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

Paralyzed.

Since I stopped freelancing for the tech company, I’ve been living off of savings for 2 months. I swore off the traditional clients…and promised myself that from now on, any job I accept must have one of these elements:

1 – allow me to be on-camera,

2 – involve video/creativity, or

3 – somehow incorporate my storytelling/content creation skills.

I know I must focus ALL of my efforts towards the same end goal rather than putting a lot of time and energy into solely tech marketing for random startups… which even though I enjoy the challenges, doesn’t really get me anywhere near my goals as an actress and music influencer.

However:

During these past 2 months, I have enjoyed the glimpses of potential roles, blissful freedom do to whatever I want, and a plethora of opportunities to collab…  but I still haven’t found a JOB. That one thing or service (in entertainment/media) that’s going to pay the bills (while I still act.) It’s extremely uncomfortable having money go out the door with nothing coming back in.

But guess what’s worse than diarrhea of the bank account:

Doubt.

I’m having doubts about whether this opportunity will ever come.  Doubts about whether the status quo is there for a reason, and I’m just being a lazy millenial f*ck and just need to suck it up and slave away; reducing my passions to a side job or afterthought, until I can afford to focus on them full time. And it sucks. Because the doubt leads to indecision. I can’t make a damn decision about whether to wait, do something else, move to LA, stay in NY, or do anything at all!

But deep deep down, past the doubt on the surface, I still have heart and I still have faith. Something has to work out. It has to. Every night I’m willing my self-conscious to reveal the way and make the answers clear. I just need to make a decision.

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.

Can you feel a brand new day?

Today was 10x better than yesterday’s bad day fluke.

Weather was amazing. Hair salon was speedy and efficient. Iced chai latte was on point. Chicken sandwich with fries from a random cafe was surprisingly delicious. Photoshoot was poppin. Call with my manager was extremely pleasant.  Test read for film pilot was promising. Cast was hilarious. Full moon was BEAUTIFUL. And bonus — good news came knockin. I booked another role for one of those murder mystery minidoc TV shows. The pay is horrendous, but hey, I’m not complaining. It’s an extra IMDb credit and more footage for the reel.

 

Film is a visual first.

Produced and starred in a short film this weekend. Nothing was riding on this film, it was just a great exercise to go out and create. Here are my takeaways:

  • Film is a visual first.
  • Pre-production/strategy is vital. STORYBOARD, create a film schedule, plan out your shots ahead of time to save time.
  • 48 hour creative competitions are a lot of work and a lot of stress.
  • However, do set deadlines so you can force yourself to get out of your head and create.
  • Start the editing process, EARLY.
  • Start the rendering process, EARLY. Earlier than you would expect.
  • Be picky about who you work with. Better crew, better vibes, better productivity, better outcome.
  • Smaller crew = better productivity
  • Things you should never skimp on: Talented acting, Hair/Makeup, Sound quality, Strong direction.
  • Compromise. You may not see the vision at first, but try to be open. Beautiful things can happen when you release control and let another person take the wheel.
  • Be flexible. Anything can change the day of the shoot. Revisit the root of the idea. There’s always another way to execute.
    • For example, the director had a great vision of a camera pan, but because it was a low-budget film, we definitely didn’t have a dolly. He ended putting two towels on the floor and used the towels to slide the tripod on the floor. You would have never known the difference in the finished film.

Lastly,

  • Married men who tempt you and conveniently leave out the fact that they have a WHOLE ASS WIFE, are the devil. lol.