Tag Archives: Tutor

Vancouver, April, 2013 — Milestone Achieved

Standard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Teen Leaves High School to Make a Killing

Bex TK completes requirements for High School Graduation

On Friday, April 19, Bex TK fulfilled all the requirements for graduation from Bridges Academy, when the supposed “rough-draft” of her final paper on The Actor’s Studio received a solid A!

After 8 educational institutions over 16 years (9 if you include the tutoring program on set at The Killing), Bex completed her course-work AHEAD of schedule!

If we had only known that it would take a full-time job for Bex to finish High School, we might have tried that sooner!” said her mother, who is relieved to be out of a job as educational advocate for a while.

Special appreciation goes out to the producers at The Killing, who arranged for the superior tutoring services of Natalie Smith; to Natalie Smith, who faithfully shepherded Bex to completion, and to Carl Sabatino and Chris Wiebe at Bridges Academy, whose wisdom in differentiating the curriculum to engage Bex in her final semester made all the difference.

Of course, Bex gets full credit for completing the work, and persevering through years of structured learning that never really met her learning style. As Bex so aptly stated in January, “I love learning, but schooling is killing me.” Well it turns out The Killing enabled Bex to put an end to the murderous drudgery of High School studies.

On May 18, when her Paideia peers are celebrating across the stage, Bex will be calling it a wrap on The Killing — excited to return to LA with two major milestones under her belt:

  1. a completed role as a series regular in The Killing, and
  2. an accomplished high school graduate!

Vancouver, Weeks 4-5, a general Bex update

Standard

The Killing is nearing the end of filming the 3rd episode of the 2013 season. Bex has been working 12+ hour days on average, filming more days per episode than not. Her hectic schedule has included 2 special filming events on Sundays — one a full day photo shoot for the lead actors (which means the billboards are coming!), and the other a special location that required a 6 a.m. Sunday morning shoot.

Bex is truly learning what it means to be a WORKING actor: very early mornings, very late nights, and no ability to plan more than a few days ahead for the limited free time available. She’s got a stand-in, and a stunt double (don’t ask — I have NO idea why!), and has really settled into the experience like she’s been doing it for years. Oh, and if you haven’t figured it out — when she’s on set, she’s the happiest person on the planet!

Some of the exciting developments in the last couple of weeks:

  • Bex got her invitation to join the SAG-AFTRA union,
  • she got to film an entire scene by herself with virtually no lines,
  • she’s gone through special make-up that took 2 1/2 hours to apply and 1 hour to remove,
  • she’s shifted tutors and gotten her favorite one back (yay!),
  • she got a pay-check (another yay, especially since it was spent before she got it), and
  • she’s filmed in a dozen locations at all times of the day and night.

I wish I could share some of the ways the script has stretched and challenged her as an actor, but you’re going to have to wait to see that in the finished product!

I’ve heard rumors that the show will air in late May, but there’s no confirmation at this point. Please — if you read something — let us know! There’s absolutely no certainty that we’ll be the first to know. 😉

Anyway, the schedule worked out that Bex has 4 days off in a row this weekend, and so she’s taken a well-deserved break to go home to LA and refuel her tank. But she did have a little excitement just before she left. In the midst of working unusually long days Mon through Wed, we learned that different arrangements would be made for transportation. For the first time, Bex felt comfortable enough on her own to move out of the “hotel-based-apartment” she’s been living in — at a price so exorbitant it’s unbelievable — and move into an independent apartment — which is merely outrageously expensive.

Here’s another little behind-the-scenes bit about the business of producing a TV show. Because Bex is a “series regular” –meaning she will be in most of the episodes —  she has actually been hired as a “re-located” actor in Vancouver. That means that she is responsible for all of her costs — transportation, living arrangements, etc. No per diem, etc. It definitely adds a layer of complexity to everything, and so while Bex has been staying in the official hotel of The Killing — sortof a comfort zone for all of us — it’s been costly.

Bex's New Pad ...

Tuesday night, Bex decided she was ready to move into something more independent. She worked ’til after 10:30 that night, and was picked up at 6:50 a.m. Wed morning for another full day (called a “force” when she doesn’t get a 12 hour break — doesn’t happen often).

Anyway, we arranged for her to see two neighboring apartments early Thur morning with her FABULOUS tutor.

She chose one (and it’s awesome), moved in (3 suitcases and freezer full of gluten-free dinners), and was on the train to the airport by 10:30 a.m.

So when Bex returns to Vancouver on Monday for a read-through of episode 4, she’ll settle in to her 19th floor flat and enjoy the final 3 months of her adventure in true style!

That’s all for now, everyone. David and I are starting our days on the east coast at 6:30 a.m., often ending them on the west coast with Bex. It’s not that sleep is over-rated, it’s just that it’s a luxury when you’re living in a bi-coastal (and international) world… 😉

Time for us to get some sleep! Have a great weekend.

<elaine>

Thursday, Short Window, Lots to do

Standard

I don’t have a lot of time out here this visit, so there’re no wasted minutes, and people to meet.

We started off going to see Miss Alicia, the new tutor. Bex likes her, and yet there was clearly something that was holding her back from wanting to go. I needed to assess the situation and see whether I felt like it could really work. David had been over there and wasn’t clear whether the piles and piles of stuff all over the place was an episode of “Hoarders” waiting to happen, or the honest result of a publicist moving in to a new house in the middle of Pilot Season.

At the kitchen table Alicia’s assistant was trying to convert Alicia — who prefers people to technology — to a new computer. Another mother and daughter came in — I think they actually live there. We seized a lull in the activity to sit down to talk.

First, my quick assessment was that the necessary living areas — Kitchen Table, Living Room Couches, and Bathroom — were all put together and clear. No hoarders episode, just an understandably slow un-packing. Cool — we can handle that. Thanks to the dry climate, no worries of mold.  😉

It was clear that it could be a good place for Bex. Alicia gets learning style differences, and life-work balance,  the need to take breaks and run around, that some people actually need noise to concentrate, etc. Bex just needed to communicate what she needs without worrying that she was hurting Alicia’s feelings.

So I pulled out my coaching tool-box and designed an alliance between Bex and Alicia, which worked well! We left with a clear understanding of what each of them needs from the other, and what they were willing to commit to. Bex has regular hours, communication with Paideia got Alicia the information she needs, and Bex left with clear homework assignments. Confidence is high.

Lunch at Hugo’s — I’m like a homing pigeon, I can’t visit LA without at least one trip to Hugo’s. We get home at 4:45 and Bex is off to make arrangements to pay for the broken window with the people from earlier in the week (remember the pine cone?). I get a rather frantic text — yes, frantic reads in texts — to come over now, there is someone you want to meet. I have no clue what she’s talking about — this is Hollywood, so I’m thinking it might be some celebrity or something — and I find myself in a rather dark 2 bedroom apartment that is clearly a “permanent” residence. Apparently, G-d threw the pine cone through the window so that we could meet.

Candy kicks a teenager off the couch so we can sit down, and offers me a piece of cheesecake. WHY am I here, exactly? The joys of a non-communicative teenager. I listen and start piecing it together. She wants Bex to stay here and rent the second bedroom so that she can continue to stay here with her two adopted, teenage daughters. She’s not trying to convince me, or anything, but

Okay, Candy is a big woman, a former US Post Office Police Officer who has lived here with her 2 teen-age daughters for 3 1/2 years. Her husband is still a postal worker back in (I think) Wisconsin. She’s been constantly relying on “G-d to provide room-mates” so she can make it work. She doesn’t have a job any more — she was in a car accident that left her in a coma for six months and so she can’t carry a gun anymore. When they don’t have a room-mate, the husband works lots of over-time, which is hard because he has seizures. They only see each other twice a year. She would be like a second mom to Bex. I get a glimpse of her parenting style as she praises the older teen who is focused with her work, and then criticizes the younger one for not being committed. She even demonstrates for me as she yells at the kid to get off the computer, and then looks back at me with satisfaction, as if to say, “see what an attentive mom I am?” OMG!

Back to find David and figure out what we’re doing for the evening. Bex realizes its Karaoke night. We negotiate the math that needs to get done before tomorrow, and she’s outta here. There is, clearly, a lot to talk about.

And remember… I’m not a fiction writer. Who needs fiction when the characters are so creative?

<posted by Elaine>

Saturday, we meet the teens from The Izzy Show

Standard

Note: Change of the Guard #3 a success. Baton is handed to my dear friend, Lauren Zimet, and her 12 year old daughter, Brooke, who are spending their Winter Break in LA with Bex. Huge thanks to L & B for joining the journey! Bex gets some much-needed mothering for a week, and this mom back on the east coast can relax my vigilance just a notch! <etk>

Well, Brooke and I arrived in LA and were greeted by the up and coming new teen actress, Bex TK, and her faithful sidekick, Mama Jett (the “little red Jetta that can!”)

RE:Marketing …

Bex chauffeured us to the Oakwood Apts. Seeing the HOLLYWOOD sign on the mountain was pretty neat, living so close to it is really cool! Bex certainly seems to know her way around the area well! We spent a  relaxing early afternoon, getting settled and getting to know each other. Bex even offered to help Brooke with her Bat Mitzvah stuff!! (Yay yay yay Bex! Even if it doesn’t happen, the thought is just so sweet).

Bex (and Brooke) were big troopers in the afternoon. We went to Bex’s meeting to talk about Neurofeedback with QEEG Fellow Joy Lunt. Neurofeedback is apparently a well-kept secret in the industry, used by Directors, Actors and Producers to enhance their edge and increase their brain efficiency. Bex poo-poo-ed the competitive silence around it and assured Joy that, if it helps her get more organized, she’ll tell everyone she thinks it can help!

Bex managed to gracefully get through 2 1/2 hours answering a lot of questions, often going into cute stories about Mom, Dad, Bro or Sis, passionately sharing about her family in the answers to some questions about herself! We face-timed and conferenced with Mama E, and I was glad to be there to be of support to Bex in this new situation. Fortunately, Joy seems genuine and definitely knows her stuff. She showed us a demo, but I’m not sure any of the 3 of us actually “got” it. Should be interesting, for sure.

We had dinner at Zpizza in Burbank – great Cesar salad and GF pizza. We wound up talking to a producer, Charles Gooch, of a new teen show, The Izzy Show. The actors were singing & dancing in this promenade area, and quickly caught Bex’s and Brooke’s attention. The producer was quite enthused to get Bex’s resume/head shot and told her to come to the show next Sunday. Who knows what may possibly come out of this impromptu meeting. The last time somebody random met her, Bex’s video ended up getting sent directly to Scot Baio!

The producer introduced Bex to all the other teen actors – it was neat to see Bex ‘in action,’ at the right place at the right time.

Home for more acting “research” (lol) watching TV! Funny, it seems fine for Brooke to watch these shows here, even though she typically doesn’t at home. She’s helping Bex with her research 🙂 Certainly a good way to end a VERY long day!

Classic LA — Monday — It must be a cult revival support group

Standard

Bex started “school” today. It’s really a very cool arrangement. For a set fee, there is a tutor on site in the conference room at the Oakwood Apartments, Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Studio school guarantees a maximum of a 5:1 ratio, and they will bring in special tutors for subject areas, as needed. So we met with Joanne, and Bex finished up the last of her Science Olympiad class from Short Term – which there was absolutely not a moment to do last week! – and we started to settle into a routine.

Bex came home and reported that the little kid in the room has ADHD (which I figured after watching him for about 2 minutes) and the tutor has no idea how to manage it. So – you’ll love this – Bex offered to give her some pointers about how to help him. I love this kid! In any event, she’s feeling clear and confident, and that’s a great way to start the next semester tomorrow.

Tonight Bex went to class, and I drove over to Beverly Hills for a very LA evening. First, I circled a tiny parking lot with an attendant on duty, in a mini-strip mall, where the oversized Mercedes and SUVs took the compact parking spots, waiting for a parking space – still the easiest parking at 5:30 in Beverly Hills. The attendant eventually stewarded me into a 15 min only parking spot, greasing the sides of Mama Jett so I could squeeze into this tiny space between two white cars (you know, where red paint can really be visible!)

About an hour later, through the coffee shop window, I saw the attendant walking away, and I took it as a sign that it was time to move on, just in case. So I drove to the classic Saban Theater on Wilshire Blvd, where every Monday evening Marianne Williamson teaches a class from the Course of Miracles. It was a wild adventure: part cult, part Christian tent revival, and part New Age support group. I sat near a woman who was an unbelievable piece of work – perfectly put together with fabulous Salt and Pepper hair, a Red sweater on and her decorative shawl draped to prevent anyone from sitting right next to her, perfect lipstick, looking somehow both nearly natural and well coiffed. I later learned that she is an “Image Therapist” – a title and career of her own creation. Hmmmm…  To my right were others, engaging in conversation as the room slowly began to fill, including an Energy Worker from Atlanta, visiting her son in LA, who happens to know Diane. Go figure!

I don’t think I’d go back again to that particular course – one evening of a nice Jewish girl talking about the Christ within was enough – but I was thrilled to be there, to hear a wonderfully intelligent lecture, and to be surrounded by others who were engaged and stretching themselves to follow her heady philosophical discourse.

That kind of evening is hard to find in Atlanta, for sure!

<etk>