Life 2.0: The Free Brunch
I spent all day imitating my grandmother, my American version of Ove Hoff, and my Italian character Huey – preparing for my final exam in improvisation, that is.
Luckily, the practice paid off; the teacher seemed pleased after my 10 minutes of complete humiliation on stage. Additionally, I had no less than two monologues to prepare for filming in class the next day – one of which I wrote myself. While my classmates took the opportunity to write themselves some crazy murder spiels and the like, I was of course stuck on the inexhaustible theme of love. With my terrible habit of always being honest, as well as drawing on my own life experience – there was no way around getting personal.
Though fully clothed, I could not have been more naked in that moment, with my whole class watching – not to mention that it will forever be stuck on tape. But as our teachers tell us; the more personal choices you make, the stronger you will be as an actor. So, looking back, I excuse it as an exercise in taking their word to the extreme – and then I just hope it pays off on my grades.
The second monologue counted as my final in Voice and Speech, where I find it just a tad strange that I’m being graded on standard American pronunciation, pitch variety and acting skills – seeing that the majority of those classes were spent moaning and sighing on the floor. But at this point, almost done with my acting program here, I’m just happy as long as my teachers are.
I don’t know whether it was the moaning or the tongue wiggling that did the trick, but my teacher was convinced that my American pronunciation has improved severely. I guess I better keep both moaning and tongue wiggling, to be on the safe side.
As we pass our finals, classes are gradually disappearing from our schedule – and our first free Saturday morning made way for Petter to host pancake brunch. I might have a small, empty apartment, but having my whole class over to eat in my garden and swim in my pool is something I sure couldn’t do back home in my wealthy days.
Even with some European style added to it, my version of the American «national breakfast» passed the native judges – so I dare say it was a flipping, fruity success. Perhaps even superior to the Norwegian Pretzels.
I have been taught never to rest on my laurels, so of course I soon left my guests for a photo shoot that same afternoon. This photographer wanted to make a Picasso painting come alive, with me as his tool. When people are passionate and professional, there is nothing I love more than out-of-the-box thinking like this.
Though dressed ridiculously with flowers and a pipe, I made that old portrait do a backflip in his honor – which (judging by his reaction) I think nailed me a personal photographer for life.
As we are now (supposedly) actors ready to hit the market, NYFA is throwing in a couple of «Business of acting» classes to prepare us for reality – while what I’m hearing is basically how impossible it is out there. One thing is the unlikeliness of making it as an actor here at all, but then add being an international, like me – and you can basically just go home.
The obstacles are numerous, costly, and mostly not even acting-related; nobody will hire you without a permanent working permit, for that you need the right Visa, for that you need lawyers, for that you need (a LOT of) money. I have none of the above, and especially not the latter.
Nevertheless, I seem to still believe. I might not make it, but I’m here and I’m doing what I love – so the journey will never be in vein. On the way, I’ll keep my hopes up, cause what would travelling be without it? I might be stupid and/or naive, but I agree with John Legend on this one; «I’m so glad that I can dream, dream, dream. Dream, dream, dream like lovers do – and it might come true.»
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.
September 12th 2014:
Chronicle #31: The Free Brunch
This week started with one of the few days a year where all Americans are actually allowed to skip work; Labor Day. As I’m both Norwegian and a non-working actor, that didn’t really apply to me.
September 5th 2014:
Chronicle #30: The Norwegian Pretzel
It’s not always a success to pretend that you are prepared, when the opposite is the thruth.
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.