Tag Archives: AADA

Living in New Orleans – the first 5 years

My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but my path home was winding. After living in Maryland, Washington D.C., Japan, Alabama, New York and Los Angeles, I finally moved to New Orleans in late 2009. And I’ve never been happier. When I got here, the Saints were on their way to winning the Superbowl and the city was vibrating with optimism. Most of the people who would come home after the Storm were back. Katrina money was being spent on street repairs and schools were getting instruments from places like Tipitina’s Foundation. Buildings, homes, t-shirts and more exclaimed, “Believe” and “Renew, Rebuild, Rebirth.” It was intoxicating. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2010, Mardi Gras 2011, Mardi Gras 2012, Mardi Gras 2013, Mardi Gras 2014, moving, oil spill catastrophe, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

Return to L.A.

Though Louisiana has always felt like home to me, I never actually lived here until 2009. And though I spent nearly 18 years in Los Angeles, I never actually felt truly home there. That said, I’ve made sure I return at least once a year to see friends, take care of business and have a meal at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset. This time, I was headed to L.A. to participate in the Courts Celebrity Fan Fest. It seemed funny somehow to return to L.A. to sign autographs. The city is as packed to the gills with celebrities as New Orleans is with Grammy winners so I hardly feel like I stand out in a crowd. But it all made sense when I spoke to the students at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) at their Industry Insight Series. Continue reading

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Filed under entertainment industry, moving, the Saints

The Big Easy to the Big Apple

When I was starting out as an actor nearly 25 years ago, I first went to New York to study. I had almost no experience and absolutely no idea what might lie ahead for me and my new career. The Wednesday after Fat Tuesday, with a global hit movie still in theatres, I returned to the Big Apple to promote Django Unchained and my new book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career. I’ve revisited the city a few times in the intervening years but I continue to be astonished at all the changes. Neighborhoods I avoided as a young woman alone in the city are now cluttered with shops like the Gap, H&M, Coach and my dearly missed Trader Joe’s. It’s as if a giant broom swept the crime and grit, pushing it further and further uptown. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, entertainment industry, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, moving