Using Music to Uplift Your Mood

Hello Beautiful people!

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Yesterday I was feeling a little down, overwhelmed, and frankly concerned. I tried to focus on some tv shows I’d been meaning to watch (Bluff City Law and Games People Play) but found myself overwhelmed with thoughts of everything I hadn’t done and other ways to supplement my income. Many ideas I had set into motion are on hold, for obvious reasons. While I was trying to pivot and clean out my iCloud (since when will I have the time to do so) I found a video from the Post Malone concert I went to back in March. Austin Richard Post took the time to tell us we could be anything we wanted to. Not to let fear hold us back, that he was sleeping in a friend’s walk-in closet before he was discovered. I got inspired to look up some of his music videos on YouTube. I then ended up going down a YouTube rabbit hole of great music.

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I don’t know about you, but I’d forgotten the days of using YouTube to play music videos and dance around in my house instead of watching another makeup tutorial, clothing haul, or Amazon round up. I sat and listened to my classics from my iPod via YouTube, Wonderwall by Oasis, Mr. Brightside by the Killers, I Miss You by Blink 182. This moment of nostalgia reminded me that this too shall pass. So often we get stuck in a loop thinking we are always going to be exactly where we are or feeling hopeless but it’s all temporary. Hearing these songs reminded me of sitting in 2nd hour A.P. English Literature after finding out I did not get a role in the play after two rounds of callbacks. At the time I tried not to feel sad about it but after the first round of callbacks, I could taste that role. I put my heart into the performance, only to find that it was not enough. However later that same day a classmate I was not particularly fond of told me, “I just want you to know you killed it yesterday. I told two other people at callbacks that the role should have been yours, but it’s politics.” In the strangest way, this made me feel better. After all, art is subjective. Sometimes you don’t get the role because they already picked out the kids or the husband and you don’t look enough like the two of them to fit the story.

For some reason listening to some of my favorites reminded me how we are constantly moving and changing. How one moment can feel sad and devastating the next you are moving on to other bigger opportunities and making or meeting lifelong friends. I say all of this to remind you, if you are feeling low, don’t be afraid to pop on some of your old music. There is nothing better than music to distract, inspire, underscore a story, or shift your mindset. You are loved. You are badass! You will get through this.

What are some of your favorite songs to listen to when you need a pick me up?

The Importance of Dressing for Yourself

Dressing for yourself. It’s been so long since I’ve chosen an outfit purely for myself. Everyday when I wake up for work I choose something that is conservative, muted in tone, non-lacy, non-offensive, and with minimal detail. After choosing a generic white, grey, or black crew neck sweater and throwing on a black or cream blazer with basic black slacks; I was told to make sure my pants are not too fitted. As someone who has lost over 25 pounds about four months back, it can be discouraging to have someone trying to police your body. I get that miniskirts are not appropriate for the corporate world, but I still don’t see how wearing pants that FIT your body instead of being two sizes too big is considered inappropriate. Do corporate men not go outside? Do they avoid the beach, malls and restaurants so they are not “distracted” by the female figure? 

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Stop, and tell me what you think of this outfit. Is there an outfit you have that makes you feel invincible?

Come on now, it’s 2020 if we cannot hold people accountable for their actions about whether or not it is appropriate to comment on someone’s body or resist their urges then we have even bigger issues than the upcoming Presidential election. It reminded me of one of the many articles circulating about girls getting sent home for dress code because their shorts weren’t finger-tip length. I remember my frustration in high school as teachers (usually women) commented on my attire because I was taller than my friends (myself 5’5, them 5’1 and 4’11). My fingertips were closer to an inch above the knee theirs were barely halfway down their leg. I remember feeling angry for being singled out because I had boobs and a butt while my classmates were not as developed. On one occasion my 40 plus year-old health teacher who was wearing a low-cut V-neck and matching mini tennis skirt told me I needed to go to the principal’s office for dress code. I told her sure, we can go together since your skirt isn’t fingertip length either. Her face turned beet red and as she vehemently read me the riot act, I pointed out that the dress code is incredibly sexist and she is a role model to our class. By being a role model she too should be held to the same clothing standards since we are all in the same place of business. 

Beautiful woman smiling, black woman in 20s, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta  Keri Elaine, BCBGMaxazria, black over the knee boots, blgvari sunglasses, Maje navy fringe bag.
Over the knee boots similar here, similar Maje bag here, and black off the shoulder top here

My point is, clothing brings me joy. I don’t know about you, but I dress for my mood. Somedays that means boots because I’m ready to strut proudly and confidently into an audition, other days boho dresses because I’m feeling mellow and want to sit outside and read. When I’m sad and we are talking sobbing depression, I still wear the over-sized grey hoodie I keep in the back of my closet from an ex-boyfriend. It’s the one sad piece of clothing I’ve allowed into my apartment. In a weird way I feel comforted when I wear it because it gives the feeling of being wrapped in a hug. 

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Who knew an elevator could be a great opportunity for a photo op.

Everything else in my closet is colorful, lacy, fringe, beaded, and one light pink sequin miniskirt (I can’t let go of) all of which reflect my creative personality. When you dress for yourself you feel empowered and ready to face the world head-on. When you have to dress with everyone else in mind you start your day feeling like you have to apologize for the beautiful features God blessed you with. It’s a way of suppressing your confidence so you don’t “draw too much attention” or “intimidate anyone”. I just want to reach a point where we can teach everyone to be more confident in their self and respect other people instead of policing them. 

Thanksgiving Reflections

Thick brunette hair, Chicago, princess, looking at the river, downtown Chicago, emerald green Ted Baker coat.

Hello Beautiful people!

This past Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of going to my acting coach’s house for a formal dinner with part of our studio family. We were welcomed into Sara and Derek’s warm beautiful home. Everyone was excited to catch up about life and hilariously trying to understand what is Tik Tok? Is it the new Vine? If you know please leave a comment below. 

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We sipped on cucumber water in between glasses of wine and hugged each person that walked in the door. We all reflected on what we were thankful for and took turns going around the table. The one thing we all had in common was being thankful for feeling confident in our talents. The peace of mind that even though we don’t get what we want, we are all so thankful for the even better opportunities God has brought to us. We all laughed and teared up about the fact that when we make plans God laughs. Every time things are slow and you finally book a vacation, you get the call for an avail check to fly to Los Angeles and commercial auditions. Which while phenomenal! Sucks when you are meeting up in a new city with one friend and can’t really cancel on them. We each discussed how beautiful it is to be a part of this supportive community. How rare it is to be around other actors that want the best for you and aren’t competing with you. Actors that see one another as people, not an opportunity to social climb. I finally got to meet the husband of a classmate whose project we shot a couple months ago. She started her own production company and he designed the gorgeous logo. We talked about his new job in a Persian rug store. I told him it’s amazing how the arts are everywhere. Each Persian rug is hand-woven, with specific colors and patterns to tell a story. Therefore, they are one of a kind and usually passed down from generation to generation. Similar to how we share stories through art, dance, song and film. We discussed how thankful we are to start writing and producing some of our own work. After all the market is changing HBO, Netflix, AMT, Showtime and Hulu are constantly looking for new material so what do we have to lose? Becoming the next Righteous Gemstones, Schitt’s Creek, Atlanta or Insecure would be an honor. I left this Thanksgiving completely thankful for the beautiful fulfilling people in my life and so empowered to see what we accomplish in the next year. What are you thankful for this lovely holiday season?

Tulum Trip Preview

Keri Elaine Tulum Ruins Mexico Birthday trip! Beautiful Tulum Keri Elaine Youtube Video
Ocean view clear seas Tulum. Keri Elaine black bloggers babe!

Hello beautiful people! Back in September I got to go to Tulum Quanta Roo, Mexico for my birthday. By far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. The city was robust with traffic and it was great to have authentic Mexican meals. The seafood was so fresh and affordable (think 13 USD for octopus), the butter was the best I’ve ever tasted and the spicy margaritas priceless.  This year has definitely felt like the best year yet. Everything seems to be falling into place. I’m so grateful for the blessings God has placed in my life. I know that every hard time, every negative person or situation was a way of God pivoting me into a better opportunity. 

Beautiful laughing woman, black bloggers, vacation, spicy margarita, Mi Amor Tulum

I picked up this gorgeous maxi dress in Tulum. The beach side of Tulum had tons of clothing boutiques. I loved that this dress was made of natural materials and hand painted. The owner mentioned the pieces are one of a kind since they are hand painted. I selected was on of the few in this style. The artisans vary from Venezuela, Colombia and the Caribbean. I am working on a Youtube Video that will show clips from this store.

Natural Rough cotton dress Bohemian Keri Elaine
Gorgeous Natural Rough dress from Tulum

I also picked up a piece from Pepe Soho Studio. After meeting Santiago the gallery manager and getting a full demonstration on these pieces, I had to have one. I have a tradition of buying street art from every place I visit, and I bought three in Mexico. Two from an original Mayan family in Coba and the third from Pepe Soho in Tulum. Each piece of photography is printed on a special metallic reflective paper that reflects light and glows when you turn the lights off. The art work is not only vivid in color with the lights on, but glows like a nocturnal piece with the lights off. Every fall I reflect on the year and feel incredibly grateful the lessons of the previous months. What are some things you want to accomplish before December 31? 

8 Signs of a Hype-man

Hello Beautiful people!

Now that you’ve found yourself on this post you are probably thinking what is a Hype-man? Well in the past it was a hip hop singer who tries to get the audience excited about the performance. However here in Atlanta (the rap capital of the world) a Hype-man is another word for people who are pretending to be bigger and more successful than they are. This could be in the music, film or fitness community. These are also they type of people who try to get you to join their MLM (Multi Level Marketing) scheme. Talking about how quickly you can make money through selling leggings, weight loss coffee, tea and vegan supplements.

  1. They post frequently on Social media about the big project they have coming. I’m talking everyday, for weeks at a time 3 stories and a minimum of 2 feed post about a BIG PROJECT COMING SOON. 
  2. They use phrases like, “ya’ll better support me now, cause I’m about to blow up.” Or “Feel free to sign up now to be the first to get my newsletter so you can get on my level.” 
  3. However, when the day of the big project comes there is nothing to be revealed. If you ask about it you get blocked.
  4. They post casting calls stating they cannot pay you now, but will pay you, after they sell the series to a major network. Even though they have no connections to a network studio and can’t even afford to provide food or water on set for their actors and crew. Which is a requirement of all sets. 
  5. They talk about certain music studios, movies and celebrities like they are best friends with them. Then when you Google the movie they claimed to be in or the music studio they claimed to record a song with a certain rapper at, you can’t find their name or evidence that the rapper ever visited there. 
  6. When they say they were in a specific movie role as a lead with an A list actor, but then you can’t even find them on the listing of the film on IMDB or Deadline.com. The two reputable film sites for announcing television and film information. 
  7. They mention always being on set and are posting photos from crafty. Instead of focusing on their work, line changes, stage combat or intimacy choreography like most working actors would. 
  8. You support them by liking their post asking if they need help with anything, but you never see any of the footage, or music. Just an endless stream of lifestyle selfies and request for you to follow their fan page on Facebook.

Have you ever encountered any Hype-men? If so do watch from a distance or just ignore them all together?

Two Great Vegan Mascaras

Hello Beautiful people,

Mascara is by far the one makeup product I always use aside from my eyebrow pencil (necessities am I right?). For years I’ve used Dior Show mascara and loved it, but I decided to try Hourglass recently when one of the girls at Sephora recommended it. What I love about Hourglass is they are a luxury brand that do not test on animals and 1 percent of all profits goes to protecting animal rights. While I am not vegan, tons of my friends are. It has made me way more aware of what I am putting into my body, on my skin and consuming clothing/shoe wise. I have been trying to do my part by eating mainly fruit, vegetables and getting a lot of my protein from vegan protein powder. I still love a leather good I cannot lie, but do not shop half as often as I did 4 years ago. I like to think that every little bit helps, like using a recyclable water bottle at work everyday instead of a plastic cup.

Before we get into the side by side comparisons I figure I would give you all a side by side of my eyelashes before mascara is applied.

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

The Hourglass Caution Extreme mascara comes in a beautiful gold metal tube that has a nice weight to it. It adds, length, volume and does not flake off on your cheeks during the day like some mascaras do. The shape of the wand creates a great lift for your lashes and coats each one in its ink black formula. It is 29.00 and I used this one for about 6 months and absolutely love it! 

Thrive Cosmetic Liquid Lash Extentions

My mom mentioned seeing an advertisement for Thrive Cosmetics which is a Vegan cruelty-free brand. The tubing has a nice weight to it and is a gorgeous teal green color. Their mascara not only gives your lashes fiber extensions, it also stimulates lash growth. The fibers in their formula have a rubbery feel when you wash the mascara off at night. I must admit I noticed my lashes seem softer and a little bit longer than they were a month ago. You can read the reviews for this product here and it retails for 24.00.  

Overall, I will continue to use and repurchase both because they each give a great result and are vegan cruelty-free. Do you have any cruelty-free brands you would recommend? 

2018

Hello Beautiful people!

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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.

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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!

London Calling

Hello beautiful people!

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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.

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The St. James

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.

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Aren’t the plates charming?

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Champagne in the middle of the week huzzah!

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

 

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Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

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😐 ).

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Casting Sites Every Actor Should be On

Keri Bruner beautiful teeth commercial headshot

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.

 

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Just the top half of the breakdown list on Actors Access

 

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.

 

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This shows this commercial is paying on the SAG scale and was posted on May 1st.

 

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.

 

8 Reasons to Visit New Orleans

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

  1. 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!    NOLA-A-jazz-band-on-Bourbon-Street-GrindTV.com_-768x512

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.

 

Beautiful art work in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA
The gorgeous painting my friend bought with reclaimed wood from the Katrina houses.

Beautiful art work in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA
The painting I bought to add to my collection.

Beautiful art work in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA

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.

Jazz band in the French Quarter on New Orleans
Photo Credit to Progrss.com

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.Bourbon Street French Quarter New Orleans

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.

Cobalt blue yarn covered hoop earrings

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.

The stunning ceilings in the Hotel Monteleone
The stunning ceilings in the Hotel Monteleone

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!

Lafayette Cemetery Number 1 and green t-shirt
It was fascinating to step back in time and see the time and craftsmanship that went into these tombs. I did not smile in this photo since I did not feel it would be respectful to those who have been laid to rest here.

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?