Sunday, December 29, 2013

My 2013 Report Card: Did I Do What I Said I Would...

Well, umm, kinda. As I was reading over my my 2013 goals and plans post, I realized I did do a lot of the things I set out to do but not 100%. Here's the rundown:

Plan #1- Choose quality when it comes to my materials. I think I stuck to this one pretty well. I chose a photographer I really wanted to work with and then had my prints done at a more reputable company than the one I had previously used. Also, recently I discovered a new company--through networking--to order my business cards from. It's called They are more pricey than Vistaprint but from what I've seen, I think they will be gorgeous!! (Will post pics when I get them!) Also, I am getting professional slate shots done next week for my Actors Access account, whereas normally I would just get my husband to shoot something on the good ole iPhone 5. I'm super proud of myself for that one.  

Plan #2- To use social media more. I tried. I really did. I just find it difficult to post when tired or busy. Then there are times when I'm afraid people don't really care so I just stay quiet. I give myself a C(-) for this one. I will be better next year though. Promise. 

Plan #3- To work on my craft more between gigs and classes. I don't think I did this as much as I could. Luckily, despite a couple of slow periods, I usually did have something to work on though. So I was, for the most part, constantly practicing and rehearsing. Still, I need work to my monologues more definitely. 

Plan #4- To eat healthier, work out more, and always be in style. Ummm, don't think I did this one. I'm still trying to lose 10lbs so there is the evidence. Lol. Again, it's on next year's list. I'm always pretty conscience about what I wear though. Again, unless I'm tired and have been working and my feet hurt or I'm just running out to get coffee in the morning. So that part is neither here not there I guess. 

Plan #5- To go from a full-time position to a part-time position at my survival job. Well, that one I can say I did 100% and it's been blissful. And the cool thing is that when I don't have any acting going on I can pick up shifts. Like during the holidays for instance. 

Aside from these plans, I also mentioned three goals that I would have liked to accomplish. They were as follows:

Goal #1- Book a national or regional commercial. 
Goal #2- Get a commercial agent. 
Goal #3- Book a SAG indie film. 

Well....the thing is that I worked in several indie films this year and kinda forgot about the commercial thing. Not really forgot, but lost focus on. So I didn't reach goal 1 or 2. However, I did book a SAG indie film. It was a short and not a feature but I'll take it. 

So I did okay as far as what I had planned goes. But thank The Lord for another year coming. Lol. Overall though, I did have a very good year and I will be writing my year in review post soon. I do think I "truly embraced being an actress" this past year. I'm much more open about my work. This career is in my bones. I feel it deep down. I am an actress. It is my lifestyle.

I will also be posting my plans/goals for 2014. So you should be hearing from me quite often during the next couple weeks. Thanks for reading guys! As always, feel free to comment and share links to your blogs or work!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The End of 2013 aka Crunch Time

There are only a few days left in 2013 and I am not letting it go with out a fight. With nothing really going on in the acting world right now, I have been using these couple of weeks to make sure I have a great start in 2014. First of all, that means picking up extra hours at work. I want to join SAG next year and I want to take more classes so that means I need the extra money. I'm also taking advantage of all the holiday sales on actor services. Actors Access is giving 50% off media uploads so I added some new footage. NYCastings is also giving a discount on reel services so I have booked an appointment to get a couple of slate shots done for my Actors Access account (kind of ironic right?). I have just ordered new business cards and last week I took an agent meeting class at CnC Studios. I'm also already signed up for a three week acting class in February with casting director Brette Goldstein. So you see, I am going out with a bang!

That doesn't mean I'm not enjoying the holidays though! I am! And we all should find some time to relax and enjoy our loved ones. But I just want to make sure I am more than ready for 2014. Because it's gonna be a ground breaking kind of a year. ;-) 

Happy Holidays!!Be Thankful And Follow Your Dreams

Happy Holidays everyone!!! I know this is a busy time of year for most of you. As the year is about to end, this is typically the time to reflect upon the things we are grateful for and also reflect upon which goals we accomplished this year. (Yes, year in review post coming soon). I've been busy just like everyone else, so I am doing my "what I am thankful for post" now.

I am thankful for everything God has given me and has done in my life. That includes so many wonderful things. Before I get to those, I just want to say that I am very thankful that my faith has remained intact throughout this journey of becoming an actor living in NYC, even though I, like anyone else, have moments of doubts. That being said, here we go: I am thankful for my super duper incredible (and very sexy) husband. I am a private person and don't post too much on social media about us or our marriage, but I am one lucky girl to have someone like him. A man whom I trust, who supports my dream, and who makes me laugh. He is my best friend; my everything.  I am thankful for a loving family (which includes my immediate family and my in-laws). I believe my parents raised me well and they have never once not supported me when it comes to pursuing acting. Same goes for my brother and sister. I hate not being able to spend time with my family during the holidays but such is the nature of working retail in NYC. I'm hoping to visit in January though. I am grateful for friends who stay loyal even though I am a busy, extremely introverted person who finds it difficult to hangout or stay in touch frequently. I am thankful for my sweet little kitty Sophie who makes me so happy when I think about her little face. I'm thankful for our health. I am thankful for our apt and for the location in which we live--across the river from NYC--(even though I don't make it a secret that I would rather be living in an apt in the East Village. Sigh.). Going back to my faith, I am thankful that I found a church where God's truth is spoken with conviction and yet with love, and where so much is done to help not only the people of NYC, but also people from all around the world who need a helping hand (even though I do attend as often as I should). I am grateful for my survival job. Not only because it pays the bills and pays for my acting things, but also because doing makeovers and selling makeup is a great job. I tried the typical actor thing--waiting tables--for 6 months when I lived in Virginia and I don't think I could do that again. (Just like many actors couldn't do retail for as long as I have.) 

And let's get down to the reason why I write this blog. I am incredibly grateful that I am able to follow my dream. The journey has been amazing and I am really still just getting started. But I cherish the entire process-the hard work, the events, the disappointments, the connections I've made, and those moments in which I do actually get to act. I write this blog for myself, as a way to reflect and keep focused, but I also write in order to inspire others to follow their dreams. Just do it. No matter what. It starts with a small step, but all it takes is one step in the right direction. I know sometimes because of circumstances we have to put our dreams on hold, and that's okay. That's life. Don't let it stop you. Where there is a will there is a way indeed. I'm sure you have read these amazing stories of people overcoming incredible obstacles, that most of us can't even imagine, and accomplishing extraordinary things in their lives. My obstacle when it comes to pursuing acting is something that is not so noticeable and it is actually a choice I've made. It is the choice I have made to not use profanity in any of the roles I take (among other things, but this is the issue that arises constantly). Sometimes I feel so discouraged because I know this will stop me from playing parts. Great parts. Amazing parts in fact. I feel like I cannot look for agents because I'm afraid to ask someone to represent me and then present them my list of restrictions. And let me tell you, that list probably isn't going to change. I feel like people in the industry will think I am crazy especially since I am still a nobody the world of Hollywood and should be taking whatever comes way and am in no position to be making requests like that. It is so hard and humbling for me to read a script prior to an audition and then have to ask if I am able to leave out or substitute a curse word. And lately, every script I've read has cursing in it. When this happens only once in awhile it's easier to deal with. But when it happens one script right after the other it starts to weigh on me. But I know this is my path. The way God has intended for me personally to pursue this career and if it's going to happen, this is how it's going to happen. So I keep on sending those requests in faith. (And BTW I don't judge Christian actors who do curse.) And that means letting go completely of a role that seems so fulfilling. But it makes me especially thankful for every single acting job I get. And guess what? Only twice I can remember since moving here in 2005 has the cursing been necessary for the character. (When it is, I politely and graciously turn down the opportunity.) Which is pretty incredible when I think about how many roles I've played over the years. That decision makes the journey harder for sure, but also more fulfilling because I am trying to put God first. So that is why I constantly emphasize how blessed I feel to be working on a new project. Our obstacles can become our testimonies-what makes our story and us unique. 

I always thought making these sort of lists was corny. But as I started writing this post I realized there is something that actually does occur deep inside when taking time to write down and really think about what you are grateful for. I can't explain it, but I feel more encouraged, fulfilled, and deeply happy about where I am in my acting career. I don't feel as bothered by the fact that I am not yet making my living from acting, or by the fact that I live in New Jersey. (Half joking but that is actually a big deal for me because when I lived in Manhattan I was one of those people who swore I would never ever live in Jersey. Even though I'm in the NYC area--12 min away from Times Square when there is no traffic--once in a while I still get sad when I reminisce about living in the city itself.) But those things seem like nothing now. 

So I encourage you to make the list too. And I encourage you to take at least one small step towards following your dream. And I encourage you to choose to be happy and grateful wherever you and whatever you are doing. 

Happy Holidays!!!