Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Radioactive

As promised, this blog has become a place to share with you the things that I learn along my creative journey. My hope is that maybe somebody out there can benefit somehow from the milestones and set-backs that I experience and share.

I recently shot a music video and sang with the Salt Lake Pops Orchestra at the Grand Theater in Salt Lake City Utah.  The SLPops is an orchestra that focuses on modern pop music and brings in artists to sing with them.  I met the director of the orchestra two years ago and co-wrote a song with him for a cine-play called "Rings of the Tree" and was invited back to sing a song with his orchestra.

I was called up the day before Nathaniel wanted to record and asked to learn the song "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons (which I had never heard before at the time.)  I went to his studio to record the next day and learned two key changes on the spot that he added in as well as singing with a half second delay because the equipment was broken.  I felt pretty proud of myself for going with the flow and trusting that it would be cleaned up in post. The whole thing was nerve-wracking, but exhilarating at the same time.  I enjoy the pace that Nathaniel works at and his "just do it" attitude.  He's one of the people in my life that have inspired me to just "put it out there" without waiting for it to be perfect. Often times perfection doesn't come and the person who refuses to move forward because of imperfection never stretches and never grows.

I was asked to shoot the music video with short notice as well.  I was in the middle of a film shoot and only had one day available to shoot the video with the orchestra.  Luckily it fell on the same day and I just went for it.

I had a lot of fun singing with the orchestra.  Their music is so beautiful and I am simply awe inspired by what they create.  I felt so grateful to be a part of it.

A few months later the music video was released and the youtube feedback from the fans were overwhelmingly negative.  They didn't like several things about the video, but mainly they didn't like me.

At first it was hard to swallow. I knew that the negative comments would continue to come, so I had to learn to somehow be okay with it.  After all, they didn't know what circumstances we had recorded under, the time and budget crunch we had to work with, and I was being compared to the original singer.

I think that's what finally made me okay with it.  I knew they were comparing our piece to the original and it was a much different feel.  I also knew that people were unaware of what circumstances we had recorded under, the time and budget crunch we had to work with, and I was being compared to the original singer.

I was asked to sing live with the orchestra for that weekend and part of me wanted to back out.  Finally I decided that even if people didn't like it, I could live with that.  What I could not live with is being a coward.  Backing out of something just because I was afraid of what other people thought.  I love music and singing and I decided that's what really mattered.  A quote came to my mind and gave me the courage to continue:

"Man in the Arena”

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt


Those words continue to inspire me and continue to make me want to go out and try new things.  This particular video may not have been a "success" but I can tell you that I believe it's a stepping stone and that other ones will be stepping stones as well, through failure & success.

One thing I HAVE learned since then is the importance of contracts. SLPops released the video before my consent and had not fully fixed the delay I was asked to record with. The result was a very innacurate representation of my abilities, and I paid the price through internet slaughter. The only redemption that came from the experience was learning my worth is not determined by the opinions of others & continuing to get up every time I fall.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The actors workshop: TAW

Last night was my first night back at The Actors Workshop in Salt Lake City.  It's an intensive course where you perform monologues and scenes that are filmed and broken down in the class.  The concepts and words of wisdom that stood out to me were:
  • Key words
  • Rhythm
  • Pacing
  • Levels
  • Variance
  • Beats
  • Listening


Acting is about bringing the passion. Passion in whatever emotion it is you're feeling.  It's emotionally draining to prepare and perform a scene but by that same token it also fills me up.  I feel most alive when I'm doing this and when I'm surrounded by other people who love the same thing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gearing up

When I'm not on set I'm studying my craft.  Next week I film a commercial and industrial and am also making my directorial debut for a new youtube series I'm creating of "Defining Moments" in peoples lives.

I'm taking an acting class with Michael Flynn at The Actors Workshop that starts this week. I'll be sharing with you the things I learn and take away from the workshop.

Have you ever heard of "The Opus"?  It's a new video made by the creators of "The Secret".  An Opus is a legacy you leave behind not because of what you accomplish but because of what you become along the way and how you share that with others.

My Opus is to share this journey with you.  I believe life is meant to be lived with passion and we should inspire each other to live our individual dreams!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Growth

Hi blog,
It's been awhile.  I feel like I've been inspired as to how I want to better use what you provide.  Back in the blogging heyday when all of my friends and I were blogging it was such a new and exciting thing.  For most people it was a documentation of their lives, but many soon moved to facebook and now are on instagram as an easier way to document and share.

Over the course of many years I've realized that not everything is meant to be out all in one place.  There is truly a time and place for everything.  I started separating my personal from my professional life over all of my social networks and have discovered this to work best for me.

This particular blog was always dedicated to my art but rather than expressing my thoughts, experiences, and growth with my art, I used it more as a tool to document rather than share things I had learned along the way. I want to share the things I learn with you.  I want to share this journey and hopefully help other performers with the things I learn. I would also LOVE to hear your thoughts and the lessons you learn.






Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thoughts

As actors we get to vicariously live and make sense of situations that we otherwise wouldn't be able to in real life. It's one way of dealing with real life. People who need creative outlets feel things deeply and as a result experience the highs and lows of life more poignantly than those who don't feel the need for creative outlets. It can feel like a curse sometimes to feel things so intensely but with every curse comes a blessing, and that blessing is art.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Acting Demo Reel

I've got some great new clips coming in and I'm still learning how to edit, but in the mean time here is my updated acting reel! :)

Acting Reel from Kristen Jensen on Vimeo.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hello Bloggy blog!

It's been a GREAT year in acting and I wanted to post some of the fun jobs I've had.

In February I booked a series of commercials for "Orchard Hardware" that were shot in San Diego.  I flew out with a fun cast and crew and was able to get out of the Utah smog when it was at it's worst.  The shoot was so fun and the cast all got along so well. 

In March I booked a lead role in a film about 911.  I played a flight-attendant aboard the airplane that hit the first tower. It was quite an intense part. It's a short film that will be going to different film festivals next year.  I'm really excited about this one.


I also booked commercials and industrials for IHC, Deseret Book, and FrontPoint.

I am now currently preparing to play a role this month in a new Christian film where I give birth.  I am definitely "pushing" myself as an actor. ;)  I feel very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way after many many years of hard work.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I have a new website

Finally! A place to house what I do. :)

www.KristenMjensen.com