What To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

There are times when the ideas just won’t come. I’m stuck on a lyric, or I can’t find my way into the skin of a character, or my audition prep feels uninspired. A lot of artists have different activities that help them through these blocks, and it’s super important to identify the ones that help you.

I was reminded, recently, of one of my favorite inspirational activities. Now that Spring is here in Los Angeles, I’ve started running again.

Who am I kidding, it’s always great weather here, so what’s my excuse? The fact is, between my different odd jobs of teaching, playing piano, and auditioning around town, I found myself stuck in my car a lot, sitting in traffic. Not the most inspirational of milieus. Continue reading What To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

How to Fight Like an Artist in the Time of Trump

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what precisely I, as an artist, can do to counter the sociopolitical climate of this moment. I am unwilling to fall victim to despair, while at the same time I recognize a sense of helplessness – particularly when it comes to sharing the truth. Our leaders have become misleaders. Our social media have become less social, more media. And the press is now suspect both to those who wish to subvert the facts and those who are seeking them out.

Therefore, I feel that it falls to artists to follow through, more so now than ever, on their job description of holding a mirror up to society. We must tell the truth.

Here are a few thoughts about how we, as artists, can use our craft, our talents, and our art to more fruitfully fulfill our calling moving forward. Continue reading How to Fight Like an Artist in the Time of Trump

How to Improve Any Skill

When I first began teaching at USC, I was hesitant, afraid. “Those who can’t…” kept ringing in my head. I didn’t want to focus too much time and energy training other people to do what I was still focusing on perfecting myself.

The past few years of teaching acting has proven me very wrong. Rather than sapping my attention away from my skills, it has only honed them and made them all the more available to me in my professional career.

It reminded me of the time I spent helping my friends with their homework in grade school. My friend Danny was not very good at math. So I would sit with him and work through the problems, step by step, going through the process we had learned. Doing this allowed me to solidify the process in my own head. When it came time for the test, I now had double the practice and confidence to do well.

If you want to improve something you know how to do, all you have to do is teach it to someone else. Here’s a list of things you’ll find: Continue reading How to Improve Any Skill

Put Down the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

06df506cfd01c09b6b876f0ff00c4dbcIt’s not your imagination – Starbucks continues to release their Pumpkin Spice Latte earlier and earlier. According to US Weekly, the news source of White Girls everywhere, “although [it] won’t officially make its way into stores until Sept. 8, some die-hard fans can get their hands around a steaming PSL early, beginning on Sept. 4.”

Soon we’ll be drinking them on July 4th weekend.

I love the Fall for many reasons – the change in the weather (yes, even here in LA), the change in the color of the leaves (not so much here in LA), and the flavors of vegetables at the farmer’s markets. Even the pumpkin.

But when it comes to Pumpkin Spice – I’d rather opt for something with a little less pumpkin and a little more spice. Cue the Pumpkin Cocktails! Continue reading Put Down the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

How to Hard Boil an Egg. (Seriously).


Who has time to cook at home these days??

Me. That’s who. (And you probably do, too – although you might think you don’t.)

Regardless – for those of us who know the joys of cooking at home (i.e. delicious-ness, financial-badass-ness), these 16 Kitchen Skills Every Home Chef Must Know is a great list of reminders and tips. Continue reading How to Hard Boil an Egg. (Seriously).

Oh, The Farmer’s Market and the CSA Can be Friends

(Ten points if you get the reference in the title…)


My fiancee and I recently bought a house in a new neighborhood. It’s been an exciting transition, but one of the things that we lost was easy access to a weekly farmer’s market.

I used to love going to the market every Sunday morning. It wasn’t a very big market, and so you were able to get to know the vendors and farmers on a personal level. It taught me to plan meals for the week, and buy accordingly. It was an amazing ritual. How could we give that up?? Continue reading Oh, The Farmer’s Market and the CSA Can be Friends

OSCARS Live Tweet

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the Oscars. The celebrity, the art, the speeches.  The Oscars make me fall in love with show business over and over.

In fact, the only thing I love more than the Oscars is LIVE-TWEETING the Oscars. The jokes, the snark, the hashtags.

So follow me on twitter (@btryback) and this Sunday, March 2nd follow join me starting at 4e/7p.  I won’t quit until the last man affirms his heterosexuality by thanking his girlfriend/wife/escort.  Or the wine puts me to sleep, which ever happens first.

See you Sunday!  And may the statuettes be ever in your favor.

BT Oscars

Day Off: Into the Woods Style

My day off from MURDER FOR TWO at New World Stages is Tuesday – which is an odd day off for a stage actor, Monday being the typical day, or sometimes Sunday.

Typically, I’ll spend the day at home – writing, catching up on TV, drinking beer, and cooking for the week.

If you’re the cast of the INTO THE WOODS movie, however – you apparently spend your day off filming a music video with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road.  Which, y’know, six of one…