Humanity is messy. People are messy.

Acting tips, bookmarked for my personal reference.

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For artists of color– lifting the burden of representing your race: 

Viola Davis was direct. “That very mindset that you have and that a lot of African-Americans have is absolutely destroying the black artist,” she said. “The black artist cannot live in a revisionist place,” she added. “The black artist can only tell the truth about humanity, and humanity is messy. People are messy. Caucasian actors know that.”

“We as African-American artists are more concerned with image and message and not execution,” she said, “which is why every time you see your images they’ve been watered down to the point where they are not realistic at all.”

“My whole thing is, do I always have be noble?” she continued. “As an artist, you’ve got to see the mess.”

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Auditioning – Leave your ego outside the door:

“​Leave your ego outside the door. Resist thinking about the potential outcome of this audition. Bask in the joy of living in the character for the 10 minutes that you have in that room.” ​- Warner Loughlin

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Audition Slates – Introduce yourself to a person, a human: 

I suggest that you slate as if it were an introduction to someone, not as a presentation, announcement, or line reading. When auditioning, I suggest that you honestly introduce yourself to someone in the room (usually the person running the session) while looking into the camera lens. You should be positive and enjoy introducing yourself. Smile, if it feels right, but if you smile just to smile, it will look insincere. Smile because you are confident and having fun, then it will be relaxed or engaging.Be spontaneous!

Don’t lock in one way of introducing yourself. Be aware that each time you say your name the inflection is just a little different. If there isn’t some difference each time, then you have probably locked into a “line reading.” Add a “Hi, I’m” or a “Hello, my name is” and then your name. This will make it friendly and less like you are reporting for military duty.

– Caroline Barry

Power. Decision. Action.

I watched a motivational video today by P.J. Dixon, with a powerful and timely message. I am often paralyzed by indecision, overwhelmed with all the options and directions available to me.

The speakers advice was to incorporate the method of P.D.A. – Power Decision Action.

  1. Power. Put yourself in a position of power by aligning your mind, heart and spirit. This can be done in whatever method you prefer – meditation, prayer, stillness, etc.
  2. Decision. Once you are in a position of alignment, simply ask yourself, “what’s next?” And the decision will come through you. 
  3. Action. As soon as the decision comes to light, immediately take action. Don’t role over in bed, or go on Facebook, or go to make a sandwich etc. This is the most important part. No decision can be made without action. You must put your decision into action ASAP.

I will be incorporating this into my life starting today. I know if I approach my decisions with this method, I will be able to work towards all my goals with clarity and confidence.

2017 half – year checkin.

I’m really diggin 2017.

Besides my big international month-long solo trip in winter 2016, last year was for the birds. I guess if one were to compare this year to last year it’d be a no-brainer in terms of “it can only go up from here,” but I wasn’t so sure. There was a moment when I wasn’t sure if anything would get better.

But here I am, in what I feel is and will continue to be one of the best years of my life. And that’s not to say things have been smooth sailing with sands of gold along the shore. Quite the contrary. It actually feels as if I have a resistance band or ball and chain on my ankle for every. single. move. that I make.

But hey, I’m moving! I’m getting somewhere. And that’s something to smile about.

 

Things I’m loving about this year:

HELLO ENLIGHTENMENT! I have had an insatiable appetite for audiobooks, quotes, random knowledge, philosophy, and positive psychology this year. (Even more than I usually do.) All of the books I have “read” so far have had a major impact on my psyche, my behavior patterns and have changed my life for the better. I feel I am blossoming into the best version of myself mentally.

My self-love is off the charts. I’ve had some hiccups on the dating scene, but they have been extremely minor. Mainly because 1) I can now spot fuckboy fukkery from 100 miles away 2) I’ve given up dating for the most part in general… I know, kinda sad, but…3) I’ve been focusing on ME. I’ve been analyzing my sources of joy, when I feel depressed, what lifts me out of of that temporary depression, etc. and piling on the self-love accordingly.

A general sense of freedom, purpose, and pending success. I’m still jobless, yes. I also have a crappy quality reel (footage not my acting!), some B+ headshots and I haven’t nailed any big acting projects yet. But I still feel alive and am excited for something major to pop off this year. My intuition is flaring off the charts and deep down I know it’s not just blind optimism. And even if it is, I’m also taking matters into my own hands by simultaneously creating THREE of my own projects. And hey, those can be a catalyst too.

Quote: The only “break” anyone can afford to rely upon is a self-made “break. – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

More quality relationships with friends and family. I’ve never been a “go to the club every weekend” kind of girl, but boy have I really been a hermit this year. The upside of this is I’ve been spending lots of time on the phone or catching up with my closest loved ones. I feel like a better best friend, daughter and granddaughter than I have been in the past.

“Networking” 365/7. I’ve been meeting and connecting with so many cool people left and right. I’ve discovered that film festivals and screenings are the best way to meet industry folks, notable directors, legit producers and talented writers, and it’s now my networking method of choice. But in general, people have just been falling into my lap! Uber drivers who are filmmakers, Facebook friends who I haven’t spoken to in ages who are now illustrators and animators working on a film, or interesting creatives and positive people who just want to chat and link. I love people, man. Humanity really shows its best self if you are open and giving of yourself in return.

Taking my craft 3000% seriously. This is an addition to the enlightenment bullet, but the hunger for knowledge extends to growth in my career. I’ve been fine-tuning my craft, doing the work, seeking out extra training, learning from mistakes, reading the greats, watching films and reading plays as homework, learning from my peers, analyzing all art forms, anything that will help me grow as an actress and storyteller, and consequently as a human being.

At the beginning of the year, there was a fun gif with the question: “What will you manifest this year?” with random words flashing underneath. You had to take a screenshot to “reveal your 2017 destiny.” My destiny reavealed: UNICORN. I joked around with friends and said does this mean unicorn as in love or inner unicorn? And someone said jokingly replied, both!

Six months into the year, I’m happy to say I’ve already found both — my inner unicorn and also my enhanced self-love! I’m looking forward to how the next six months pan out  I make my mark on the next six months.

Everything is a choice and I choose happiness and success.

Silver linings — new perspectives.

So after waking up and having an amazing day, compared to the yesterday of crappiness… I realize that I need to change my perspective on auditioning. Despite being an actress, and despite having solid interview, presentation and public speaking skills, there have been numerous times where I have fell flat in the audition room. (Not as bad as yesterday’s incident though.)

Before, I used to think I needed more training, (which I always will) but I really just need more confidence and a change in perspective on auditions.

In the corporate world, I can interview my pants off for any marketing role I desire. I walk into every interview extremely confident in my expertise, knowing exactly what value I bring to any company, what I’m worth, and I view every interview as a mutual evaluation. So why the hell would my approach to auditions be any different? And why haven’t I connected the two sooner?! I’m baffled at why I haven’t transferred these skills over, until now.

From this day forward,  I am viewing each audition as a simple meet-and-greet. The part is already mine, and qualification is not a question, they just need to see me.  The only thing left is a merely a matter of is this the right fit? and do I want to collaborate with this particular production/project?

Boom. New perspective.

I already feel empowered.