Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

One Step Closer to JT

June 4, 2014

Like millions of people around the world, I am a devoted Justin Timberlake fan. I have this fantasy of getting the opportunity to act with him in a future film/TV show in a very funny scene. We’ll become best friends, follow each other on Twitter, hobnob at the Emmy’s. Basically, where Justin is…Brooke will be. (Don’t kill my dream people…indulge me, if you will).

So, a few weeks ago, I read on JT’s FB fan page that he was launching a contest on Instagram to find people to be in his video for the hit song, “Not A Bad Thing.” (AH-mazing song, if you haven’t heard it). The contest — #NotABadLoveStory — asked people to send in their favorite photo/video with a 1-2 sentence caption that summarized how they took a chance on love. JT and his team would review all of the entries and pick people to be in his video. Uh…YEAH!!

Joined Instagram and immediately posted the following photo. For those of you who don’t want to click, it’s this fabulous photo of my husband and I doing what we do best…making each other laugh.

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Fast forward to yesterday (June 3)…come in from taking my girls swimming and my text goes off. It’s my friend, Traci, with a four-word text — YOU MADE THE VIDEO! I dropped my phone and shrieked. Tom says, “Oh my God, you booked that national commercial?” I replied, “No, better. We made the Justin Timberlake video.”

Here is the link to JT’s fan video to the song “Not A Bad Thing.” Tom and I appear right at the start of the bridge at the 3:34 minute mark. We scored with a full card all to ourselves, that then fades right into JT. We’re STILL on cloud 9.

So, for all of you laughing at my JT dream at the top of this post, laugh no more. This video is a sign. It’s only a matter of time before I utter the words, “Hi Justin, I’m Brooke. So nice to meet you. Let’s chat!”

 

 

 

 

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From leg warmers to voiceover … a chance meeting with my teen idol!

January 18, 2013

Nothing beats striking gold and meeting one of your teen idols. It first happened to me in 1997 when I met Rick Springfield backstage at a concert in Las Vegas. Last week, it happened again. A little back story.

During the summer of 1983, my best friend Amy and I were addicted to a new 30-minute aerobics show called the “20-Minute Workout.” Click here to see a past episode. Every day at 11 a.m., we would gather at one of our houses, leotards and leg warmers in tow and jump around our living rooms to our hearts’ delight. We loved it because a) it was so dancey; and b) it was only 20 minutes. 

While we faithfully did the workout every day, our favorite instructor was a gal named Bess. She’s featured in the clip above and always led the Monday episode. We idolized her and especially loved to hear her call out the steps: “Four mo, Three mo, and tew…” She had this amazing buttery voice that made us want to do aerobics for hours. She was our Jane Fonda.

Now, flash 30 years into the future to last week. I attended my regular voiceover workout group…a dozen or so voiceover actors sign-up to attend a bi-monthly class, work in the booth on audio scripts and improve their skills. 

Last week, it was a particularly small class, but as always, filled with immense talent. I had already done my two tours through the booth and was now just listening to my fellow actors do their reads. 

I casually looked over to the area where our leader had his stuff and noticed the stack of checks from those of us who attended that night’s class. One of the checks read “Bess Motta.” Instantly, my radar went off. “Bess Motta? Bess Motta? Why do I know that name?” I scoured my brain, and then, BAM! It hit me. BESS MOTTA WAS ON THE 20-MINUTE WORKOUT!!!

I nearly peed all over myself with excitement, but had to contain myself because the other people were still waiting their turn to go into the booth. I slowly turned around to look at my classmates and “search” for “Bess.” And there she was … same long black curly hair, same buttery voice, but a bit raspier. She had been in class with me for the past year or so, and I never put it together. I only knew her by her first name. But, now…she was Bess MOTTA.

OMG. I didn’t know what to do. I had to say something. My ’80s teen fitness idol was sitting three feet away from me. But, I didn’t want to make a complete jackass out of myself. Finally, there was a change-out in the booth. I took a breath and mustered the following:

“Hey Bess.” She turned. “I have to ask you something that is a little personal. By any chance, did you lead an aerobics show in the ’80s entitled the 20 Minute Work…”

“Yep,” she said, interrupting me and laughing. “That was me.”

And then it began…complete and utter verbal vomit. I just gushed about how Amy and I LIVED for her workouts. How we never missed an episode. How we were in the best shape of our lives thanks to her. How I searched for leotards to match hers. And on, and on and ON!

She took it like a champ and was so gracious. She shared more about the experience working on the show. I was speechless. Thank God, I had already done my two turns in the booth because there was no more concentrating after that. I felt 13 all over again. I pulled out my phone to text Amy. Bess stopped me and said, “Don’t text your BFF. Let’s send her a photo.”

ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME???? THIS IS AWESOME. 

So, we did. And here it is…

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I called Amy first thing the next morning and relayed the entire story. I think her jaw is still on the floor. For the next 30 minutes, we had one of the best trips down memory lane. It was joy in its purest form.

I thought I was lucky to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience of meeting a teen idol when I met Rick Springfield 16 years ago. I stayed on a high for days. But, to have this happen again, well, it’s beyond a blessing. I am still filled with immense bliss for memories gone by. The energy is intoxicating. My wish is for everyone to have this sort of experience once in their lives.

For those of you who never experienced the “20 Minute Workout,” you may also remember Bess from the original “Terminator” movie. She played Sarah Connor’s roommate who gets killed by the Terminator. (I can just hear the “Oh yeahhhhhhhs” going on).

The best part about this entire experience…I get to be in class with Bess as long as she and I keep participating in the workout group. A real chance to get to know one of my idols and perhaps develop a friendship. 

If that happens, fabulous. If not, it’s still fabulous. Because I was blessed with having a full-circle moment that I will treasure forever.

Now…where ARE my leg warmers!

Wanna make God laugh? Make a plan!

August 30, 2011

I used to love planning. Outlining all of the tedious details to the very second was my equivalent of crack. And I was damn good at it.

Then, I became a mother. Suddenly, planning lost its pizzazz. Nothing ever seemed to go as I had desired. Was it me? Was it my kid? Was it Nickelodeon?

While this point became apparent to me with the birth of my eldest daughter, Emory, it became crystal clear with my youngest, Lauren.

Last year at this time, I was pregnant with little Miss L. I held a vision that it would be a picture-perfect gestational period just like her older sister. The universe had alternate arrangements.

Plan: Healthy, vibrant pregnancy. Reality: Two hospital stays, a car accident and kidney stones.

Plan: Conceive in January in order to deliver in October, my all-time favorite month. Reality: January conception … check! Delivery? September, six weeks early via emergency C-section.

Plan: Have my fabulous OB/GYN deliver my child. Reality: She was at a wedding … in India!

The day my water broke, it was Rosh Hashanah. Perfect. Only a Roman Catholic would go into labor on a High Holy Day at a Jewish hospital.

Since Lauren’s arrival, so many other things haven’t gone according to my illustrious wishes.

Plan: Leave the hospital with my child. Reality: She landed a two-week reservation in a NICU incubator.

Plan: Nurse for 6 months once she came home. Reality: Lauren wasn’t a boob gal. So dairy cow here pumped out 8 bottles a day for 24 weeks.

Plan: Bunk Lauren in our room and listen to her nightly cooing. Reality: Kicked her out after the first week because of her abhorrent grunting.

And so it went. Her first photo shoot? She scowled. Christmas morning toys? She ate wrapping paper. One simple morning at church for a little Mommy & Me bonding with Jesus? She farted so bad, I had to jump pews because of the smell, only to get into our new spot and have her throw up in my face.

CALGON!

Admittedly, I am recovering control freak. And I agree that planning does have its place. But, I see now how much more productive it is to be in the moment. I’ve learned to have “a rough idea” versus a “set-in-stone/this-is-how-it-will-be-dammit” plan of attack.

Because when you get that invested in an outcome, you’re dangling a big ole carrot in front of the universe. And sometimes, the Universe can be one hungry bunny!

Lost in Yonkers with unwrapped candy and ringing cell phones

February 13, 2010

There is nothing that I love more than live theatre – whether starring in a production or taking one in.  Unfortunately, due to motherhood, my time is limited to do either.  But, this past week, I got a “Mommy Night Out.”  I actually donned a cute outfit, applied REAL make-up and went to see my friend, Kelly, tear up the stage in a fantastic production of Lost in Yonkers at the Repertory East Playhouse (which by the way, only plays for 2 more weekends, for you LA folk, and is something NOT to miss).

Unfortunately, though, the experience wasn’t everything that it could have been because of fellow theatre patrons, who obviously need to be briefed on some common-sense “do’s and don’ts” when taking in a live show.  As an actor myself, this is something I’m passionate about.  And guess what?  Now you get to be enlightened.

Presenting Brooke’s tips of what to do when watching a play:

  • Turn off your cell phone – I get that we live in the age of “constant communication.”  But, guess what?  The world is going to keep on movin’ and shakin’ while you’re out of pocket for 2-2.5 hours and you really will be able to catch up.  I promise.  So, turn off your cell phone.  You can always check it at intermission.  During my “night out at the theatre,” a woman sitting front row — literally spitting distance to the actors – gets a call in the middle of one of the most intense moments of the show.  If that wasn’t enough, she couldn’t find the damn thing to turn it off.  When she finally did, she then felt the need to exclaim … OUT LOUD … “I can’t believe my phone rang?”  We can’t either, lady!  And, I can’t believe you felt the need to let us know, too!
  • Ta-ta to texting – Similar to #1, must you text during a play?  Or check your e-mail?  Those screens on your smartphones illuminate quite brightly.  And believe it or not, we can hear those buttons clicking away.  So can the actors (I speak from personal experience on that one). You can update your Facebook page or Tweet to the world later.
  • Unwrap your candies before the show – It’s winter, and coughs linger.  That’s cool. But, how about unwrapping all of your lozenges before the show starts?  You may think that you are being very quiet, but you would be amazed at how much a one-inch square piece of paper makes when wrapped around a sticky piece of medicine.  C’mon people.
  • Take a nap earlier in the day – If are prone to falling asleep in dark places, be it a movie theatre or a live playhouse, then take a nap during the day.  The lady directly next to me missed that memo, dozed off, fell to the left with her head hanging in my space and proceeded to snore.  I kid you not.  I did mention I was on the second row, right?  Again, you’re taking away from my theatre-going experience and giving one hell of an insult to the actors.  Simply leave at intermission if you are so bored.  THAT would be more courteous.
  • And finally…SHUT UP!!!! – One of the things that makes live theatre so rewarding for an actor is the energy you get from an audience.  You know when they are with you, and when they are not.  We love laughter.  We love tears.  But, people … we don’t need vocal commentary.  The lady behind me felt the intense need to audibly express how cold she was every time the air conditioner came on.  Then, she did her best to lobby support from her fellow patrons around her … while the show was underway.  She even approached the theatre manager at intermission to rally for her cause (she lost, by the way).  Why she was cold, I have no idea.  Based on the size parka she was wearing, she must have flown in from Iceland for the show.  Do you best people and keep the commentary to yourself.

I know these all sound like common sense.  But, you would be surprised at how often these simple rules are violated.  Live theatre is nothing like going to the movies.  In a movie theatre, Julia Roberts and George Clooney can’t feel when someone is being rude like answering a phone or talking incessantly.  But, in a live production, it’s a whole different ballgame.  You have have real human beings up there, pouring their heart and soul into a performance to try and elicit some sort of emotion from you.  They are giving you a gift.  Granted, sometimes the gift is not that good.  But, it always deserves respect.

Thanks for listening.  Here’s hoping you help all of us actors and support a live theatre production in your town soon…sans cell phone!

Felt Up in Walmart

December 31, 2009

I’ve been a working actress in LA for 10 years.  And, I have yet to do a love scene on camera.  I’m not opposed to it; the opportunity has just never presented itself.  I used to think that it would be very awkward … doing the scene with so many crew people looking on.  But, thanks to my daughter, that fear has been conquered … Emory felt me up in Walmart.

Yesterday, we ventured out to the mother of all discount stores to do final New Year’s Eve meal shopping (‘cuz the days of going out on NYE are SO over).  All throughout the trip, Emory was being very needy, reaching up for me and whining. I kept pushing her little arms down, giving her kisses and continuing on with my shopping.

Then, I reached the produce department.

It was packed for some odd reason.  Everyone on the hunt for the perfect potato, including me.  All that was left was a huge 10 pound bag of Russets.  So, I squeezed myself in between three people and reached up to grab this massive bag of taters off the shelf.

As I am trying to maneuver this bag above people’s heads, I feel two little hands hit both my breasts.  I look down and Emory is palming my ta-tas.  Better yet, she then started squeezing them … as if she had scored two rolls of Charmin!  I guess she had a flashback to that lovely six-month period from June-December 2008 when I was her dairy cow.  Em, I hate to tell you, sweetheart, but those udders dried up a LONG time ago.

After I recovered from my shock, I burst into hysterical laughter.  Seriously, who gets felt up by their own kid?  In public?  At a Walmart?

I gently released her grip from my mammary glands, gave her a kiss and headed for the check-out lane.  Don’t know if anyone saw it happen, probably so, which makes it that more hilarious.

So, I guess in 2010, I have nothing to fear with a love scene that takes me to second base!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Mommy’s New “F” word

October 22, 2009

No, it doesn’t rhyme with “duck.”  It’s not even close to “diggin.”  It’s actually an uppity-sounding, three-syllable utterance.  Ready?  FLATULENCE.

Yeah, you heard right.  The fancy way of saying “farting.”  Now, I’m not one for potty humor. But, this is something that truly perplexes me.  Before I begin, a bit of back story.

I was the girl growing up who NEVER tooted in public.  If I had to do that God-forsaken act, I would run far away into a field, amidst the trees and then let a tiny one eek out.  Even into my first year of marriage, my husband had never heard me pass gas.  I’m Southern.  It just wasn’t done.  It’s the law.

And then…I got pregnant.

Suddenly, perpetual flatulence descended upon me.  The books all said it was normal.  Hubby and I laughed it off, and then chuckled ‘til we cried when it became an hourly occurrence in the last few weeks before the baby arrived.

But, then I gave birth.  So, the flatulence should have left, right?  WRONG.  My daughter is now 16 months old and I can’t remember a “flatulence-free” day.  Let me paint a picture of some of the more memorable occurrences:

  • Going downstairs carrying a load of laundry.  I tooted the entire flight of 20 stairs…a good 10 seconds straight.
  • Reaching for a package of curtains from the top shelf at a linens store…right as the sales assistant walks by.  I left…sans curtains.
  • Accepting communion at Sunday Mass.  Yep, right at the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • And the most mortifying, consoling my husband after he returned from putting our cat, Lucy, to sleep.  (But, that one DID lighten a very difficult moment).

I have NO idea when they are coming.  It’s not something I can sense.  They just appear…like a pimple on prom night.  I will say that they are odorless bursts of air.  But, that doesn’t comfort me.  There’s still THE SOUND.  It’s like slowly letting the air out of the bladder of a basketball.

I’m certain this is related to giving birth.  Things have shifted, stretched, you name it.  But, if memory serves, my daughter did not come out that particular hole.  I’m hoping it will cease in time.  Meanwhile, it’s just another wild and wacky part of my life.

So, you must be thinking, “Why on Earth is she posting this blog?”  A couple of reasons.

#1 — I am a comedic actress who is dedicated to finding the humor in my life (and this takes the cake right now).

#2 – I hope to make YOU laugh and brighten your day (you deserve it).

#3 – I want to find other moms who can relate.  We must bond (and giggle) about this affliction.

Are you plagued with the “F” word?  Let’s hear it!

Hello world!

August 17, 2009

Being an actress can be quite amusing at times.  Couple that with being a mother of a 14-month-old, and oh, the comedy just flows.

Hi, I’m Brooke Baumer.  Welcome to MommyActs.  I’m creating this blog to chronicle my hilarious adventures as a new mom to my beautiful daughter, Emory.  Oh, and yeah, the stories will hopefully weave their way into another one-woman show or series of Webisodes.  “Create your own magic.”  The new four buzz words here in LaLa land.

Technically, I have no idea what I am doing.  I’m one of those gals who still PREFERS carry a daytimer so I can WRITE things down vs. storing them into a phone, Blackberry, whatever.  So, the look and feel of this blog will evolve over time as I learn my social media chops.  But, one thing is for sure (at least I hope)…to make you laugh.  We all need a bit of laughter in a world that is much too serious.

More to come. Thanks for reading. And if you enjoy, tell a friend!

Cheers,

Brooke