May 29, 2009

Sometimes, Struggle=Motivation

This is a vent that turned into more motivation for myself. Hopefully someone else will benefit from this.

Very recently, I've felt like giving up on my dreams. It's not because I don't love what I do. It's just so hard, sometimes too hard. I broke down crying today after work because I'm so tired of the struggle. I wrote about the major setback that I had back in February when Gilla Roos closed, leaving me out of nearly $4,000 of money that I had earned on two photo shoots. Up until that point, it was as if I were finally getting break, things were finally getting better. I had been booking regularly, booking jobs with high rates, and I wasn't having to wait tables (I'm working on paying down my credit card debt). Then my agency closed and I've spent the last few months fighting to get the money that I'm owed. Luckily, one client I worked with has paid me and I will be receiving the full rate ($2,300) next week. I have a court date with the other client next week.

In addition to that drama, and despite being picked up by a bigger agency, I have had barely any print castings (recession anyone?) and have only done a couple of paid photo shoots. As a result, I've had to go back to working in restaurants which I'd been dreading. I can barely afford to get the new headshots that I'm shooting on the 9th, but I desperately need them. I decided to go with Laura Rose. She's much pricier, but she's freakin' awesome. After paying for the shoot, makeup, retouching, prints, and new comp cards, I've estimated that I'll be spending close to $1500. It's a lot of money, but I'm looking at it like an investment, which it is. A vital one. I'm just so frustrated and discouraged because it seems like every time I take a big step forward, I'm knocked back two steps, whether it's money or jobs or family conflicts.

My fiance and I have been discussing when we want to start our family (after getting married next month) but I just can't image bringing a child into such an unstable environment. While he alone makes really good money, it's not enough to bring kids into the world (especially living in NYC) and give them the lifestyle that I desire for them. Before the last year or so, before I really became serious about having kids, I never really cared about the unpredictable nature of being an actor/model. Now, I've found myself longing for more stability. But at the same time, this is my passion and I can't see myself being happy doing anything else for a living. I think we'll hold off for at least another year before we consider starting a family.

So, if you haven't noticed, I have a lot of shit on my mind. I know that I'm never going to give up, this is just a tough time that I'm going through. I've done my best to stay positive but I needed to vent and let the negativity pass. I'm hoping that I can look back on this blog post in a few months (hell, a few days) and smile at how silly I was being.

Choosing to dedicate my life to such a fickle, unpredictable, scary business was the easiest decision that I ever made. That doesn't mean that the road is going to be easy. Getting to perform as an actor, and take beautiful photos as a model is my dream, and despite the set backs, I think I've been doing a pretty decent job at it. I'm way too talented and smart to let my fears and obstacles get the best of me. I'm going to continue to bust my ass and I know the hard work is going to pay off for me big time.

Now if I could just win that damn lottery......

May 26, 2009

Updated My Layout

Well, it took me hours to find the perfect layout. I was unhappy with the last layout and some of my friends weren't too thrilled with it either. This one is still soft and feminine without being girly. I also think it fits the tone of the blog better. I'm happy with it. :)

May 24, 2009

Discovering My Type

So, a few weeks ago, I was reading Bonnie Gillespie's weekly column and this particular column was about discovering your type. In the acting world, your "type" is essentially how you market yourself as an actor, what kinds of roles you submit yourself for, and how others would cast you. Bonnie suggested that if you are still unsure about your type, try asking people who know you to give your words that describe you. Yes, sometimes submitting and casting be more complicated than just having a type. Many talented actors play characters that are NOTHING like who they are in real life, that's one the of the things that makes being a performer so beautiful. But that's another facet of acting to be dealt with at another time and Bonnie explains it beautifully in this column entry

My main reason for pinning down my type at this moment is so that I can choose a headshot (when I finally get them done) that will best represent me because my current headshots and comp cards just aren't getting the job done in a way that I would like. It's time to step up my game. Because my primary focus right now is commercials and commercial print, nailing my type will be most effective in helping me make smarter choices in my career and I feel like it will get me better results with casting directors. Commercials/commercial print is all about the "real person".  While I have a pretty good idea of my "type", I felt that it would be good to see how others perceive me. Sometimes people can't be objective when describing themselves so I asked some of my closest friends and family members to give me 5-10 adjectives that they feel best describe me. I also asked people who may not know me well or have only known me on-line and I've compiled a (long) list of words. Most were predictable, some funny, and some quite surprising. Some were said more than once and I wanted to make sure that I listed any repeated words just in case I saw a pattern. I haven't left anything out. 

strong
determined
beautiful
funny
kind
beautiful
charismatic
beautiful
intelligent
sweet
confident
delicate but not weak
commanding
sexy
outspoken
energetic
outgoing
vibrant
wild child
upper crust
stylish
sensual
sexy
confident
smart
headstrong
opinionated
personable
loyal
stylish
strong
selfish
seducer
sassy
popular
judgemental
hottie
gorgeous
feisty
cunning
big city
bitch
assertive
vulnerable
outgoing
personable
vibrant
friendly
happy
pleasant
diva
outspoken
educated
strong minded
stubborn
hard working
sensitive
determined
beautiful
confident
intelligent
demanding
stubborn
loving
caring
driven
vulnerable
exciting
sexy
funny
sensitive
bossy
athletic
natural
sensual
influential
firecracker
lazy
complex

Whew! That was a lot!! I'm very thankful to everyone that took the time out to help me. My next step is take these adjectives and create a logline that describes my type. I played around with a few things and what I came up with was: "I'm a beautiful, sweet and sassy firecracker with a commanding presence and tell it like it is nature; but with a vulnerability that only those closest to me get to see". I may tweak it a bit more but so far, it sounds pretty accurate. Now I just need some photos that best represent that. Thanks again to everyone that helped me!


May 12, 2009

My Caress Ad

Here is the ad that I shot last December. I absolutely love it! It just ran for the first time in the May issue of Essence Magazine. I'm sure it's in other publications as well. This is the actual tear sheet so there is a folding mark in the upper left hand corner. 











May 11, 2009

It's Been A Little While

Well, it's been a long time since I updated my blog. I was trying very hard to stay up on my posting but it's been hard. So to cut to the chase, here's what's been going on:

1. I'm still working out my legal issues and will have a new update after June 4th. 

2. I had my workshop performance on the 26th of April and it went very well. We all had a wonderful time and I'm so proud of the work that we did. I'm on the hunt for my next acting class. I want to do the apprenticeship program at The Barrow Group Theatre. This theatre is HIGHLY respected in the business and the training is wonderful. Under the apprenticeship program I will be able to take a free weekly acting class in exchange for 8 hours of work at the box office. With money being tight, this will be a great way to save and still get great training, I just don't know where I'm going to find an extra 8 hours per week to work there. I'll have to figure something out.

3. I'm meeting with two headshot photographers this week. The first is Laura Rose, who is very popular and the second is Karol DuClos who my good friend recently worked with. I'm practically dying to shoot with Laura because she is fantastic (and you will see that if you click the link) but she is VERY expensive at $750 for the shoot, $150 for makeup, and $150+ for retouching and prints. Karol is offering half price right now ($375) and I love the headshots that she did for my friend. Not to mention she also has a great portfolio. I will keep you all posted on who I choose to shoot with and I will post my new headshots soon.

I'm in desperate need of new headshots and comp cards. My current ones just aren't cutting it. With it being so slow in the business right now, I need to have the absolute best photos possible to set me apart from everyone else. I'm going to be going to ModernAge (a digital services company) tomorrow afternoon to set up and order new comp cards. It's going to cost me $165 for 100 prints. I may wait until next week just because I'm supposed to be doing a beauty shoot this week and if the photos turn out great, I'd like to put one on my card. I'm getting back into acting and I need a wonderful headshot that will get me called into the casting director's office. The headshot that I have right now is...okay. The number one critique that I get on my headshots is that I'm so much more beautiful in person, the photo doesn't do me justice. I think the photo is beautiful, but sometimes, it's very important to be objective when choosing a headshot. 

Anyway, I will let blog about my meetings in the next few days.