After spending a lovely afternoon at the High Museum of Art I began to think of how art influences film and our daily lives. There are so many scenes in various tv shows and films that directors have mimicked from famous works of art. Django Unchained has done this, Frida, so have many others. If you are interested you can see more on YouTube here.
Even in high school, we had to look through art books to find a painting to reference for inspiration for our Shakespeare unit and Chekov. I absolutely loved it. So many of my fellow actors wined and asked what’s the point. I pointed out that we get inspiration from everywhere so why not art. The paintings we used showed us how the character would dress, stand, their status and give us an idea of how this person would move throughout the world. I would often sit on a bench in the gallery building on Dreyfoos’s campus in high school just gaze at the work my classmates did. Some in charcoal, oil paint others in watercolor. I was always amazed at the amount of time and patience it must take to make a painting look like a photo.
Art is also used in marketing which has influenced how we shop since the dawn of time. Mad Men is all about an ad agency that copywrote for women’s makeup, household products, and other things. Now it’s used as the mock-up for commercials or editorial shots to get us to buy the latest trend, health gimmick or travel destination. Just think about Andy Warhol and the Campbells soup cans. They didn’t know whether to sue him for copyright infringement or thank him for advertising their brand.
Is there a specific film scene or art piece that has influenced you? I know in the age of Instagram ads people are more likely to buy a fast fashion item then see a piece of art in person, but Instagram ads are full of influential material whether it’s a luxurious vacation or the latest handbag. These are our modern art forms.
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?
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.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Since I got back from Miami, I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a slacker on the gym time. I usually am pretty good about working out in the gym for at least 30 minutes every day in my neighborhood. If I don’t feel like leaving my apartment, then I’ll do Youtube videos like Blogilates or some of the Popsugar Fitness. I like that Casey makes her Blogilates videos fairly short. So I will often do them at least twice before moving onto another video. Other times I’ll bring out Brazilian Butt Lift and do his killer ab videos. The creator of Brazilian Butt Lift is Leandro Carvalho. In case you have not heard his name, he is the one who trained Victoria Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio and we all have seen how amazing she looks! I’ve done his DVDs on and off for years and gotten great results, but I think like most things you have to change it up. Even though Atlanta is nice and warm I just have not been very motivated lately.
So I got a Fitbit. Partially, because my company will reimburse my health insurance for meeting a certain number of steps. If we meet the required amount every month and get two check-ups during the year, then, they will pay our insurance for the last month of the year and cover the cost of the Fitbit. (Someone paying me to get back into tip-top shape, pretty motivating)! My other reason was my friend has been telling me to get one for over a year now (what can I say I’m pretty stubborn). I know it can be a pretty big motivator when you have been sitting too long. I also like the fact that it tracks your sleep. I think we often feel like we are getting a good amount of rest. When you look at the app and see that you slept for five hours and were restless for about 30 minutes you know its time to make some changes. I started reading about an hour before I’m ready to go to bed instead of scrolling through Instagram. While I love Instagram! The creative photos, family pictures and seeing my friends travel the world, it also was not helping my sleep. I know there have been multiple articles mentioning the correlation between the blue light of your phone and it messing up melatonin your body releases naturally. You can check out an article from the Washington Post on that here.
Part of me thinks it’s just laziness hahaha the other part thinks it has to do with my job. One person recently left so the rest of us have absorbed his job. I love learning new skills and working in other applications, but it can make for some mentally exhausting few weeks. Especially since you want to make the best impression with minimal mistakes. However, we all know when you are doing something out of your comfort zone there are bound to be mistakes. This past Friday, I skipped my usual posting (apologies) and decided to study an old monologue for an audition. I really wanted to put up a post for you all, but wanted to make sure I could give it 100 percent. So instead I practiced my monologue for my audition. Went on Saturday had a blast auditioning, made a few new friends. Then vowed to take myself for a long walk. So that’s exactly what I did. Went for a walk/jog for an hour and a half. I think the change of scenery was just what I needed to get back into work out mode. I must admit there is something satisfying about feeling Fitbit buzz and show celebration emojis when you meet your daily step goal.
What are your favorite ways to get out of a fitness rut?