A Behind the Scenes Look At My Process

Originally posted at Medium

I recently got an email asking about my latest appearance on Madam Secretary and I thought I’d draw a cartoon about the whole thing.

Here was the email:

Wow!! I saw your episode last night and I’m blown away! So I had a question that you partially answered with a tweet. Do you speak Russian? At all? I saw that you had to learn 4 pages but did you have any background in the language. Also, your accent was amazing!!! Did you ever study the accent or did you just learn it when you got the audition?

If you’re curious why they wanted a Korean woman to speak Russian, it was because I was playing a person from Kyrgyzstan. I can pass for their people.<

SOMEHOW by a MIRACLE I auditioned and got a:

As I was leaving the building, I ran into a girl in the bathroom speaking Russian.

This girl who auditioned for the same role spoke into my phone all of the lines. She really was such an angel.

So I learned from experience that doing a foreign language takes time.

Especially since this was FOUR PAGES of high level Russian.

I made sure to get my head straight and gave myself a reality distortion field that I would not book this job. I wasn’t a native speaker so might as well rock this audition for another audition.

I walked into the room:


Now this is where the REAL PANIC set in. There was no way I was going to be able to speak four pages of Russian.

I could barely pronounce ONE word of Russian let alone four pages.

After I met Katya I was so impressed by her story of moving from Russia and coming to the United States to live.

All I had was four pages of a script. This was doable.

Her courage gave me courage.

On the day of the shoot I was super confident with my lines. I knew them in and out. I knew I could do them inside an exploding building.

This allowed me to calm down and be a pro.

Here was my wardrobe.

We were the last shot of the day. If we messed this up it could be a late night for the crew. My biggest nightmare is a cast and crew of hundreds milling about while stumbling unprepared.

Luckily, that didn’t happen.

We rocked it in a few takes and we quickly wrapped.

Working with director Robert J. Greenlea was terrific. It was so cool to work with him because of his positive energy and spirit of play — even after a long day.

Rob Yang who played the president of Kyrgyzstan is an outstanding actor and person and I’m so glad I got a chance to work with him.

So due to a lot of hard work, my training and pure gumption, I overcame my fear and ended up having an amazing shoot. Thank you, Madam Secretary for a terrific experience!

If you see the episode, you can’t even hear me speak Russian at all. But believe me I did it.

If you like this, please consider sharing with your friends 🙂 Thank you!

If this is the first time we’ve met, I’m an actress & artist who cares about peace.

Check out my short film: See Me, See You which deals with cops, race, humor & relationships.

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