I don’t know about you, but 2018 has been one long crazy rollercoaster ride. This year has been a huge year of growth for me. I learned the difference between being friends with people and being friendly with people. After all, some people are genuinely meant to be in your life for a reason or a season. Other people are there to push you to reach your full potential. In some cases that meant teaching me not to get too comfortable in my current job, not to trust so easily or let anyone else’s opinion speak louder than your own. So often I have let comments other people make prevent me from doing what my heart tells me. It finally clicked in my head that it seriously does not matter if someone feels you should have done “x” this way or you should not have pursued “x” degree. You are the only one who knows what makes your heart feel fulfilled. Just because someone else does not see your vision, does not make it any less real or important. I realized I’ve had a bad habit of hanging onto relationships purely for the sake of not being alone. This year taught me that there is nothing wrong with being alone. When you are patient the right people will come to you. The true friends that I’ve made over the years have made plans with me and popped up in Atlanta when I least expected. A couple even called and confirmed to me I was on the right path when I had been auditioning a ton and praying for a sign that I am in the right place and heading in the right direction.
My mantra for 2018 was nothing is permanent. Meaning if you don’t like something change it; change your attitude, make a plan and change your circumstances. Anytime I felt down about not being further in my career I reminded myself that my day job helps me afford to pursue my career on the side, build relationships, learn new skills, travel, take headshots, buy clothes for last minute auditions and live without stressing about how to make ends meet. Between the presidential election depression, most of the country went through and the Time’s Up movement I learned to fall completely back in love with myself. I’ve met some amazing casting agents this year and I look forward to cultivating a relationship with them. Overall, I am incredibly proud of myself for conquering my fear of traveling outside the US alone. I will admit I may have had a panic attack in the underground of London when I could not figure out which of the many tunnels directs you to the surface. Plus, two suitcases and 34,167,825 stairs can be intimidating hahaha. However, I am very excited to travel more in 2019. I met tons of kind strangers that restored my faith in humanity. I know this will come in handy since you never know what city or country you’ll shoot in as an actor. Now I just need to take some time to meditate and set my intentions for this fantastic new year. What are some intentions you’ve set for this new year? I’d love to hear from you!
In April I went to London! If you have been following me on Instagram you probably saw a few of my stories and photos. This was my first trip traveling outside the US ever! My entire life, I have longed to travel abroad, but never had the financial resources to do so. In high school, my classmates would talk about their trips to Paris, the Swiss Alps, London and Cape Town. I could never relate. We often took road trips to different states which were fun, and I am blessed enough to say I have seen about twenty of the US states. However, there is nothing like traveling alone outside your country and experiencing another culture. I always thought maybe one day I’ll travel abroad with a group of friends or a boyfriend. Nonetheless, the one thing I’ve learned this past year is if you want to do something you should plan to do it by yourself! While traveling with other people is a ton of fun, you can not rely on other people to be on the same schedule as you. Sometimes you just have to book the ticket and go! Luckily I have three sets of friends living in various parts of London. One of which is from London and has a twin sister, who I finally got to meet in person after pen-paling it through DM on Instagram. Another friend from high school who went to a University in London along with her brother. Finally, my last friend who has been in London three years with the love of her life and their beautiful daughter. Each group of friends lives in a different section of London, so I knew I would get a full tour of the city!
I must confess I had a slight moment of panic the day before I was leaving. What if I get lost underground while using the tube? What if I get kidnapped like Taken? Will the Brits accept an American girl after all the chaos and ignorance coming out of our White House? I took a deep breath, made sure I checked the weather for the tenth time, downloaded the Citymapper app and grabbed my passport for the plane. This year I promised myself to get out of my comfort zone. Last year was all about growth, change and cutting out toxic relationships. This year is about chasing every opportunity, traveling to places I’ve never been and working on my weaknesses.
As soon as I got on the plane a lovely fellow named Ollie (the first of three I would meet on this trip) talked for about five hours about music, acapella, life, dating, London, and Scotland. I probably should have gotten his Instagram or Whatsapp, but you never know I’ll visit London again and the universe has a funny way of bringing the right people to you at the right time.
My first group of friends took me to tea at the St. James. The art deco decor was absolutely stunning, and tea sandwiches were even better. I had hibiscus tea and tried about 5 different tea sandwiches. The pickled one was my favorite! Our server was so attentive and even went the extra mile to switch out a few sandwiches that my friend did not enjoy.
Later that night I hit up the Ned and drank Mojitos with the girls while we caught each other up on the last year and a half of life. The Ned is right near the tube so it is pretty easy to get to. It was so nice to get the full story on everything going on in everyone’s lives instead of the reader’s digest version. The Ned is in the financial district, but a good amount of people were dressed business casual, so you don’t have to worry about a formal dress code here. The bathrooms are beautiful and so are the ridiculously high ceilings.
Covent Garden was such a cute picturesque area of shops. They even had multiple flower arrangements over arched benches that many women took advantage off. I also got talked into buying my beloved Bvlgari sunglasses here! I will say I got them for about 40 percent off so I could not resist! (Also save your receipts when you are shopping around London. At the airport, you can get your Value-Added Tax back)! I loved seeing the turquoise colored beams and the different art vendors. I picked up this tiny piece from a woman, who uses pencil and watercolor on her pieces. I thought it would be more interesting to pick a piece that did not have a stereotypical red bus, telephone booth or bridge. She also mentioned the piece I selected had a bit of gold paint to add shimmer.
I also enjoyed multiple Irish pubs in London with the most delicious shepherd’s pie and roasted vegetables. I was amazed at how many places had vegetarian/pescatarian options.
If you are looking for a chocolate lovers dream then you must go to one of the many Bill’s Soho restaurants throughout the city! I went to Bill’s in Soho and ordered the Melting Chocolate Bombe. It’s a Chocolate dome, with brownie chunks below, chocolate sauce, and they pour warm caramel. I don’t have a picture of this decadent dessert, because our waiter poured the caramel over before I could take a photo so I ate it all hahaha! So you’ll have to take my word for it!
Camden! Camden was a cool edgy spot where the 90 grunge trend originated from. I loved all the individual shops in the marketplace. One vendor had dozens of white T-shirts with an animal screen printed peaking out of the pocket. Another spot had Chinese puzzle boxes. Some took four steps to solve others took as many as twelve. Honestly, the store owner was kind enough to show me how it works because I had no idea where to start! There was something so unique and whimsical about this market with the variety of foods to try as well.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This is an absolute must for actors, theatre patrons, and literary babes. I did not get to see a show since they are in their offseason. Just seeing the replica of the original globe and reading the quotes from so many of his great works is enough to leave your heart full and your soul hungry to dive into more acting roles.
Shoreditch is one of the few places I looked up before coming to London. I love the concept of taking shipping containers and reusing them in a better way. Anytime there is good food, graffiti, and an eclectic group I am so down! Thus my love of Wynwood. Time outWhen it comes to food there was something for everyone. They had greek food, vegan, create your own wraps, bubble wrap ice cream waffles which look cool, but did not taste that great (sorry😐 ).
The shipping containers below housed multiple clothing, jewelry, and paper goods stores. I’ve been stalking Astrid & Miyu online since they came up in my Instagram feed and I had to pick up a cute earcuff and rose gold initial ring while I was there! Their pieces are so dainty and the sales associates are very attentive.
My friend from high school and I realized we have been friends for over ten years now! This trip reminded us both how much we miss being around one another. Her musician friends were absolutely amazing. They completely adopted me into their tribe and I literally had separation anxiety for a week after I left. We all laughed together so much my abs hurt every day for four days. Us girls went to see a friend perform at a piano bar and she was fabulous! I love all the speakeasy vibes on the underground bars, jazz clubs and nightclubs in London.
Original we planned on going dancing at a Colombia restaurant for live music and dancing. When we got there, there was nowhere to sit and no music playing. So we left and went to Crust Bros. This restaurant had a cool urban vibe, with hip-hop music blasting through the speakers. I will say it gets pretty hot in there since there is a giant pizza oven in the center of the restaurant. However, you don’t feel the heat once you are in there for more than ten minutes. This pizza is the perfect light, fresh thin crust made to your specifications. The owner came over and told us he lived in LA for the longest then came back over here and opened this pizza place, but did not want it to have the typical Italian pizza place vibe. Thus the open loft ceilings, with industrial metal and wood touches throughout. He then mentioned how awful Miami is, I laughed because all three of us were from/lived in Miami for at least three years. When we told him that, he immediately laughed and said damn, well you know what I mean about how people down there can show off and be pretentious. We laughed and pointed out that, that happens in every major US city. I asked him if he knew what the nameless pink neon light place next-door was? WELL, it turns out he owned part of this underground all female club called Tonight Josephine.
Tonight Josephine is an all-female nightclub where you can go dance and drink with your girls without worrying about being harassed by a guy. In order for a guy to enter he has to be accompanied by a woman. This place is covered in Millennial Pink, mirrors, neon light signs, fun wallpaper, and handsome male bartenders. As you enter there is a giant neon light sign that says, “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”. I was talking to one of the owners and he mentioned when women enter they immediately start taking selfies in the ceiling. My girls and I were dancing to so many throwbacks when we looked around and noticed most people were taking selfies in the reflection of the ceiling. I could not stop laughing! The bartenders were super sweet and when one of the drinks my friend ordered did not taste good he remade it for her. Each of the bathroom doors had a different celebrity mugshot, Paris Hilton, and Justin Bieber just to name a few. Isn’t it funny how the nights where your plans fall through end up being the most fun? Has this ever happened to anyone else?
As an actor, things have changed so much over the past ten years. Before you could Google “commercial or film auditions in (insert metropolis here)” and you would get a list of auditions. The posting would include when, where, what time, an email address and a contact number. Your agent would send you auditions to go to as well. You would either schedule a time slot to audition or show up and wait, cattle call style. You get your sides there or before. Bring multiple copies of your headshot with your resume stapled to the back and go dazzle the casting folks!
Today you need to be on casting sites. On each of these sites, you should have your headshots, demo reel, sizing, contact information for yourself and agency.
Headshots – You need two headshots at the very least. One commercial headshot which should show you in a cheerful friendly way. Think friendly and approachable, and the other is your theatrical headshot. This shot should show no teeth and have a serious expression. You want to show your range as an actor and your personality.
Demo Reel – This should be made up of the best clips of your on-camera performances in film, tv and commercial work in less than 90 seconds. If you only have enough powerful moments for 30 to 45 seconds that is completely fine! 90 seconds is the max, two minutes can feel longer than you think.
Slate shot – A Slate shot is a short clip of you stating your name. Actors Access does a great job of showing slate shot examples here. The purpose is to show your personality and give the casting director an idea of what your voice sounds like.
Sizing – Grab a measuring tape, because you will need to list your chest, waist, hips, and sometimes inseam. Your weight, height, shoe size, and hat size as well.
Once you have a profile set up on these sites, you read through the breakdowns and submit your headshot, demo reel, resume and size to be considered for an audition. If the casting person thinks you fit the description they send you a link to sides for the audition for a self-tape and request a slate shot. Then they will hire you based on your self-tape and slate shot, or they will bring you into the casting office for a callback. Finally, you wait to hear if you got the job or silence.
If you want more experience for your demo reel, you should check with your local universities film and communications departments. These students often have multiple film projects to work on during the school year and need actors. The work will usually be unpaid, but you gain experience, and IMBD credit if they submit their work to a film festival.
Actors Access. This is one of the main casting sites. The site gives you the option of checking breakdowns for the Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Eastern Canada, Southeast U.S., Florida, Texas, Chicago, the Northwest and more. You can look at breakdowns for each specific region or just select all breakdowns fit for me. Actors Access also allows you to add a video clip from each project you worked on to your resume page. It is an extra charge but looks incredibly professional if you have the means to do it. If you are looking for theatre work there are casting calls for national tours on here as well.
Casting Networks. Fox is casting exclusively through Casting Networks, which was formerly known as LA Casting. This site has network tv auditions for principal roles, featured roles and commercials. There are also theatre and student films on Casting Networks. One thing I love about this casting site is they list if the job is paying, how much and the type. So you know how much you are going to make, and if it is a commercial or short film before you even open the casting call.
IMDbPro. Internet Movie DatabasePro is perfect for when you have a couple of professional credits under your belt. A lot of the castings on here will say for name talent. Meaning a well know actor, someone people will recognize on the screen. I do not think the ranking system or “STARmeter” matters much to casting directors, but they do want to see professional credits under your name. The STARmeter just tells producers and casting who is most popular currently or most likely has a project coming out. When you pay for IMDb pro, you also can see a list of talent agencies, contact information, message boards, projects in preproduction and ongoing.
Naw ‘leans as the Southerners call it is an enchanting city. Since I had a three day weekend I decided to visit my college friend and her New Orleans born and breed boyfriend. So I was lucky enough to be given the local tour, which we all know is the best one! Her boyfriend told us all about parade floats and how each of them is known for a specific thing. There is a hierarchy among the floats and you have to join to be a part of the Krewe, pay dues and pay for the items you throw. So some floats throw one shoe (which is for decoration not actually use), purses, tons of beads and other swag. These shoes are one of a kind, hand decorated shoes. If you want to know more about the different Krewes feel free to read about each crew and what they throw here. The tradition of decorating and throwing one shoe represents
The food. Let’s be honest we all need to eat, so why not eat something delicious! The beignets are a magical and delicious reason to visit New Orleans alone. If you crossed a donut with a funnel cake and covered it in powdered sugar, then you would have the beignet. To eat one of these delicious morsels you must go to Cafe Du Monde. Insider tip: there is no formal wait to be seated rule. So keep walking past the long line of tourist and walk into the restaurant and look for an empty table. The staff there will quickly bus the table and ask you for your order. DO bring cash! This place is pretty cheap and I do not think they take credit. Also the little water cups they bring you are to wash the sugar off your fingers not for you to drink!
Try the po’ boys. There are shrimp, crawfish, catfish and fried clam po’ boys. These are everywhere and the Cuban sub of New Orleans. Named the po’ boy after the poor mans’ sandwich. It is crunchy and delicious. Usually, bread toasted on both sides with butter, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Alligator Bites. I know some of you are thinking ew. BUT the last time I had alligator was an RJ Gator’s in Florida about 12 years ago. The alligator bites in New Orleans are juicy, tender and chewy. I personally am not a huge chicken person, but alligator bites always taste like better than Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets.
Gumbo. It’s seasoned to spicy perfection, full of shrimp, crawfish, scallops, sausage, and vegetables. A must if you love soup or spicy foods.
Art in the French Quarter
2. The Art in the French Quarter. I have a tradition of buying street art from the places I visit and the French Quarter was filled with photography, sculptures, and paintings. The artist my friend bought her art from told us he grew up there and was one of the first contractors to come back and rebuild. Each frame was made from the wood of the houses he helped take down to the studs and rebuild. He told us the red spray paint was how many people had passed (animals included) and the black spray paint was how many people (and animals) had been saved from the home. The green spray paint was from the homeowners spraying Help on their homes. The painting she bought was of the very street we were on that he use to look out on as he drank his morning coffee before he began to work. Stories like these are the reasons why I love collecting art, not only are you stimulating the local economy instead of the tacky tourist shops, but you also get to connect with some truly beautiful people.
3. The live Jazz bands on the streets! There is nothing like a live Jazz band. Every couple of blocks there were four and six-piece jazz bands filling the air with sweet sounds. I loved dancing in the streets with the locals and laughing with my friend. Full disclosure I have always found Saxophones to be so sexy! Idk I blame my mom for playing so much Kenny G as I grew up.
4. The parades! It’s impossible not to, “let the good times roll,” in New Orleans! You can pay a fee to the city and have a police-escorted parade in the French Quarter. It’s super common for Bachelorette’s, weddings and birthday celebrations. So you can march up and down the Quarter with your very own jazz band, parasol. It’s pretty affordable to have your own street parade and open container. You can read more about that here.
5. Bourbon Street! I have one photo from Bourbon street, because if you have seen Girls Trip you know exactly how wild Bourbon Street is. I basically thought I had stumbled across a post-college frat party in the best possible way.
6. The shopping! I reclaimed my love of earrings in New Orleans. There were so many boutiques with interesting colorful earrings. Since I have returned home I’ve bought three more pairs, but that was partially because Babblebar had a sale. (Instagram’s ads will be the death of me). I must warn you that some boutiques are overpriced compared to others. So visit multiple boutiques before purchasing. You could save some bucks.
7. The architecture. If you love French architecture, but want to enjoy it in tropical weather. If you are looking for a unique bar to beat the heat, then you must go to the Carousel bar. Inside the Hotel Monteleone is this beautiful one-of-a-kind rotating carousel bar. The floor moves around in a slow spinning motion, while a jazz band plays in the back. Make sure to get there before 8 if you want a seat!
8. The historic sites like the Lafayette Cemetery. This cemetery has been featured in multiple movies and the CW show The Originals. These beautiful giant tombs hold multiple family members some dating as far back as the 1840’s. These tombs are above ground since New Orleans is in a bowl and will flood. Sadly a lot of these tombs were damaged during the hurricane like many peoples home and through vandalism. There are tours you can take to learn about the various families, secret societies and burial styles here.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so what are some of your favorite spots?
I am so sorry I have been away from you for so long. If you follow me on Instagram you probably noticed I have been to New Orleans and London in my time away from you. I plan on doing an upcoming review on those two fabulous cities and a post on how to take a great headshot! I talked to a casting agent about the ins and outs of headshots and what casting agents see when they look at certain ones. I am going to try and post twice a week so bear with me. Tuesday and Thursday are going to be my new posting days. Without further ado let’s get into get into one of my favorite spring colors and gorgeous souvenir from London!
When I think of spring colors mint, fuchsia and lavender always come to mind. This lavender shift dress is from Francesca’s! (If you are interested in checking it out you can click the highlighted Francesca’s affiliate link). Usually, I would not find this shape flattering for my body type. Shift dresses normally make my chest look even larger and create a maternity mumu affect. I loved the color so much I decided to ignore my anti shift dress prejudice and try it on. Luckily the scalloping keyhole and racer back combination made this dress incredibly flattering! Racerback tops and keyholes are always more flattering when you have a large chest. People think you should wear a high neck, but I always disagree V-necks and keyholes are always more flattering than a crew neck top.
I was in London earlier this month the weather was a little chiller than their typical April, but I really wanted to wear this dress. So I put black tights underneath, my black ankle boots and my friend’s black motorcycle jacket to make this look a little edger. Sadly I did not take a picture that day, because of all the rain and time we spent laughing/catching up on one another lives. Luckily the weather was lovely in Atlanta so I got to take these photos!
I’m not usually one to spend a ton on sunglasses, but I fell in love with these while in London and got them at a discount plus VAT so I HAD to do it. I am now the proud owner of these cat eye Bvlgari Serpenti sunglasses. I circled the Sunglass store about ten times and kept coming back to these light rose gold mirrored sunglasses. The thing I love about Bvgari is their attention to detail. The pinkish purple around the frame and the white that mirrors the appearance of a snake is stunning in person. I’ve worn these sunglasses so much in the last two weeks and every time people stop me to tell me how gorgeous they are and I have to agree. I have not seen anything similar and I love that it is a modern take on the cat eye.
Here is a close up of these
I have missed you all and cannot wait to catch up with you! What colors come to your mind when you think of spring?
First and foremost Happy Valentine’s Day darlings! I think Valentine’s Day is a beautiful reminder to appreciate the ones you love. Even if that means just calling them to say two things you love about them.
I picked up this fabulous off the shoulder side tie red dress from Abercrombie and Fitch. Which is on sale btw! This looks completely different than the Abercrombie and Fitch I worked at eight years ago, so shout out to their new buyer this linen dress is so beautiful!
I recently finished reading a book called The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and it made me rethink my perspective on love. At one point in life I thought love was very black and white. Now I know there are tons of gray areas with love. Times where you are so drawn to someone that it is entirely magnetic and other times when you just get butterflies. Then just complete admiration for another person. You can read some of the reviews here to get a good summary. By nature I am a complete hopeless romantic. I love nothing more than great conversation, when a guy plans out a unique date and remembers the little things I even forgot I said. This always shocks my friends, because I’m often single and dating longer than I am in a relationship. I’ll be honest with you all, it’s because I have been afraid of commitment. Why? When I am in a relationship I am one hundred percent invested in my person. I use every spare minute I have to do what my guy wants, shop for the perfect birthday gift for him, plan a party, hang out with his friends and sometimes his family. The thing is in the past this has not been reciprocated. My ex’s have often been insecure due to rumors their “friends” made up, comments about me being out of their league or allowed their families to dictate who they can date and make racist remarks to me. The only thing I wanted was quality time with my man, who loves and trust me unconditionally and would stick up for me with his family/friends.
This past year I have taken the time to completely fall head over heels in love with myself. I have planned trips, taken acting classes, laughed with old friends over lunch, gone to viewing parties for my fellow actors, had drinks with some interesting people and honestly loved every minute of it. Ironically I had a four-hour conversation with a stranger about love, life, and marketing. Our conversation basically reminded me that through everything, I still completely believe in love. The kind that is patient, magnetic, passionate, selfless and comes when you are completely happy with where you are in life.
This year my Valentine is my fur baby who loves me unconditionally and I am completely fine with that! Do you think there are different types of love?