Life 2.0: The Escape
But life rarely turns out the way we expect – and I’d say even more so at acting school. Trying to keep up the good spirit that rewarded me a $ 1000 bucks and a good dose of exposure two weeks earlier, I agreed to help an unfortunate filmmaker out after she lost her lead actor and half her crew. Little did I know that it would be the hardest film shoot I’ve ever done, both in terms of patience (which I have absolutely none of) and physical work.
Coming straight from a nine hour school day, I wasn’t exactly craving to build the set for two hours before we even started, nor to shoot until 2 AM next morning and then tear it all back down. As I hadn’t even received the script before I showed up, I was even less prepared for the «passionate kiss» I was expected to perform. But hey, at least I got married that night, and I left with new friends and lots of seaweed snacks in my backpack.
Next morning I had to sing solo in front of the whole class. Before proceeding, I feel an urge to point out that I cannot remember the last time I cried before I came to acting school. I always felt like the life of elite gymnastics was turning me more and more into an emotionless robot.
If that is true, acting school does the exact opposite. After some months here, I realize that acting training makes you change. I don’t know if it’s for the better or worse – but something must have happened, when singing a song to a classmate while merely imagining a scenario the teacher has laid out, can make me sob so much that I’m not even able to get through the song.
Maybe it was just in time then, that this road trip to San Francisco and Berkeley came in; a break from my highly emotional bubble. As usual in my case, the trip was very poorly planned; the night before I left, I had still no place to stay and hadn’t planned who to meet and what to do. By chance, my good old Norwegian friend Sondre happens to be a current Berkeley student – and luckily, he is the most hospitable person one can imagine.
His «hotel» included not only eggs and coffee for breakfast, free snacks, drinks (including unlimited # of Corona’s) and a good couch – but also the nicest roommates and an exceptionally warm group of Norwegian friends. I am in great debt to my wonderful classmate who drove all the way with me and provided excellent company on the road. But I could not possibly have gotten much more done while being there either – thanks to my Berkeley friends who showed up on terribly short notice.
In one single weekend I got to attend a Norwegian party that got shut down by the police, have coffee and a bit of a nostalgia trip in San Francisco, have dinner with former gymnastics teammates and go to the gym with them, sleep through the new Captain America at the theatre, have lunch with one of the nicest American gym girls I know, a nice walk and one of the famous Boba-drinks with my favorite American hipster girl, and then some quality coffee time with my Norwegian host before departure Monday night.
Even though there are obviously ups and downs (which this blog is a testament over) – sometimes it seems like more than I could even ask for is coming my way. Not only did all these friends show up to meet me, but as we spontaneously decided to go to the Norwegian church in San Francisco Sunday morning, I ran into the former Norwegian three-time prime minister and current Director General of The World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland.
Those are the times when I hear my old mans voice in my head, and suddenly appreciate how he nagged about it; «You must always keep your eyes open and see the possibilities, Petter». My inner journalist spirit awakened, and as I always carry my camera, pen and paper – I got an interview right there on the spot.
They say the friends you make say a lot about who you are. In times like these (not to say always), when acting school might have made me a little too crazy, I’m super glad to have such good friends in my life to remind me of who I am –they are my friends, they are still the same, and by that I am too.
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.
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.