Life 2.0: The Bread and Butter
I picked the scene and the location, the school provided me with a crew and high end filming equipment – and the result will be screened at the Warner Bros studios at the end of the semester. Pretty much my little baby, that is.
As professional as it might sound – it doesn’t really help much when the crew is paid for way too few hours, where the majority is lunch and transportation, and another scene is supposed to be shot within that same ridiculous amount of time. Add poor time management, building and clearing of the set, and that only has to end with tantrums and big disappointments.
Luckily for me, my teacher cancelled the other scene so that I could actually go home with some kind of product that day. But one mans victory is another mans (or two ladies’, in this case) loss – so my poor classmates had to go home empty handed.
As the drama queen I am, of course I chose a highly dramatic, romantic, borderline cliché scene – intending to make use of my recently achieved crying skills. What I forgot to remember, was that Murphy’s law applies to my life, indeed; the one day where my whole year is supposed to be proved worthwhile, I was completely emotionally dead and could simply not force out either a teardrop or any other real sign of emotion.
It might as well have been my scene that was cancelled that day, as my performance was probably worth next to nothing. And «so the last will be first, and the first will be last»…
Except from writing and working out excessively, cooking and cleaning has always been tools for me to deal with frustration. With no further explanation, I will mention that our apartment has been significantly cleaner than usual, and that there has been a noticeable increase in gourmet meals lately.
In lack of anything close to European bread in this country (a major issue for this sandwich enthusiast), I am finally taking the matter in my own hands – literally. What started as a nostalgic ritual some weeks ago, is now becoming more of a therapeutic routine – resulting in loaves of home baked bread and rolls lighting up my days, as well as filling up my freezer.
Little did I know that these slices of bread would become so symbolic, when my audition technique teacher said to me; «As an actor, you must always know what is your bread and butter roles, Petter». Meaning the ones that are easiest for you to get, thus securing the bread and butter on your table, he explained. After chewing on it for a while, still unable to figure out what mine would be, I asked him.
He looked at me like he was surprised I didn’t know already, and said; «Well that’s easy – for you it’s obviously male romantic lead roles.» My jaw dropped to the floor, and any confidence I might have lost after the poor acting in my final scene was regained in that instant. Expecting it to be something more like utterly humiliating commercials (and Notting Hill being my «guilty pleasure»), romantic comedy leads are not exactly the worst «easy way out» I could get.
With this confidence boost behind me, I went to an audition at the end of the week. It is supposedly a well known fact in this business that it is a good sign if the casting directors ask you to do something more when you have done what they asked for. Unaware of this fact, I gave everything I had, pain flowing as rivers down my face, in my supposedly first and only monologue – and was very disappointed when the response was: «Thank you, do you have anything else?»
It proves again and again that truths about acting are truths about life, and vice versa. They teach us that we should never force an emotional result in our scenes; it is about the journey, not the result. I stopped planning my life long time ago, because it never turns out the way I think, and because the unexpected is often the best.
Now, that proved to be true also for my acting; the emotions I didn’t get when I wanted to, came out when I didn’t expect it at the end of the week. And that just might be my best audition so far, as it already gave me three roles for my bread and butter.
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 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.