Friday, October 26, 2012

Nothing Much....

This is always a hard time of year for me. I feel stagnant and like nothing is happening and why am I even trying. I tend to get really down on myself and abilities to succeed in this industry. I know 100% of that has to do with me not paying attention to the goals I set for myself earlier this season and focusing on certain personal aspects of my life. I made some financial missteps with budgeting and am now paying for it by having to work everyday and forgo focusing on my career. I rarely mess up with money and this is definitely a lesson learned. Thankfully I have some measures I'm taking to alleviate financial stress and build my way back up. I really need to get back on track because once the new year hits, I expect things to be much busier across the board from commercial to stage and even film. I 'm currently working on building my monologues up and still taking class. November and December will be just a bunch of classes, work days and holiday travel. Nevertheless, I will update!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Checkpoint - 1 Year

Background Info

I moved to NYC early 2010. It took me a little over a year to spend ALL my savings, hit rock bottom, and go back to teaching full time. This meant I wasn't able to audition or even take many classes, as it was a very consuming job, even more so than in Texas. by mid-2011, I was ready to quit my job for something more flexible and begin to focus on why I moved in the first place.

Last Year

Looking back I did 2 shows, one at my first equity house, booked two commercial gigs, worked on a TV pilot as a featured model and started an acting class. I've updated my model portfolio considerably. As I'm writing this I realize I didn't do half as bad as I thought. All of these, excluding the class happened within the first five months. The next several months...nothing. I've been really down on myself and very frustrated not booking anything in so long.


These next months I will focus even more on training, networking and relationships. I'm going to try not to put so much emphasis on the number of gigs to quantify my successfulness. I need to really concentrate on my brand and the bigger picture. I'm in this for the long haul. I'm excited to be optimistic about my career right now and being able to see more opportunities ahead!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Interesting Day......

So Monday I feel an inkling of a sore throat coming on. I sleep with a fan on me and AC so I thought that maybe since I went to sleep wit h wet hair it was just from that. While I was at work I missed a call from the Makeup Forever Academy wanting me to be a model for them the next day. Unfortunately when I returned the call, all positions were filled and I would be put on call. On the way home I thought about getting some NyQuil to stop it from getting worse, but shrugged it off as nothing. I woke up around 7am feeling like I swallowed a TENNIS BALL. I was so sick. Relieved that I didn't have to work that day, I threw on some clothes to run and get some NyQuil and resigned myself to being knocked out for most of the morning. I did have a casting for Reebok, but it was later in the day. Of course right when I open my door to leave I get a call saying a model backed out and they wanted me to come in for 9:30am! So of course I accept and hurry to get both day and NyQuil so I can function. I take the DayQuil, rush to the city and immediately into makeup.
 While I'm sitting in the chair, I start feeling woozy. It's warm in the room and I'm having trouble sitting still. The makeup artist has a very light hand and it was irritating me, which is unusual. I went to the bathroom twice and collapsed on the cool floor which helped me for a bit, but then I would get worse. Finally I told the artist I took DayQuil. She tells me that even though it says non-drowsy, the medicine still relaxes you and is trying to fight off the symptoms. One of the directors gave me a simple Chinese fan to keep myself cool and some water. That fan was a lifesaver! I made it through, had wonderful shoot and then we broke for lunch. I was supposed to have a second, dramatic look after lunch, which worried me because I still had the casting later and I didn't think I would be able to make it, especially if I had to redo my natural makeup. Luckily, they ended up with more models and didn't need me for the second part. I was kind of bummed since I wanted both prints for my portfolio, but hey, I got a sizable gift certificate for Makeup For Ever (love that brand!) and a nice photoshoot. Not bad!
Now I'm ready to go home and crawl into bed. I'm thinking about skipping the casting, because it also requires dancing and my stomach is hurting now. Nevertheless, I push through, get to the office, change and have a great audition.
I'm very proud of myself for not succumbing to my sickness and getting all of that accomplished. I can be pretty aloof sometimes and procrastinate. Even if I don't book the job, I impressed the CDs once again and maybe the next one will be for me. This experience inspired me to get back on track and focus more than I have been these past couple of months. Not to mention learning the dangers of DayQuil!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

End of April Review

April has been a weird month for me. This spring has been weird for me. I feel like I've done some things, but I also feel as if I could've done more.

  • I auditioned for the Houston Grand Opera again. After booking 3 shows in a row these past few years I just knew I was a shoe-in for their upcoming production of "Showboat". well, I was wrong. Another strong dancer showed up and showed out. We both had great auditions but ultimately I didn't get it. They were only looking for a female understudy to fit in with the rest of the cast they brought in from Chicago, so I guess I didn't fit the bill. Oh, well. I'll get 'em next time. 
  • My visit to Houston was wayyyyy too short. I didn't have nearly enough time to see my son and the rest of my family and friends. Next time I'll make sure I visit longer.

With that being said, here are my accomplishments:
  • I really enjoy Anthony Abeson's class. From the very first day I felt at home and everyone was/is so welcoming. We do so much in just one day and I'm excited that we're preparing a show, I'm working on a monologue to present, I just got a scene partner and we're starting to work, and the whole class has decided to write produce and star in our own showcase. All of this in just one month!
  • I've had a few castings, and although I didn't book any that's still good that I at least had some. I still think I'm not getting sent out nearly as much as I should in a market like NYC, but hopefully once I find a solid agent, that will change.
  • Slowly but surely I'm going to dance class more. I realize that I've been slacking off and am definitely starting to put more effort into taking more ballet and theatre dance classes.
  • I finished Roz Coleman's class and I have to say I really enjoyed it. She helped clear out some of the stuff I needed to get rid of mentally and I had a lot of fun working on the sides with her in class and exploring my choices with her. I hope to work with her someday in the future.
  • I survived substitute teaching 4 out of 5 days last week. Believe me, that is definitely an accomplishment for me!
I guess looking at the list I did a lot more than I thought. I'm just really ambitious and so ready to reach a larger milestone in my career. I'm really looking forward to what May will bring. I going to focus more and stop being so lazy. I have way too much free/down time and I'm not using it productively or creatively. The first week of May I'll be sure to post my goals for the month.

My first time on a TV set!

(Me in costume in the holding room)

So I promised a review on my 1st experience on set. In March, I received an email from one of my agents saying I was direct booked as a featured extra for an upcoming pilot "The Carrie Diaries" which is based on the high school life of  "Sex in the City"'s Carrie Bradshaw. Now I have always heard that extra work can kill your career or at the very least not move it anywhere at all. However, I really wanted to experience being on a set and more importantly, the rate was more than 3 times the rate for a non-union extra, so what could I lose? 

The night before I called in to a provided number to get my number and information for the next day. My call time was 11AM. The message said to come camera ready. This made me nervous, because I've never done makeup for camera and I didn't want to look a mess. Nevertheless, I read up on 80's makeup and did a look. I packed some things that could be 80s wear in a rolling suitcase, as well as some snacks and things to do. I didn't want to chance anything. Once I arrived, I checked in and went to wardrobe. An outfit was built around the shoes I brought and then I went to stand in line for hair and makeup. Apparently we didn't have to do it ourselves after all. First I went in for hair. I was a little guarded because I saw the havoc some of the girls were going through to recreate 80s hair, especially one black girl with natural hair that some stylist was haphazardly straightening AND teasing. We were going to have a PROBLEM if they wanted my hair straight just for and extra part. Wasn't happening. I could've brought a wig with me if it was that serious. Luckily I got a black woman who understood my hair and just pinned it up into the style in the pic. Whew! Next stop was makeup. I sat in the chair and all the artists loved my makeup! I was literally just given some golden lips and a touch a blush and sent off.

On set, I learned so much just from watching. I observed who was in charge and how everyone worked together. I saw how many different ways one thirty second part of a scene had to be shot in order for them to edit it the way we watch it on TV. I really paid attention to the main actors and how the director interacted with them. It was a relief to see that even they mess up and aren't perfect. I ended up being seated right next to the main actresses so hopefully I'll get a lot of screen time. I was also one of the main dancers at the club so that 's great too.

We were on set for 13 hours! They were not playing when they said shoots run LONG. My shoes didn't have platforms and they were KILLING me. Plus, after all of that decent weather, it decides to be cold and rainy all day long that Sunday.

All in all it was a great experience and I don't regret doing it. I just don't see myself doing it again. My goal is to be a working actor, not an extra, which anyone with common sense can do. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, it's just not for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's been going on?

I had a great conversation with a fellow blogger and friend, Andrea Bordeaux (a blogging veteran). She is so focused and knowledgeable about the business and really works on her craft. I realized after our conversation that I have been focusing a lot on the "business side" of acting (which is great, of course!) and forgetting about the creative side. I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been since I've been in a formal acting class and even the course I did take weren't adequate enough. What happens when my business savvy side get me in the room? Having teachers praise my talent recently has led me to see that it was never my talent I doubted, it's my skills. My biggest problem with acting has been not having the tools I need to channel my talent with. I'm hungry to do it, but lacking some of the technical skills.With that in mind, here is what has been happening:

  • Today I took a big step in my acting career. I finally made a decision about which acting class to take. I auditioned with Anthony Abeson this afternoon to be a student in one of his classes and I made it in! It only took a year and a half for me to make the leap, lol. I'm looking forward to working with him. 
  •  I went to TVI Studios for an introduction to the program after seeing a flyer promising a free casting workshop. The program seemed very interesting, but I just don't have that type of money now to part with for a membership and I'm also more interested in a solid acting class than workshops right now. Plus One on One is more affordable and a lot of my friends are apart of it and recommend their program. Nevertheless, I registered to audition for Lauren Port's casting workshop next month at no cost. Pretty sweet deal! 
  • I'm going to voice lessons once a week (and practicing often on my own) as well as several dance classes weekly.  
  • Roz Coleman's On-Camera Intensive workshop started last week and is wonderful! 
  • Roz recommends reading Margie Haber's "How to Get The Part" and this book is amazing! As soon as I finish it I'm going to start reading Susan Batson's, "Truth". I'm definitely interested in reading more great material so if anyone has any recommendations feel free to let me know!
  • Keeping with that, I'm going to start researching and building my knowledge of TV shows/movies that have roles for me and the casting directors who cast them. I plan on doing the same for theatre as well. Doctors read medical journals and know all of the new advancements withing their field. Lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc. There isn't any excuse for me not knowing the industry I claim to be apart of and love.
Whew! There's a lot going on for me right now and that doesn't even include my day job as a substitute teacher and just living. I'm very excited to see my progress over the next couple of months and throughout the summer.

Note: Still looking for a commercial agent (on camera and print). Send up a prayer!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012