Women in Film Seminar

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This past rainy Friday I had the honor of joining a bunch of women for a Women in Film symposium. Even though I was incredibly stressed on the way there due to the traffic caused by Trump visiting the CDC. (Yes, I too I’m surprised that he actually came considering he originally cut funding to the CDC but that is beside the point)! At the Women in Film seminar, we all spoke about the fact that we need to start creating more quality content on our own. Stop waiting for the perfect audition to come along and choose you. We are all storytellers and now is the time to start sharing those stories.

Michelle Obama International Women's Day
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The following women headlined as speakers Christine Adams from Black Lightning a series regular reoccurring – a dream role for many of us. Charlene Fisk a director and cinematographer who created a beautiful short film about her own coming out story. Caroline Slaughtera producer, writer, director, and actor who created a short film about the women who lead actresses to Harvey Weinstein. Sara Elizabeth Timmins the producer for the 6 part mini-series documentary Mcmillions. I’ve watched two of the episodes of McMillions and it really pulls you in. Listening to Ms. Timmins speak really made me think about investigative journalism. It’s a branch of film and gives the producer the opportunity to create the B roll that guides the story along.

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At the seminar, we discussed how we all have so many stories to share and that we can’t sit and wait on Hollywood to come up with them, unfortunately, the majority of writers is not female therefore we need to be proactive in writing our own stories even if it means doing it on a smaller platform such as YouTube or spending the time to try to get on to Amazon or into different indie film markets. One fascinating way to go about doing that would be to think about the causes that really matter to you. I’m very passionate about Mercy Ships which is a charity that performs surgery on children that need their cleft lip to be repaired, helps with leg deformities, tumor removal and gives these children the ability to live a healthier life. If I was to do a movie involving a child with a cleft palate I could potentially reach out to Mercy Ships an ask if they would also like to Co-sponsor/promote said film this would be a great way to spread the message further and hopefully you get more people interested in the cause. Which would ultimately have a bigger positive impact for everyone.

I almost didn’t make it to the seminar because I was so stressed due to traffic and being an hour and a half late. If you know me I’m very punctual. It completely stresses me out to be 10 minutes late. I always like to come at least 15 minutes early if not half an hour. However, something in my spirit told me that I needed to be there that night and not to just skip out because I was stressed. That it was better to walk in late and be slightly embarrassed but receive the message meant for me then to stay home and wonder about what could have been.

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The symposium was in honor of International Women’s Day and I was very empowered to be around a bunch of women of multiple cultures all proud to gather and share how we can improve our film industry in Atlanta. How can we get more women working behind the camera? What do we need to change to help women become better writers? One guy even asked for tips on writing female characters. One woman brought up that we all have a nurturing side and an aggressive side a feminine and a masculine and that he just needed to listen to that side. We also brought up the Bechdel test, and that you do not need to use a rape scene as a way to make the character “stronger” or give her an arch. That women can build character through other trials and tribulations the character goes through. We can all implore to be better in the film industry whether that means learning how to edit, become better behind the camera learn how to execute sound instead of the usual costuming position or being in front of the camera. It was awesome to have a bunch of men also in the symposium since the only way to move forward is to have allies. I ran into my friend Brittany who I shot a short film with. We both agreed that we need to write and update our material because we work so well together.

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As I drove home I felt light. I realized I was meant to come to the seminar that night. I ran into a good friend I hadn’t seen in over a year and now we have a project we can work on together. I met a couple of great women who are working on a play and may need some help directing, casting a role or backstage – which would be really fun and great for my resume. After all, I always love the intimacy of a black box theater the buzz of the energy in the room as the audience anticipates the show that’s about to begin. So often we let the stress of the day and the little things block us from our blessings. I just want to remind you to not allow the little attacks to detour you from your true purpose.

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.

 

Blvgari and Lavender for Spring

Hello beautiful people!

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!

Atlanta street style and graffiti with black ankle boots and a lavender dressAtlanta street style and graffiti with black ankle boots, bvlgari sunglasses and a lavender dress

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.

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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!

Beautiful girl with blvgari sunglasses 2018 Atlanta street style in lavender

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.

Beautiful girl with blvgari sunglasses 2018 Atlanta street style in lavender with colorful graffiti

Here is a close up of these Blvgari sunglasses spring 2018 collection

Blvgari sunglasses spring 2018 collection, snake and cat eye shape

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White snake detail on the bridge of these Bvlgari sunglasses.

I have missed you all and cannot wait to catch up with you! What colors come to your mind when you think of spring?

Four Things to Remember When Pursuing Your Dreams

Girl looking through Asian inspired zen garden art. Circular windows and a beautiful woman

Hello beautiful people!

I apologize for being M.I.A., I have been rehearsing for a showcase, updating my resume, getting my costumes together and such. I just realized yesterday (October 31st) makes two years since I left South Florida (to pursue my dreams of becoming an actress) and drove out to Los Angeles. The drive itself took about three days, but that’s a story for another time!

Two years later I am still pursuing acting now in Atlanta. I am proud to say I don’t regret going to Los Angeles. I have some great connections out there and am more familiar with a variety of areas in Los Angeles.

Four things I have learned over the past two years about pursuing your dreams.

1. God laughs when you make plans.

Meaning everyone always says you need a plan. While a plan is important you also need to be flexible. I am a firm believer in walking by faith. Every time I said, “Lord I am going to let your will be done. Please guide my path in neon lights so I know which way to go because I am completely blind!” As a result, he has always provided a way. Even when I was freaking out and down to my last ten bucks a job opportunity would appear and a new opportunity to work in the film industry would arrive.

2. Moving is a great way to find out who your real friends are.

Often times we make friendships of convenience. Sometimes it’s a friend we grew up with, lived near or ate lunch with so we wouldn’t have to sit alone in the cafeteria. Sadly every friendship is not for a lifetime. That does not mean this person was not important to you it just means you each grew into different people, with contrasting views of the world and probably could not agree to disagree. Looking back I realize a friend who never celebrates your victories is not a friend. A true friend is shouting from the rooftops all your accomplishments along with you. Instead of belittling your accomplishments and then expecting you to celebrate their own. When I moved my friends constantly tagged me in Memes on Instagram, called, texted and help reach out to any connections they had. These people are part of my tribe. I have continued to keep in touch with them even through different time zones. I’d like to thank Instagram DM messages and WhatsApp voice recordings for keep my group and I connected.

3. Ignore the naysayers

There will always be people to play devils advocate. Misery loves company and sometimes other people are afraid to pursue their dreams so they will try to hold you back from yours. You have to live your life for you. You only get ONE make it count!

4. When Plan A doesn’t work make another Plan A.

Put your heart into Plan A. Think of every possible negative and positive outcome. Then think about why you want to pursue this. Is it because other people told you too? Is it because you actually want to jump out of bed in the morning to pursue this industry? Or is it for financial gain? Is this your passion? Would you do it for free for a little bit, if it meant turning into a long-term career? Next evaluate each method, select the best and execute it as plan A. After all the A stands for Astonishing. Definition: Extremely surprising or impressively amazing. Because when you achieve your dreams everyone will stare at you in astonished silence, because that is exactly what you are, astonishing.