December 10, 2015

Auditions, Auditions...

Audition-wise, this past week has been good!. I've had a couple of commercial auditions, but no callbacks as of yet. Last Thursday I went on tape for producers for a lead in a film about lesbian vampires, haha. Kind of odd, but my character was a true badass so I decided to just roll with it.

 I thought my audition was good, but the CD didn't seem to be feeling me. She didn't give me any adjustments, it was just one take per scene. I was a bit irritated with that because I had just been given the sides the night before and had a morning audition. I didn't even get a script so it was difficult to understand the context of some of the scenes.

There were 16 pages of sides but we were told to prepare 3 scenes, which ended up being like 8 or 9 pages. I just felt that with such a short amount to time to prepare, it would have been nice to have at least been given a redirect if what I did initially wasn't what she was going for. All I got was the dreaded, "Okay, thank you!" in the end.

I was like:


Anyhoo! A couple days ago, I had a pre-read for a lead in a film that is really, really cool. Another badass character and a great premise. Again, I feel good, and I think the CD liked me, but we all know that doesn't mean shit. Since it was a pre-read, I hope that your girl at least gets a callback!! Although, I'm a bit young for this character. Either way, it was my first time in for this office so I think I at least impressed them enough to get brought in for something else down the line.

And yesterday, I had another pre-read for a role on a new straight to series show. I'm not sure the billing level for this character, but my manager suspects that it's being left open to be a heavily recurring or series regular role. This character is really sad and has had a very difficult life. One of the scenes was a bit more emotionally taxing, which is like catnip for me, haha. I love the tearjerker stuff so I was right in my comfort zone with this one. I felt really, really good about this audition today, so like all of the others, I will hold out hope, at least for a day or two before I have to force myself to move on.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

November 30, 2015


Hello. It's me.
I was wondering if after all these years months you'd like to meet.
To go over everything.....

Okay, I'm done messing around! I'm back again with a quick update!

Since my last post that I wrote this summer (shameful, I know) I have had some fun and interesting developments.

First, I booked a commercial for a major electronics company whose name I can't say. I had big plans for that massive residual check that I just knew was coming, only to find out that the spot was dropped. You know what else dropped?

My heart.

But that's the thing about commercials. You can NEVER depend on those residuals, because anything can happen once a room full of advertisers and their clients start raking over your commercial with a fine toothed comb.

Well, I bounced back by booking a super meaty co-star on Criminal Minds. Personally, I think it should have been billed as a guest star since I worked on the show for 3 days, but it wasn't quite top of show material so I was paid the weekly co-star rate. Either way, I was pumped for the role and got a chance to show my excellent crying chops.

In October, I booked a guest star role on Bones and had fun playing my signature bitchy type. I find that I tend to book bitchy characters and they're always so much more interesting!

Then after Bones, I booked a commercial that shot in Chicago. I was flown out there for 5 days and wow, that was INCREDIBLE! It was my first time in the Windy City and I really enjoyed just being out there and exploring on my own. If I can get my hands on the commercial (it's just a regional spot), I will be sure to post it here.

I'll also post my clips from Criminal Minds and Bones in the next few weeks.

July 18, 2015

Moving From New York City to Los Angeles (Part 2)

Part 2 | What I've Learned So Far

If you want to know the steps I took to make the big move, make sure to read Part 1. The following are things I've learned these past couple of years, in no particular order:

The Work & The Competition

When it comes to acting, there is SO MUCH work to be had in Los Angeles!! I realized very early on that, in that regard, I'd made the right decision to move. However, the competition is FIERCE y'all!! I mean, I'm walking into audition rooms, and I'm signing in behind girls that have starred in TV shows already, or are heavily recurring on shows, and doing huge supporting roles in films. These are the actors that have been out here for years pounding the pavement and establishing themselves.

I learned that my handful of credits that I'd earned in NYC would help me get in the door, but that was it. There are so many actors with incredible bodies of work that I'm still trying to attain for myself. Obviously, over these past couple of years I've grown my resume and I'm so grateful for the successes I've had and the knowledge that I've gained being out here. I know that as long as I keep my tenacity and ambition high, I will continue to achieve higher levels of success.

Finding a Serving Job + Making Tips

Fucking impossible.

Okay, not impossible, but soooo hard!! When I moved here, I had almost 10 years of restaurant experience but it's like none of that matters out here. And even if it did, there are so many actors vying for those serving jobs that it makes it so much harder to get a leg up.

One thing that I've noticed is that a lot of restaurants out here don't have high turnover like places in NYC do. It's so easy to get a job in NYC that there's no point in staying at a place that sucks. But here in LA, because it's so hard to find a good serving/bartending job, people stay at shitty places for way longer than they normally would while they try to find a better spot. And even if you do find a new spot, you don't quit the old place until you're sure the new one will work out.

Last week, I had drinks at a place that I stopped working at a year and half ago, and almost all of the same servers that were there when I was there, are STILL working there. On a sad note, I think that also speaks to just how difficult it is to find success, despite just how much acting work there is. One of the servers that I saw at that restaurant was signed to CAA when I was working with him back at the end of 2013. He had just left that agency to go to Innovative. I'm sure he's working here and there, but he's still waiting tables. It's crazy what we actors go through!!

Anyway. I've also found that a lot of managers don't like to see long periods of time between jobs. Like anything longer than a couple of months is a red flag to them. I have no idea why, it's just what I've run into.

Also, give up on the idea that you will make NYC money out here. The days of walking with $300+ per shift are over once you move to LA. Don't get me wrong, there are places where you can make that much money, but they are fewer and farther between than in NYC. The best I've had so far is an average of about $180-$220 per night. My other friends that work as servers say the same.

And lastly, make sure you have good craft beer knowledge. It's all about craft beers and micro breweries out here.

You Can Easily Spend Through Your Savings Quickly

Keep in mind, we came with a bit under $7k. I also got lucky in that I found a crappy serving job right away and booked a recurring guest star within two months of our move. What was tough was it took my husband about 8 months to find a really good job. If you move here with significantly more than that, start booking right away or find a good job right away, you should be fine. However, if you don't plan on working a survival job right away, I would save as much as possible, and try your best to live frugally.

There is no set number that I can tell you that you MUST bring with you. Some people move here with next to nothing and land on their feet just fine. I would RECOMMEND no less than $5k. That is in addition to moving expenses and 1st month's rent/security.

FUCK Casting Networks/LACasting

Fuck. Them.

I only have an account with them because I have to for my commercial and print agencies. It's the #1 site for commercial/print castings out here. You get 1 free photo per agency. If you have different agencies, you have to have a separate account for each one, but can link them under one profile.

They charge $25 to upload a second photo, and $15 for each additional photo. But ONLY if you upload them all at the same time. Otherwise, it's $25 per photo. Also, they charge an additional $10 to "copy" that photo to other accounts.

So, I have an account with CESD and paid $150 to upload 9 photos. But, if I want to use a couple of those photos for my AKA account, I have to pay them $10 each to "copy" it over. So, as I said before...

Fuck. Them.

Driving & Learning Your Way Around

You don't need to get a car with GPS, just make sure it has Blue Tooth capabilities so you can sync it with your phone. Then, download Google Maps. I use GM for EVERYTHING. I just plug the address into GM and it tells me exactly where I need to go, give me different route options including how long each route will take, heavy traffic areas, and I can have the voice navigation turned on or off. A lot of people also love Waze because it's updated in real time by other drivers, so you get minute to minute updates on heavy traffic, accidents, police presence, etc. It's a little too cluttered for me, so I stick to Google Maps.

You're really only going to learn your way around by being active and spending a lot of time being social, trying out new places, and just exploring. Just like it took you a few months to learn the subway system by rote in NYC, it'll take a few months to learn the best routes for your day to day, backstreets and when traffic is generally at it's heaviest in which area.

And finally, many drivers out here SUCK. People are rude, reckless, and don't pay attention on the road. Every day I see someone text and driving. One time, I was driving down the freeway and, for some reason, the middle lane was moving really slow, while the other lanes were wide open. I got over into a different lane, and as I was able to speed up, I saw that the middle lane was slow because a guy was driving while reading a script at the same time. He was so distracted that he'd slowed down to about 30mph. On the freeway. I kid you not.

Traffic & Time Management

Traffic. Just surrender to it. You can never completely avoid it and it will hit you when you least expect it. You'll eventually learn how much time you need to give yourself to get to certain areas, and sometimes you'll still screw yourself, lol. I currently live in Hollywood. So, if I have a 9AM audition in Santa Monica, I need to leave no later than 8AM if I want to make it in time. If that audition is at 2PM, I can probably leave at 1:30PM and be just fine. It just depends, but I'll always need at least 30 minutes to get from my house to Santa Monica. It's trial and error.

And my God, don't let it rain! This town comes to a fucking standstill when it rains. People seriously can't handle driving in the rain. Every street has crazy traffic so give yourself extra time to get where you need when it rains. Yes, it rains. A few times a year, lol.

Parking & Parking Tickets (Yes, they go hand in hand)

When you find an apartment, make sure it comes with a parking space. Some places charge a monthly rental fee for a space, but many don't. If the parking space is in a garage or requires remote access, you may have to put down a deposit for the remote.

If your apartment doesn't come with a parking spot, you will have to depend on street parking which can be a pain or impossible depending on your neighborhood. Then you'll be dealing with street cleaning times (a random 2 hour window where you can't park on a specific side of the street), 2 hour parking (you can only park there for 2 hours before having to move your car), and a host of other annoying restrictions. Some neighborhoods have permit parking where only those with a permit can park there after certain times. If you're eyeing an apartment in a permit parking neighborhood, make sure that you will be able to apply for one.

When it comes to street parking on meters or time restricted streets in residential neighborhoods. Make sure to read the signs carefully!! Some of the signs are really tricky. Most meters take coins and cards. Don't think that you can only pay with quarters at street meters, they take every type of coin. I may be wrong about pennies, but I've put plenty of nickels and dimes into meters. I keep a coin purse in my glove box. I hate using my card if I only need to park for a short amount of time.

With that said....YOU WILL GET PARKING TICKETS. It will happen. Accept it, embrace it, surrender to it. Just pay them as soon as you can because if you pay them late, they tack on fees. You also can't renew your car registration with outstanding parking tickets. Too many unpaid tickets, and the Gestapo LAPD will issue a warrant for your arrest. I've also seen people get their cars impounded. Can you image leaving your house for an audition that you're already running a bit behind on and your car is nowhere to be found!? All because you wouldn't pay a couple $55 tickets. Not worth it.

Uber & Lyft Are a MUST (What's a Taxi?)

If you drink alcohol, you need to download Uber/Lyft onto your phone. I'm not sure the cost benefit for Uber vs a taxi in NYC, but out here, Uber and Lyft are the cheaper and more convenient options for you plan on having a night (or day) out drinking and partying and need to get home safely.

The Weather & Scenery Is As Beautiful As You've Heard

Really. It is. The incredible weather makes this such a great place to live if you have an active lifestyle. You can pretty much go to the beach any day of the year. I was laying out by the pool in February. However, the ocean water is always cold.  Even in the summer. And the breeze/wind gets cold at night, especially in the beach cities. It can be in the 80s during the day in Santa Monica and in the 50s before the sun even sets. Coming from NYC, you're probably thinking, "That's nothing!" But trust me, the first time you're in Santa Monica wearing shorts and tank top and then nightfall hits and you don't have anything to cover up with, you will remember these words.

As for the landscape, you have ocean a few miles West, but then you're a two hour drive from snow covered mountains. You can lay on the beach on Friday morning, and be skiing at Big Bear Mountain that evening. Just taking a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway affords endless ocean views to your left, and mountain views to your right.

There are tons and tons of national parks all over LA. And the options for hiking are incredible. I live 3 minutes away from Griffith Park and the legendary Griffith Observatory. I can hike up the mountain and then get rewarded with this view that I snapped on my iPhone:

You see those clear skies? If you have even the slightest outdoorsy spirit, you don't have go very far to experience the beauty of SoCal nature.

And Finally

It Gets Easier

If you weren't born and raised in NYC, then you know how hard it was to get adjusted when you first moved there. The same can be said when moving to LA. It was a culture shock for me. I missed the hustle and bustle of NYC. The Energy. The fact that bars in NYC stay open till 4AM. Everything closes at 2AM out here, FYI. I was feeling disconnected from people because I was spending so much time in my car, and I just never knew what to expect each day due to being completely immersed in a new environment.

I had like, no friends. Seriously, I only knew one person when I moved here, other than my husband. But I was pretty much alone the first few weeks until he got here.

However, as you begin to explore, enroll in classes, join a new gym, and start putting yourself out there, you'll start to feel at home. Pretty soon, you'll know that the Ralph's on Western carries your favorite Dry sodas, always take Fountain Avenue to get to commercial castings at Castaway Studios on Beverly, and since adding extra lanes, the 405 isn't as bad as it was. You'll start establishing relationships with people and will make new friends.

Then, before you know it, you'll be giving advice to people who are ready to make the big move themselves.


So, I tried to be as thorough as possible, but I'm sure there are things that I forgot. If there's anything that I've left out or you're curious to know, leave a comment below and let me know! If I get enough interesting questions or suggestions, I'll compile them into a Part 3.

Thanks for reading!!

July 15, 2015

Moving From New York City to Los Angeles (Part 1)

This blog post is for all of the East Coast actors and models who are thinking about making the big move to sunny California. Los Angeles, specifically.

I moved from NYC to LA in January 2013, and while there were a couple of stressful points, it was, for the most part, very easy! I'm going to tell you all exactly what I did and detail any lessons that I learned along the way. Enjoy!

Why I Decided To Move

The decision was motivated by several factors, but the big deciding force was the sheer lack of work available to me during that time. In the last couple of years, major strides have been made in order to bring productions to NYC, but back in 2011-2012, there just wasn't a huge amount. Print and commercials were great, but I needed more film and TV opportunities. And when you look at Los Angeles comparatively, I couldn't resist the allure of doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the number of opportunities that I would have as an actor.

Other motivators were the weather and lifestyle. After living in NYC for 8 years, I was completely exhausted by the relentless daily grind. And the awful weather on top made my last couple of years even more frustrating and depressing. I needed a change of pace and my husband was just as gung-ho as I about relocating. I would say we made the final decision to make the move around October 2012.

Getting The Ball Rolling

I made the goal to be in LA for the start of pilot season. If you don't have representation, going to LA for pilot season is generally pointless. However, I had bi-coastal representation and a handful of decent credits. I was in a great position and didn't want to miss out on any of those great auditions. I set a date for January 22nd as my official move date. There was no rhyme or reason to it, I just liked the date.

My husband was going to stay back in NYC for a couple of weeks to clear the apartment and tie up any loose ends while it was my job to get us set up in LA. He joined me in February.


Once I set the date, the next immediate goal was to save as much money as possible. I'd given us about 3 months of lead-time in order to save, which really wasn't a lot of time at all. At the time, I was just working part-time as a hostess and mostly letting residual checks roll in. I decided to pick up a serving job and from November to early January.

Most weeks, I worked anywhere from 5 to 7 days and I essentially hoarded everything that I made, which was really great money. I basically HAD. NO. LIFE. My husband is the breadwinner and pays pretty much all of the bills, so establishing our moving fund was mostly on my shoulders. In that short time period, I think we saved up about $6k-$7k.

Moving Representation With Me

A few months prior to the move, I'd met with my now LA agent when she came to visit the NYC office. I'd expressed interest in moving to the West. She was already on board to represent me once I moved and told me to touch base with her when I made the final decision. Naturally, I reached out to her and let her know that I would be moving in January.

I did the same thing for my commercial agent and print agent. I was repped by Buchwald for commercials in NYC, but Buchwald doesn't have a commercial department in LA. My agent over at Buchwald referred me to my current agents at AKA. I was also referred to the LA office at CESD by my old print agent at their NYC office.

Finding An Apartment

This was actually pretty easy. I found our apartment on Craigslist. I was a bit apprehensive about nailing down an apartment from 3000 miles away, but I just had this blind belief that everything that I was doing would just work out.

Anyway, the hardest part about finding an apartment was choosing the city we would live in. Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles isn't really a city. It's a county that's comprised of several small cities all in close proximity to one another. It's helpful to think of LA in the same way that you think of NYC since NYC is one giant city made up of 5 boroughs.

Anyway, I kept looking at maps of Los Angeles and read threads on to get a decent idea of where most auditions take place. Then I just kind of said fuck it. As long as we get a place, we can always move. I found an apartment that was listed in Sherman Oaks. The photos were pretty and when I google mapped the address to look at the street view, the neighborhood was also pretty and very clean. It was also located right next to a junction between two major highways, the 101 and the 405. From that location, I could hop on the 101 to get to Hollywood or Burbank, and if I needed to get to Santa Monica, or any other cities on the West, I could just take the 405. It seemed perfect!

I called one of the property managers and I was probably on the phone with her for close to an hour. She answered my questions, and told me all about Sherman Oaks, which I learned is in The Valley.

Mostly, I was so taken by her kindness and generosity with her time. She wasn't turned off by the fact that I'm an actor and didn't seem at all phased that we would essentially be applying for the apartment from across the country. Apparently, it's a pretty common thing in LA.

My husband and I decided that day to just go for it, and we had her send us all of the paperwork and applications that we would need to fill out. It took about 3 days to get everything together. Because we were coming from the other coast, we had to get everything notarized, which added a bit more time to that. The only thing that gave me anxiety was sending the deposit. You hear so many horror stories about people getting scammed, but once again, I just had this strong belief that everything was going to work out.

We got approved for the apartment, but would not be able to move in till Feb. Luckily, I had a very generous friend that let me crash with her until I could move into my new apartment.

NOTE: Make sure that the apartment you want comes with a refrigerator. I'm so serious, lol. A lot of apartments do NOT come with a fridge so you need to budget for that. You can get a good used fridge on Craigslist for under $300, including delivery. You just have to search around. There are entire businesses dedicated to selling and delivering used fridges on Craigslist.

Nailing Down Transportation

Initially, I had planned to purchase a car. I got a great auto loan from my bank and called the nearest Volkswagen dealer to where my apartment would be. When I called and explained my situation, they were, just like the building manager, undeterred by the fact that this entire transaction would be done via phone and email. But after asking me a series of questions about my lifestyle and budget, the dealer asked me if I had considered leasing a car instead. I hadn't, but when we explained to me the benefits of a lease, I was sold.

After I told him I wanted a Jetta, he ran my credit, told me how much my payments would be, and asked me to choose my color. When I wasn't sure which color I wanted, he actually texted me photos of a few different cars on his lot so I could choose the color I wanted. Once I got to LA, I would come in to sign the paperwork and drive off with my car.

When I lost my Texas License a couple years prior, I had gone and gotten a NYC driver's license so I didn't have to worry about being able to legally drive when I got to California.

Packing and Purging

This is the part that sucked. Ugh.

Having lived in NYC for 8 years, we had accumulated a great deal of things. Our last apartment in NYC was a huge 2 bedroom and so dealing with the furniture and personal items was a drag. We decided very quickly that we weren't going to keep anything large. We were going to take clothes, shoes, books, and anything that we just couldn't part with. Everything else was posted for sale on Craigslist, given away, or thrown away. We would start fresh with furniture in LA.

In order to save on shipping costs, I had to purge a lot of my clothes and shoes. I donated almost all of my winter stuff to a friend's church, and took everything else to Goodwill. I went through every article of clothing and gave away what I felt I would no longer wear. From what was left, whatever wouldn't fit in a suitcase, was packed into boxes and shipped. My makeup alone was like 3 boxes worth, haha.

I think, in total, I probably had 10 boxes of just MY stuff. I can't remember how much my husband had, but he's not sentimental and it's easy for him to just get rid of things. In fact, after I had moved and he was finishing up the NYC apartment, he threw away a wedding item that was very precious to me. I still get mad when I think about it. Anyway. Altogether, we spent at between $500-$700 on shipping, but I can't remember the exact number.

I'm Here! | My First Few Days

Let me just note that the morning I moved, it was 18˚ in New York. When I landed at LAX, it was 81˚.

Just sayin'.

So anyway. Before flying out, I'd arranged for a taxi to pick me up from the airport. I went straight to the Volkswagen dealership (with all of my luggage) to get my car. After filling out all of the paperwork, and paying my deposit, I finally had my car! The entire process took close to 2 hours.

Once I was in my car, I sat there for about 15 minutes before I worked up the courage to drive off the lot. I hadn't driven a car in about 4 years and I was really nervous! My first stop was to see our apartment in person so I could sign the lease. The apartment was just as nice as the photos and so was the neighborhood. I took some photos to send to my husband and then headed to my friend's apartment.

She wasn't there, but had left me keys so I could get in. After dropping my stuff, I met her and her best friend at an adorable little cafe. We ate, caught up and they gave me a little LA crash course. Then I went back to her place and crashed. I was utterly exhausted.

The next few days were filled with meetings. I signed my contracts at Clear Talent Group, CESD, and met with AKA. Then went back a couple days later to sign.

A day or two after arriving, I had my first audition, which was for Rizzoli & Isles. It wasn't the role that I ended up booking, but I did go to producers for my first LA audition!


This concludes Part 1. In Part 2, I'll touch on the random things that I've learned these last couple of years. The post goes live on the 18th so keep an eye out for it!

July 11, 2015

I'm Back!!

Hey everyone!!

I just wanted to check in and give an update. I've been missing my blog a lot these past couple of months, but just haven't been in the best headspace and frankly, too lazy. I've been neglecting this blog and my YouTube channel as a result. I've spent the last week or so just reevaluating my choices and commitment to things that I start. The fact is, my discipline has been low. When it comes to accomplishing goals, discipline is key. I'm challenging myself to reignite the projects that I've let fall to the wayside, and I'm starting with my blog.

I want to thank all of you who continue to read and send me emails asking for updates and advice. I appreciate all of you.

Career-wise, things have slowed down a bit after pilot season, but have just picked back up. I've had a handful of producer's sessions this past month, and one booking! I just wrapped production on a film for Hallmark Channel and as soon I get an air date, I'll update you all so you can tune in!

I'm trying to get back into print modeling since I really let that wane this past year. I've updated my photos with CESD and I'm hoping to see that result in an increase of castings over the next few weeks.

I also have two pretty big posts coming this week. I got a great email from an actor who is planning to move from NYC to LA. She had tons of questions about my experience and things that I learned, so instead of just limiting my response to one email, I've written a long, comprehensive 2 part post. Even though it's targeted to actors moving from NYC, I really think that anyone planning to move to LA can benefit from what I've experienced these past 2.5 years.

As always, I'm open to requests and suggestions, so if there's anything you want to see from me that I haven't written about before, let me know so I can get to work on something!