2009 In Review

As this decade (wow) draws to a close, I’d like to take a minute to tie up all my loose ends – including one apology and one resolution.

The Apology:
I have been extremely lax in regards to updating my news feed. I apologize profusely to my family, friends, and friends who have become family – I do receive your emails and well wishes! Not to sound like a diva (*shudder*) but I do read every one; I’m just really terrible when it comes to the responding part. I truly appreciate all your support as I work my way through these first few “post-school, real world” years…I’m already at the door, and I can feel it starting to give – I just know that with a few more good hits, it’ll be kicked wide open! Or at least cracked. Which brings us to…

The Resolution:
I really like the idea of starting each year with a clean slate and fresh goals to attain. Y’all know me: I’m the over-achiever who actually sticks to these resolutions and works her lil’ tushie off to reach those goals! So let it be said that I – Lipica Shah – officially resolve to improve my correspondence skills, increase my networking ability, and keep everyone in the loop this year. This promise includes a commitment to update this news feed AT LEAST once a month, and respond to all emails, phone calls, carrier pigeons, etc. in a timely fashion.

And finally…my 2009 in Review. I’m OK with the fact that I use a lot of exclamation marks. I hope you are too 🙂

The Top 10 Things I am Most Proud of Accomplishing This Year (Acting-related):

10) Getting in shape! Now, this might seem like a stock answer (or a stock resolution), but I have struggled with body image for years. At an audition a few months ago, I looked around the room – at people I was essentially competing with – and realized I needed to kick my ass into gear if I wanted to be a) taken seriously in this (oft superficial) industry and b) competitive in this industry at all. So I did. I’ve never felt better in my own skin! The hard part will be maintaining this program (NOT diet…diet is a four letter word with bad connotations) through the holiday season and beyond. But hey, if I made it through Thanksgiving – all 4 of them – I feel like I can do anything.

9) In 2009, I auditioned at least once for every show that shoots in New York City – I even got callbacks for a few! Booking one of those roles is the goal for 2010. And now that those casting directors have seen me, all I have to do is maintain the relationship, stay on their radar (see “The Resolution,” above), and continue doing good work.

8) I’m in a textbook! At the very end of 2008, I auditioned to be a new character in the I-Zone English Learning Textbook Series, popular in Asia and the Middle East. Todd Rucynski, the director, cast me (a wise decision, if I do say so myself haha) and Maya was created. I had a blast working with everyone to create the DVD segments and the preliminary trailers and specs look great!

7) Yet another CollegeHumor video…this time a parody of the Twilight Saga, Twilight: Three Wolf Moon. What I love about working with CH (aside from the constant hilarity on set!) is they like working with the same people over and over. So the first time I worked with them (the ER parody) I was in the background, the second time (Slumdog Price is Right) I had some nice screen time, and this time I’ve got a line. Can’t wait to work with them again! In the meantime, check out Twilight: Three Wolf Moon below.

6)Dov and Ali! I’ve already written about my time in Chester, Massachusetts this past summer – it really was wonderful to be on stage again. Thanks to the cast and crew for a great (and interesting – Uncle Larry’s? The Dreamaway? Sinking the canoe?) time!

5) I’m on IMDb! A few films I’ve worked on have completed, are in, or will be entering the festival circuit – thus, I’ve got some IMDb cred 🙂 Just go to www.imdb.com and type in my name, or click HERE to see my page.

4) I am so thankful and proud to be signed with Bloc NYC Agency. Jim, Fatima, and Tony (and Liz – miss you!) you guys are wonderful. Thank you for your patience and hard work – I’ve learned SO much just this year…the sky’s the limit for next year!

3) For anyone who doesn’t know yet, I’m currently in pre-pre-production (haha) for Bornila Chatterjee’s upcoming feature, Oh Sophia. It will be my first feature, and I play the lead, Diya, an introvert who comes out of her shell in this pseudo-fractured love story. What’s wonderful is us actor-types have the opportunity to create our characters – and, in turn, influence the story’s creation – because we’re doing all this work now, even though we won’t shoot til summer. I can’t wait to work with y’all at Peresempio again 🙂

2) Thanks to my five-week stint at the Chester Theatre Company performing as Sameh in Dov and Ali (see #6), I am now a proud, card-carrying member of the Actors Equity Association! Being in the AEA has opened many doors for me, as far as auditions go, and – as I take more advantage of its benefits – will open many more.

1) The past few months have been kind of quiet on the audition front, and (I think) I’ve been using my time wisely. Instead of sitting around and whining (which…OK I’m sure I did for at least a few days), I’ve been busybusybusy taking classes and workshops with Casting Directors all over NYC. My goal was to meet someone from every major network before pilot season begins in January. And I did it. I’ve met and been seen by CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, the WB, and Law and Order, and received very positive feedback. I’m not gonna lie, a lot of their comments made me feel…I don’t know…validated? As an unknown actor right now, it made me feel damn – dang – no, damn – good to receive their praise. Some highlights:

“I know you say you’re all about ‘drama’ and ‘CSI’ and stuff…but I LOVE the sitcom genre for you. You were able to maintain [character’s] neurosis even through the serious moments.” ~Michal Zecher (CBS Primetime), after my audition in her workshop.

“Wow…Smart, fun, interesting, engaging, unique…Everything I look for and want in an actor…sit down.” ~Marci Phillips (ABC Primetime), after my audition in her workshop.

“Wow…I’d give you adjustments if I thought you needed it.” ~Clint Alexander (FOX Primetime), after my audition in his workshop.

I’m SO ready for pilot season…Bring it on.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year – see you in 2010!

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