a different kind of alone.
June 3th 2014:
Chronicle #18: The Life of the Party
After one week off from school Khronos blogger Petter Egge is heading for semester two at the New York Film Academy in Hollywood.
May 20th 2014:
Chronicle #17: The Life of the Party
This week, I got a whole new understanding of the fact that I now live and breathe the LA-life.
May 15th 2014:
Chronicle #16: The Leap From Sanity
After San Francisco, the way back to reality was just a little too short. From a weekend in heaven, I hit the ground in a pile of papers to write, finals coming up, and most of all – our final showcase at the Victory Theatre.
May 8th 2014:
Chronicle #15: The Escape
This week I thought I was up for an easy ride. Not many film projects in sight, and a long–awaited trip to my favorite city San Francisco – where I left my soul when leaving UC Berkeley two years ago.
April 29th 2014:
Chronicle #14: The Aftermath
No journalists called me this week, and my phone has slowly managed to find peace; now it is only buzzing about twice as much as before Ellen (yes, there will forever be a «before» and «after Ellen» now). The number of followers on Instagram has eventually stabilized, and though my twitter profile is more busy with visitors and followers than ever before, the threat of an explosion seems to cease.
April 23th 2014:
Chronicle #13: The Tribute
Out of his good heart Petter helped a person on the street, and suddenly life turned around for a couple of days. When this week started, I was at the bottom of a deep valley, weighed down under a number of concerns. The ones about my economy had already bothered me for months, as frequent readers would already know, but now my worries included another area of much bigger importance.
April 16th 2014:
Chronicle #12: When words do not suffice
There are times, even for a writer
when written words become empty signs
Times when a writer don’t want to write
cause there’s too much between the lines
April 9th 2014:
Chronicle #11: «The School of Life»
Life is a funny little thing. It is for sure a trembling rollercoaster, but also a splash of water in your face and missing ground under your feet. It has its ways – mysterious, inscrutable – of surprising me, not just when I thought I had it all together, but even more often when I’m already out of balance.
April 2th 2014:
Chronicle #10: «The Decennium»
From waking up scared of an earthquake, to not take notice at all. So: I’m happy to announce that I might already be a real Californian.
Mars 25th 2014:
Chronicle #9: «The Wake Up Call»
They say you’re not a real Californian until you no longer notice the earthquakes. This week started with something of a wake up call. As mentioned in previous posts, sleep is quite limited for me over here due to lack of time. That one night when I finally managed to enter deeply into those psychedelic lands of dreams at the right time, with no alarm set for the next morning – THE EARTH decided to shake me out of bed at 6:25 AM with a 4.4 magnitude earthquake.
Mars 18th 2014:
Chronicle #8: «So You Think You Can Act»
Do you know how to walk? No, you don’t. Can you sit, crawl, or lie down? No, you can’t. You can’t even lift your arm up in front of you. I know you can’t believe it – neither could I. But every day here, I am proven wrong.
Mars 11th 2014:
Chronicle #7: «The walk of Shame»
Ever had the feeling that your duties seem to pass by like a super fast train and you just can’t catch up with it for the life of you?
Mars 4th 2014:
Chronicle #6: «Teaser»
I was a journalist, a gymnast and a musician. I had everything I needed – except what I wanted. Thats why I decided to quit my job, say goodbye to my friends and family, and leave for acting school in Hollywood. The Video presented in this blog is a small taste of what life has been like the first few weeks.
Feb. 25th 2014:
Chronicle #5: «In a cold sweat»
For a guy who has lived all his life by the rules and routines of a gymnastics regime, there is no doubt that life here is a tad more divergent. Having nothing to do at one moment is just as shockingly unfamiliar as it is to run from a film shoot to my roommates’ baptism in the next. At any point earlier in my life, the degree of variation stretched from sleeping, through eating and practice, to toilet visits, school and back to sleep. The circle of life has definitely taken a new shape.
Feb. 18th 2014:
Chronicle #4: «The Proposal and the Valentine’s»
Real life, as we will know it the next eight months (though dreamy it may still seem to me), is about to blossom. As the hassle of settling down slowly dies out, challenges of school is coming to life, growing over the heads of its students.
Feb. 11th 2014:
Chronicle #3: «Life’s a like a box of chocolate»
As we still can’t seem to get friendly with our apartment (at least our rent), it took my roommate and me no more than three days to decide to move out again. Already stretching our comfort zone with one bedroom, we are now downgrading to NO bedroom.
Feb. 8th 2014:
Chronicle #2: Move-in Day and monologues
When gas, water, power and insurance companies got back in to business on Monday morning, Murphy’s law did the same; what could go wrong – well, you know. For the landlord to let us move in, they needed confirmation letters faxed from all of the above – which should be no problem, since we asked them all to do so when opening our new accounts. After half a day of waiting by an empty fax machine, we dared to call them back with a friendly reminder – only to discover that they’d forgotten all about us. When they eventually faxed it, only one name was on the paper – and we’d really prefer that both of us could move in.
Feb. 5th 2014:
Chronicle #1: «I need a dollar, dollar is what I need»
Ok, just to make it clear right away: I am NOT a blogger. Since the dawn of the blogosphere, my prejudices have kept me far away from its kind. But as we all know, the first unwritten rule of a struggling actor in Hollywood is that «Everyone must accept some kind of prostitution in order to survive up until the big breakthrough.» So, I could have fulfilled the stereotype of waiting tables between my auditions, or I could do a «Sylvester Stallone» – but instead I am now spreading trivialities about my still-to-be famous self. Oh, the irony.