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Monday, December 18, 2006

And all that actor jazz

Here are my new head shots, shot by Jordan Matter.

There is a new trend in New York to have color head shots instead of the age-old black and whites. It looks strange to me, but they've become a necessity. In truth, I guess they've started to grow on me, I actually like that they show my eye color. In my opinion, getting head shots taken and then choosing the correct shot ranks #1 on the narcissism barometer. It's a lot of looking at yourself, scrutinizing every pore, and then asking your friends to do the same.

I am in such a weird business.

I found out that I didn't get an acting job I really wanted today and I am having an "I'm going to quit the business" day. These days, the "I'm going to quit the business" days are very common among most actors, and they always seem to follow an unsuccessful audition. There's nothing worse than getting very close to a job and then finding out you didn't get it. On these days it's like getting the flu--you catch it for a few days, there's nothing you can do to get rid of it, and you have to just let it run it's course. I find the best remedy is a phone call from my agent that I have another big audition for a show that I'm "perfect"for.

I sometimes wonder if I'll ever really quit the business. My friends tease me "You always say your quitting the business! You'll never do it!"

The truth is that they are right. Even though I get the "I'm going to quit the business" flu, the truth is that I honestly love what I do for a living, even when it hurts, feels unfair, and threatens to decimate my self esteem. If I didn't love it, I don't know who I'd be. That's just who I am. Sharon Wheatley, actress.

Besides, I can't quit the business. I have a stack of 200 brand new, bright and shiny color head shots.
Okay. I'll give it 200 headshots longer. More or less.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's A New Day and a New Blog

People say to me "Sharon, why don't you ever update your Blog?" And I say, "Good question. Don't know. Guess I'll do it when I'm ready."

Sometimes when I want to work out more I go out and buy new workout clothes. When I want to Blog more frequently I redesign my blog. Does this theory make sense to anyone but me? So, welcome to my new and improved Blog. Okay--my skills are limited, but it's better than it was.

Allow me to step up onto my soap box. I think, because I wrote a book, I put a lot of pressure on myself to have an arc to my blog writing. It must be well developed, have a beginning, a middle and an end and ultimately have a theme. A little morsel for the reader to take with them as they float back out into cyber space.

I think this kind of perfectionism is slowing me up, so I'm not gonna do it. I'm not. Can't make me. But be warned...this may just be dribble. A frothy way to pass the time, kinda like watching a Friends rerun for the 49th time. What are you going to get out of it? Maybe nothing. But still, it's a fun way to pass the time.

Okay...what did I do today? First of all, I went off my diet. It's so stupid that I was even on a diet to begin with. I wrote an entire book about self acceptance and overcoming weight issues...I even give my clothing size in my book (I'm a 12). See, I just did it again. No one wants people to know their size, but I tell everyone. I'm a size 12, size 12, size 12. Hi! My name is Sharon and I'm a size 12. I used to be a size four, but I was also a size 22. Now I'm a 12. How are you?

So I quit eating flour and sugar for about 6 weeks because I found some book called The No Sugar, No Flour Diet. I actually paid $14.95 of my hard earned unemployment money on this book, just to find out that all the information I needed was on the cover. No flour, no sugar. That's the diet. I didn't even have to open the book. I didn't even need to take it off the shelf. All the information was right there for me on the cover. But, I buy things. That's what I do. God Bless America.

So, I went off sugar and flour mostly because my friend Brynn has started to eat only raw food and that seems so healthy...I didn't want to go raw (that's just CRAZY...I need things COOKED!) but I decided that I did need to be healthier and I love sugar and flour. Especially together... my favorite food is a chocolate cupcake. A sugar and flour festival.

So I starved myself off of sugar and flour, and it was hard. HARD, I tell you! Halloween was torture. After a while, I was so proud of myself for cutting out sugar and flour that I started to add things in...things that aren't sugar or flour....like potatoes (meaning french fries) and corn (meaning tortilla chips). Brynn eats nuts all the time and she's skinny...I think I'll eat nuts...you get the point, and you won't be surprised by the outcome. Yeah, I didn't lose any weight. Not a pound.

So to say that I "went off" my diet is actually deceiving considering that I eliminated french fries and tortilla chips and put back cereal and light bread.

This is why I don't diet anymore. I'm a lunatic.

So the other thing I did today (after having a "light" English muffin--which tasted sooo good) was I had an audition for THE LITTLE MERMAID which is soon to be on Broadway. I don't know when it's coming to Broadway--don't ask me--if I get the job I'll see the dates on my contract and until then I don't need to know. I think I did well--I don't want to speculate--but I sang three songs and I was told that I was "very entertaining." I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Tomorrow I am off to Moravian College in Bethlehem PA to do a speaking engagement. I'm very excited to go--Bethlehem should be all decked out for Christmas and the campus looks gorgeous from the website. I am going to speak about bringing out the best qualities of yourself. I think my best quality is that I can say "I am a proud size 12 and occasionally I love a good chocolate cupcake."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The world according to Google. My book is a "Best Summer Read"

Are you looking for a good beach read? According to The Wall Street Journal, my book is a great choice to take on your summer vacation.

Imagine my surprise when one morning a couple of weeks ago, I Googled the title of my book (Despite a nagging feeling of "this is incredibly self centered" I do this every morning just to see what's going on--if a newspaper has reviewed me, if my picture showed up on a Broadway website, or most likely--if Oprah decided to book me on her show without telling my publicist--okay, a girl can dream.) ANYWAY, there I sat in my little sublet on the east side of Manhattan in a pre-coffee haze, when low and behold, under 'Til the Fat Girl Sings, up comes....
ABC News: Beach Reads: Hot New Books for the Summer
I suddenly perked up as if I'd had a double shot latte. ABC? BEACH READ? HOT NEW BOOKS? Why was this coming up? Google must be wrong. I blinked. I clicked.
According to Google, I was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best summer reads among such famous authors as Anne Tyler, John Updike, James Patterson, Robin Cook, Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme and many others including ME...Sharon Wheatley. AND the books had been featured on Good Morning America. AND (according to Google) I had missed it.

Seriously? How do you miss your book on Good Morning America? I fired off an e-mail to my trusty publicist Beth, and I received a quick answer, an out-of-office reply. She was on vacation. So was my editor. So was my agent. So was, apparently, everyone! My inbox was full of infuriating "Out of Office" replies. How could everyone be on vacation the day my book turned up in a mystery listing that had something to do with Good Morning America and The Wall Street Journal? Then I thought about it--what was the date? Oh wait, it was the fourth of July. Everyone with any good sense was on a beach (hopefully reading my book!) unlike my husband and my daughter and I...we were pounding the steamy pavement trying to find an affordable apartment in the concrete jungle we call home--Manhattan. Not the place that pops to mind as an "ideal" fourth of July get-away.

When everyone returned from vacation, it turns out my Google information was accurate. I had, indeed, been selected for the list. As a first time author, I am honored to be selected, and as an avid "Googler" I leave you with this thought. Go for it--Google your name! You just might be surprised what comes up--and it will never, ever, be an "out of office" reply.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


“Sharon, I have an audition for you.”
My agent, Penny, talked at lightning speed, and I knew from past experience that she would not slow down or repeat the information. I looked around frantically and grabbed the nearest writing supplies: a purple crayon and a Cinderella coloring book.
Calls from Penny were few and far between after I got pregnant. Which didn’t surprise me then, but now, a year after I’d had Charlotte, I was still having trouble getting auditions. There are thousands of actors in New York City, and getting auditions is always tough—but I’d heard through the grapevine that most producers didn’t believe I’d accept work, assuming that I’d prefer to stay home with the baby. I’d planned on being a working mom, and I hate it when people make assumptions, so I made a point of pride to go to every audition I was offered, no matter what it was.
“What’s it for?” I asked, crayon poised.
“The Broadway production of Cats. Jennyanydots, the Gumbie Cat.”
“Mmm-hmm.” I wrote Cats Broadway Jennysomething next to Cinderella’s pumpkin. I knew very little about Cats except that it was a dance show that had been running on Broadway forever. As primarily a singing actor, I never thought I’d get an audition for it, so I’d never paid it any mind. But any Broadway audition is a good thing, and I was desperate for a steady job.
“Your audition is on Tuesday, May 31, at 10 a.m. at the Winter Garden Theater. Bring two contrasting songs, and be prepared to dance.”
“Dance?” I stopped writing. “I have to dance?” I was thrilled at the idea of auditioning at the famous Winter Garden Theater, but that one terrible little word caused my heart to race.
“It’s Cats.” Penny sighed her I hate stupid actors sigh. “That’s what the cats do. They dance. Now, there will be a jazz combination followed by a tap combination, and then they will make a cut. Those asked to stay will sing and then dance again. They said to be prepared to—”
“I have to dance two combinations, and then there’s a cut?”
“Yes.” Sigh again. “That’s what they said.”
I’d been to dance auditions before, but only after I’d had the chance to win them over with my acting and singing first. Called “movement” calls, these post-singing dance auditions are filled with a bunch of nervous singers in dance clothes unworn since theater school. Movement calls are pretty easy, since the choreographer is just checking to make sure that we won’t fall down. Usually the “dancing” is simple, limited to a “step, touch” while we snap our fingers.
But this wasn’t a movement call. This was Cats—real live Broadway dancing—and I’d have to dance first. I’d have to buy real dance clothes, crawl around on the stage, and remember complicated dance combinations that I didn’t have the skills to execute.
“I can’t do this.” The real dancers would trample me. I pictured myself in a lumpy, sweaty mess on the stage. “You know I don’t turn down auditions, especially for Broadway, but I’ll make a total ass out of myself. Tell them thanks, but no thanks.”
“You should go.” Penny was adamant.
“They’ll never hire me. They’re looking for a dancer.”
“It’s a job on Broadway,” Penny said. “You could be home with Charlotte.”
I knew Penny was frustrated with me, but that couldn’t be helped. “I’m not what they’re looking for. This would be a waste of time.”
I hung up, feeling depressed. It had been so hard getting auditions lately, and it killed me to have to turn something down—especially a job on Broadway. The phone rang again. It was Penny, talking faster than ever in her I have important information speed. “Okay, look. I called and told them you said no, and they said they want you to come in anyway. Apparently dance skills aren’t that important. They are looking for personality.”
“Penny, you know why I can’t do this audition.” It was my turn to sigh. “I’m too fat to be a cat!”
“What are you talking about?” Penny sounded astounded. “You look great! You’ve lost all your baby weight.”
True, but this was different. This was Cats. The cast members had a median weight of about twenty-seven pounds and they’d been in dance class since the age of two. These cats wore slinky, figure-hugging spandex from head to toe. Even at my prebaby thinnest, I didn’t have a gorgeous dancer body worthy of display in spandex. “Cats is different.”
“Okay,” said Penny in her I’m staying calm with this neurotic actor voice. “You have some weird hang-ups about this. I’m going to call back and tell them you’re coming. You spend the weekend clearing your head. If you really don’t think you can do it, I’ll call and cancel on Monday.” I heard the phone ring in her office.
“I’ve got to get that. Talk to you Monday.” And she hung up.
I pushed the off button and resisted the urge to throw my phone out the window. I looked at Charlotte, who was trying to force a square toy from her shape sorter into a round hole. She banged it over and over again, and then grunted in frustration. “Hey kiddo, try this.” I flipped the toy and showed her the match, the square hole. Charlotte grabbed the toy and went back to her square peg–round hole combination, banging it over and over again, trying to make it fit. I gave her a big kiss and said, “Oh, baby. I know just how you feel.”

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year
My weight was going up and up...

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine
I guess I'm about 3 or so? Nice tan!