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Le Scandale

So that thing that I flew out to LA to audition for... It was an episode of ABC's "SCANDAL". And that thing I was celebrating in Palm Springs? That would be the fact that I booked the part! I figure it's safe to say so now since I just wrapped my shoot. No spoilers though! I signed away the life of my first born child in non-disclosure agreements. Oh what a day, what a day.

In whatever our profession, we all have days. We have days when it feels really good to do what we do, but we also have days when we feel like total crap about what we do. Some days I'm sure it's really fun to be a lawyer or an accountant, and then other days I'm quite sure it isn't. Professions in the arts, though rarely associated with "work" by the outside world, are the same.

Most days it is really hard to be an actor. The constant scrutiny, and the need to fit a mold prescribed by someone behind a table. Never knowing when your next job will come along and having to make do waiting tables or by taking care of someone else's kids in the meantime. And the PEOPLE. Oh my goodness other actors can be the WORST. I was at a callback for a musical a few months ago and had been asked to stay and dance. While I was changing into my dance clothes are girl walks in and announces to the room, "Today is my one year anniversary... (dramatic pause) ...Of being hit by a truck! Now look at me!". SHIT y'all. Just shit.

Speaking of auditions... the revolving door of "no's" is pretty tough to endure. But if you do endure it, if you stay the course, that "yes" will come, and it leads to a day or sometimes several when it feels GREAT to be an actor. In those days, just like in the good days of any profession - the day a lawyer wins a case, the day a doctor saves a life - you realize that it's all worth it.

Today was a really great day to be an actor.

In true debutante fashion, I sported some black pearls, pin curls, and Manolo Blahnik pumps prepping for my role as a DC Newscaster (as pictured). And in true Hollywood fashion, it was quite the "hurry up and wait" day. I arrived on set only to wait 6 hours before finally getting to my news desk... which was really just a green screen and a stool. Still... being on that set was one of the most amazing experiences of my career.

For inspiration, and as something to do other than recite my 7 lines over and over and OVER again in my little trailer, I made a big dent in the book I'm reading: "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century" by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. It's absolutely brilliant. Elizabeth Taylor... what a woman. What a love! A furious love... the kind of love that ruins you... the kind of love everyone knows is terrible for you in practice but that in theory is oh so delicious. Their affair and marriage was known as "Le Scandale" or "The Scandal of The Century"... I'm not sure even Olivia Pope herself could have "handled" it. Some little morsels for you:

"She was lavish. She was a dark and unyielding largesse"

- Richard Burton's first impression of Elizabeth Taylor from across a pool at a party in Los Angeles.

"Even with the paparazzi tramping over the rooftops above us... we could make love, and play Scrabble, and spell out naughty words for each other, and the game would never be finished. When you get aroused playing Scrabble, that's love, baby"

- Elizabeth Taylor on her love affair with Richard Burton while shooting "Cleopatra" in Rome.

"I am pretty enough... My best feature is my gray hairs. I have them all named; they're all called Burton."

- Elizabeth Taylor

I want to be "a dark and unyielding largesse". But I guess for tonight being a SCANDALous Newscaster will have to suffice, and if that goes well perhaps THEN I can start working toward "largesse". But see what I did there? SCANDALous. I may not play Naughty Scrabble but I can pun all night long. That has to be worth something, right? If not, at least the man waving around a big red arrow in front of the mattress store at the corner of Ventura Blvd and Kester thinks I'm "naturally beautiful". He stopped me on the street the other day to tell me so. Some women may have run away but I take compliments where I can get them. I may not have gray hairs named Burton, but I'll always have my arrow twirler on the corner.

With Grace and Good Humor,

My name is Mary Lane Haskell and my two "claims to fame" are that I have Dolly Parton's fax number and that Reese Witherspoon once liked a post on my Instagram.  I am an actor, a writer, and a profound Chipotle enthusiast making my way in Los Angeles while trying to stay true to my family's southern roots, all with grace and a touch a good humor.  I'm so glad you're here!


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