The End Of My Black Friday Deal (or Cabaret At Pantages)

This week was the final show in the amazing Black Friday deal I got with my friend Dani for the Pantages this season. This time, the show was “Cabaret”. Dani and I really lucked out with our shows in the Black Friday deal and I’m so glad that we decided to go for it. Plus, our seats for each of the shows were so much better than any seats we’ve had before (they were significantly better than what our season tickets were like last season or will be for next season).

The big downside to this final show in the deal was that Dani couldn’t go. The entire run for the show was while she is out of the country, so she gave me her ticket to give to a friend. I asked around to see who wanted to come see “Cabaret” with me this week, and my friend (and amazing casting director) Jeremy Gordon said he could go with me. I met Jeremy through The Actors’ Network, but I hadn’t seen him in person for a very long time (but we’ve stayed in touch through social media). Jeremy and I have been saying for a long time that we were way overdue for a coffee hangout, so going to see a show together was pretty awesome.

Since it’s not cheap to park by Pantages, Jeremy and I carpooled there. It was nice to have someone in the car with me while I dealt with traffic, and it gave us a great opportunity to catch up on things. We also both realized that neither of us had seen “Cabaret” in its entirety before. I’ve seen most of the musical numbers and knew a lot about the story, but I’ve technically never seen the show before. I thought it was pretty cool that we were both first-timers at the show and we were looking forward to seeing what it was like.

Cabaret

I don’t want to give away a ton about the show in case some of you haven’t seen it, but it was incredible! The cast was really great and I think that it was beautifully staged (which can be tough for a touring show). There was a great mix of silliness and seriousness throughout the show. And while the sound seemed a bit too low (both Jeremy and I noticed it was a bit quiet and could be tough to hear at times), I was able to follow the story and got sucked into it pretty easily.

I did know a bit about how the show ended, but I didn’t know all of it and it took my breath away. It was very intense and while it was sad it was also beautifully done. And when the actors took their bows at the end of the show, there was no music from the orchestra (which I don’t know if I’ve ever seen before) and that added to the shock value of the ending and made it stick with me. I am glad I didn’t know the entire show because that moment was so powerful and I’m glad I was able to experience it at the show.

I think Jeremy will agree with me that the show was so well done and I highly recommend checking it out if you are in LA (or when it tours in your area). With the way that politics are going these days, this show is actually pretty relevant and current even though it takes place in the 1930’s. But even without the politics of the show, it was just great and I’m so glad that we chose it to be a part of our deal when we bought them back in November.

After the show, Jeremy and I took a silly selfie outside the theater to document our awesome hangout.

Jeremy Gordon

I’m so glad that Jeremy was able to come with me to the show. While I was sad that Dani wasn’t there, it was great to get to share the experience and my love of going to the theater with another friend. We’ve talked about hopefully going to another musical again in the future so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve promised to tell him if there is another Black Friday deal similar to the one I got so he could get some tickets for next season (it seems like the season tickets for Pantages are pretty close to being sold out so I’m lucky my group was able to get our tickets already).

With the exception of any shows I may see at the Bowl this summer, I most likely won’t be seeing another musical until my season tickets start in November. I’m ok with taking a break. I’ve only been going to the Pantages again in the past view years. Before that, there was more than a 10 year gap between shows there. But I’m glad that my friends have gotten me back into seeing musicals because they really do make me happy and make my life so much better.

Women In Film (or Brunch and Ghostbusters)

Continuing with my busy weekend, I also had my Women In Film mentoring group brunch on Sunday! We’ve been trying to be really good about meeting up every other month, and we’ve learned that meeting for a weekend brunch works well for us. This way, none of us have to drive in rush hour traffic and we aren’t tired from working all day. Also, going out for brunch means that we don’t have to all prepare food and I don’t have to super clean my house!

I was really excited for this brunch. I got to tell everyone about “Single Parent Date Night” (some of my fellow mentees actually were donors for the Kickstarter too!). I told everyone about the filming process and how we really lucked out with finding some amazing locations and getting some incredible crew members. The budget we had for the film was pretty small, but I don’t think that the film will look like that.

I also updated everyone on the day job situation and how I’m very torn about doing the next level of improv classes at UCB. The classes aren’t cheap and I’m thinking that maybe taking a different class with that money would be a better use of my money. I have until December to take the next level of improv classes without having to redo the first level, so I’m not rushing to figure out what I want to do.

This brunch seemed to be full of updates from everyone. It was really great to see that everyone is doing amazing and making big strides in their careers. I still love that we have our meetings every other month and I really hope that we are able to continue to do these for a long time.

After brunch was done, I asked the group if anyone wanted to go see the new “Ghostbusters” movie. Since we are members of Women In Film, I figured going to support women in film by seeing a movie was pretty fitting. Not everyone could go, but 3 of us got into my car and drove a few minutes away to where there was a screening starting 20 minutes after we finished our meal. The timing was really perfect so I felt like it was fate that we were able to see the movie after brunch.

Ghostbusters

I know that “Ghostbusters” has gotten so much hate, and I really don’t understand it. If “Spiderman” can be remade lots of times why can’t “Ghostbusters” be done once? People claimed that the new movie ruined their childhood, but that makes no sense. If you don’t want to go see a movie, don’t see it. But all of us who went love the actresses who were in it and were excited to see what they did with the reboot. We didn’t care what the random reviews online said (and most of those were done before anyone saw the movie so they can’t be trusted) and we were just excited to see the movie with an open mind.

Honestly, it was an amazing movie! All of us really enjoyed it and were laughing throughout the movie. Yes, it had similar elements from the original but again we see so many remakes that it’s not a big deal. If it was a remake without any bits from the original movie that would have been very weird. And they had some fun new stuff and we all loved seeing the cameos from the original cast members.

But the biggest deal to me was that “Ghostbusters” was just an awesome movie that happened to star women. There was no romantic comedy element to it, nobody had to be saved by a man, nobody fell in love and changed their life, and as a friend of mine put it no woman ended the film scantily clad or in spandex. The women weren’t supermodels, they were real. And you could have replaced the women in the film with men and it would have been the same movie. That is so rare and special.

I had the best time seeing “Ghostbusters” and I’m so glad that we went to see it after brunch. It was the perfect thing to do after the meeting and I think we all felt so inspired after the credits were done. I know that many people won’t see the movie because there are women in it or that they saw all the negative reviews that happened before the movie was released (almost all the real reviews are positive), but I’m happy that we went out and supported women-led films with our money that afternoon.

It really was the perfect morning and afternoon for me. I got inspired by my fellow mentees and the steps they are taking in their career and then I got inspired by seeing “Ghostbusters” and how amazing it was.

Happy Birthday Rayshell (or I Love Casual Hangouts!)

This past weekend was pretty busy for me, but that was fun for me! I love when I have a bunch of awesome things to go to and being able to be social with my friends. I can get pretty isolated with just working at home and then going to the gym, so whenever a friend throws a party I really do try to go! It’s good motivation to get out and do things when someone is having a party and I know I need to be more social so this helps.

Rayshell had her birthday recently and she had a casual get-together at her house on Saturday. While I do love big event birthday parties, it’s nice when you have something smaller and more relaxed at times (especially when you are in the middle of a crazy weekend). Rayshell (and her husband Paul) are pretty amazing at having parties at their place so I was pretty excited to get to spend time with them and the rest of my friends. I had a bit of a busy day on Saturday with work and some other things, but I still ended up being at their party pretty much right when it started (I have a reputation for usually being the first guest at their parties).

The party was pretty chill and that is what I feel makes it awesome. There was no pressure to dress up fancy or to have to impress everyone there. It was just a fun hangout with a bunch of friends most of whom I haven’t seen since Rayshell’s wedding. I’m so glad Rayshell does a couple of parties a year because they are great times for me to get to see a bunch of people who live all over LA and it’s not easy to get to see them all the time. Also, Rayshell and Paul’s apartment really is set up well for parties so I think they like hosting them there.

I spent most of my evening talking with my friends on updates on their lives (we all also discussed what we bought or wanted to buy on Amazon Prime Day) and it was just nice to relax around Rayshell and Paul’s apartment and getting to find out what people are up to without it being an update on Facebook. We all feel like we see each other more often because of social media, but then when we get together we realize how it has been a while since we were in person together!

And of course, since this was a birthday party there was cake. And when we were all singing to Rayshell I got this super adorable picture of Rayshell and Paul (seriously, they are the cutest couple!).

Rayshell and Paul

I really wanted to stay later at the party, but my body was getting ready to shut down around 11pm so I had to leave shortly after the cake. Fortunately, most of us aren’t night owls so I think most of the people I knew would be at the party got there on the earlier side so I didn’t miss them by leaving by 11pm. I really was having a great time at the party and talking with everyone, but since I had a 20 minute drive home I really knew I had to leave when I was feeling tired.

So I said goodbye to Rayshell, Paul, and all of my friends there and headed back to my car to head home. It really was a fun hangout with everyone and I think we all appreciated Rayshell and Paul for hosting another great party and giving us all an excuse to hang out again. I think the next hangout opportunity is going to be my birthday! I still need to figure out what to do, but I can’t wait to see everyone again in a few weeks!

My First BlogFest (or Maximizing 5 Hours)

This past weekend was BlogFest. BlogFest is a fitness blogger conference that is partnered with the IDEA World Fitness Conference and Sweat Pink (which is a blogger organization I’m a part of). This was the 3rd year for BlogFest and I was lucky enough to be able to get a ticket for it! They were offering free tickets to bloggers, you just had to put in your application why you deserved to attend and I was selected!

BlogFest

My original plan for BlogFest was to ask my boss at my box office job if I could work just customer chats (not phones) for the 2 days of BlogFest which is what I had done during the SAG-AFTRA Convention. I know my boss doesn’t like when I do that, but I didn’t want to have to ask for those days off either. Then, I found out that I would be going out-of-town the weekend after BlogFest and I would have to have time off for that. So since I had to take time off, I wasn’t comfortable asking for chat only days when I’m already getting time off (we don’t get vacation time or time off at the box office job so I have to limit how much time off I ask for).

Because of my work schedule, I ended up only being able to attend the afternoon of the first day of BlogFest, but I was determined to make the most of the time I was going to have there! As soon as I was done with work at 3pm, I raced over to the light rail station and caught a train to downtown. Since the event was being held at the convention center, it was pretty easy for me to take the train there and it saved me time in rush hour and saved me money for having to park downtown. I got to the convention center about 10 minutes before the next blogger session was going to start, so I quickly checked in and found another BlogFest attendee who was able to direct me to the room where the session was being held.

The first session that I was able to attend was all about social media and how to maximize using it for your blog. While I think I’m pretty good at using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; I’m pretty bad at using Snapchat and YouTube. I got a lot of great tips and advice in the session and while I haven’t been able to implement those things just yet, I’m working on some ideas that I hope that you all will enjoy!

After that session we had a few minutes before the next (and final) session that I could attend so I took a quick second to take a selfie in front of the BlogFest step and repeat (it was my only chance!).

BlogFest Arrival

The next session was a breakout session where there were a bunch of small groups discussing topics like branding, monetization, content, and other topics that bloggers may be concerned about and needing advice on. I had a pretty awesome group and I got some great ideas for things that I want to work on for here and hopefully will be able to start using them soon (things are in the works!).

Sadly, I missed all of the morning sessions that day and all of the sessions the next day. There will be notes posted online soon, but I still wish that I could have attended more because I really got so much out of the 2 sessions that I was able to go to. I also ended up missing the IDEA World expo and checking out all of the vendors there because I wasn’t able to get back to downtown another day.

But even though I was done with my 2 sessions pretty quickly, I still had some more fun that night.

My next stop was at Lawry’s Carvery to get a quick dinner with some fellow BlogFest attendees.

Dinner

It wasn’t the healthiest dinner (especially since we all blog about fitness), but it was quick and very yummy! At dinner, I finally got to meet some of my online blogger friends in real life which was awesome! We had a very honest conversation about our blogs and the challenges we are having now and it was so great to get that type of support from other bloggers who have been there and aren’t judging me for my lower numbers or anything.

The final stop for the night was the JW Marriott hotel (right next to the convention center) for the party for BlogFest attendees and everyone who is at the IDEA World conference.

Party

Since BlogFest was just some of the people attending the conference, we got a group of tables inside the reception that were reserved for our group.

VIP

Most of the people at the reception were in the line to get food, but since I just had dinner I sat down at a table and got to chat with more bloggers who I hadn’t met yet. We discussed our blogs (and even got someone to set up a brand new blog while we were there!) and it was just a really awesome time. While at the reception, I was feeling a bit sad that I was going to be missing all the rest of the time at BlogFest and I just feel more motivated that I need to figure out how to get some more flexibility in my life. I want to be able to attend events like this and not have to worry about if I will lose my job for asking for the time off. That’s my big motivation right now and I’m hoping that by next year’s BlogFest I’ll have something worked out.

But before I left, some of the amazing women behind Sweat Pink grabbed me so we could take a silly photo at the photo booth that was set up for the reception.

Photo Booth

Right after that, I had to head back to the train so I could get home. I only spent about 5 hours at BlogFest, but those 5 hours were pretty incredible. I got to meet some inspiring people, learn new things, and just have a fun time! I can’t wait until my next blogger conference opportunity and hopefully I will be able to spend more than 5 hours at it!

A Few Setbacks (or Not Being Hard On Myself)

This week was a tough week of workouts. But they weren’t tough because the workouts were hard. They were tough because I was struggling. I know that having off days is a part of making progress, but knowing it doesn’t make things easier when I’m having an off week.

I knew Monday might be tough because I was still recovering from my night shoot over the weekend. But I got a lot of sleep on Sunday night, so I was feeling pretty good waking up on Monday morning. So I thought that maybe I wasn’t going to have a bad day and my exhaustion was done. And when I got to Orangetheory and saw that it was a run/row day, I was pretty excited because I knew that those days are easier on me with keeping the treadmill time to short bursts.

But it was also a strength day which meant hills on the treadmill. I tried to run the first segment on the treadmill (with incline), and it just wasn’t going to happen. After trying to run for that first segment, I realized that there just wasn’t going to be any more running that day. I did power walk everything else and it wasn’t my best speed or incline but I got it done. And we did have to do calf raises after each row segment so I was able to catch my breath a bit between rowing and the treadmill. Fortunately, I did a bit better on the floor that day. We did a lot of shoulder work and also had some rollouts on the straps (which I felt great because my body needed that stretch). We also had a 6 minute block on the floor that was just ab work using the Bosu ball, which also was less taxing on my body.

Wednesday I was finally feeling more like myself. I’m shocked how long it took me to recover from the night shoot, but I also think I pushed myself too hard the 2 days after the shoot so I wasn’t able to recover as fast as I could have. The workout was endurance, strength, and power and we were switching between blocks so the class seemed to go by pretty quickly for me. For the endurance and strength treadmill blocks, I walked the base and push paced but I did run for the all-outs. But on the power section we had 30 second all-outs followed by 30 second walking recoveries and I was able to run for all of those all-outs. I was going pretty quickly for those 30 second segments, typically staying above 5 mph.

The floor work was focused a lot on arms and abs. I was doing ok with that until the very end of class where we had a short buddy challenge. My friend Dani was in class with me so she and I partnered up. We had to be in a plank and alternate bringing one hand up to high-five each other while staying in the plank. At the beginning I was doing ok, but my body was so ready to be done by then. I tried to keep up my part of the partner work and to bring my hand up every time so Dani always had a buddy to high-five, but I wasn’t able to keep my plank the entire time and was feeling pretty out of breath while trying. Again, I was frustrated that I had to give up during the workout, but I was trying to remind myself that I had just done a big workout and did some pretty fast run sprints.

Friday was the day that I was back to my usual workout self. We had a strength day that did switch between the blocks. Since I’m really not ready to work on running on hills, I stayed with power walking for almost all of the treadmill work. I was keeping my inclines up around 6-10% and my speed was usually between 3.5 and 3.7 mph during all the push paces. One of the all-outs was on an incline so I walked that one too. But we did have 2 all-outs that were at a flat road and I ran those. For the 1 minute all-out, I ran for a minute at 5 mph which felt really fast that day but it was great not having to be at an incline! And for the 30 second all-out, I was going at 5.5 mph which felt like flying to me! I really love doing those sprints because I’m able to go really fast and I love feeling that. I just really need to work on my endurance so I can start running more often in the workouts.

The floor work on Friday was a good mix of rowing and arms. We had a bunch of 200 meter rows which I was able to do in under 55 seconds every time. The rows were tough toward the end of the workout, but since they were short they weren’t too bad. We also had to do ultimate burpees in the first block which were much easier for me than they have been in a while. I was able to include the push up with each burpee and I was using some pretty heavy weights for them as well. All of my arm work was done with 15 pound weights, which aren’t the best I’ve used but since there was so much arm work I was happy with that.

Friday’s class also marked the last class I’ll get to take with my friend Dani for a while. She’s leaving next week to go to Africa where she will be hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro! While I’m sad I’ll be missing my workout buddy for a few weeks, I’m super excited for her! This is going to be a huge hike and I know she’s been working really hard on getting ready for the trip and making sure that she’s in the best shape possible. She’s been using super high inclines for all of her treadmill work and she’s been doing really long hikes every weekend to make sure her endurance is there. She got an Orangetheory hat as a gift from the studio we go to and I’m so excited to see the picture of her on the top of the mountain wearing it! So since this was our last class together for a while, I figured we had to get a post-workout sweaty selfie together.

Dani's Off To Africa!

The next two weeks of workouts will be working around my trip next weekend, but I’ve finally got it all figured out! I might not be hitting all of my workout goals this month (like wanting to try to run for 5 minutes), but at least I’m not giving up!

4 Years (or Reflections On The Past)

Tomorrow marks the 4th anniversary of me starting Finding My Inner Bombshell. (1st Anniversary, 2nd Anniversary, 3rd Anniversary) I know I’ve said this every single milestone that I’ve made it to, but I still can’t believe it! This really did start from a friend telling me I should do this and I just ran with the idea.

But blogging didn’t come as easily as it would seem from how this blog has gone. The first time I started blogging (right after my friend told me I should), I actually started another blog. I don’t remember what I named it, but I remember that I used a fake name. I was going to talk about my eating disorder and I didn’t want anyone to know that it was me. I know that some people blog anonymously, but it just didn’t feel right to me.

I kept that original blog for maybe a week or so and I had a couple of posts on it. But I wasn’t blogging regularly and I didn’t feel connected to it. So I stopped and started to think up a new blog idea for me. Once I came up with the name of my blog and secured the URL for it, I still didn’t start blogging. I thought maybe I should write a ton of posts and then post them without telling anyone so there would be a bunch of posts for people to read when they discovered my blog. But that just didn’t make sense.

So I just started blogging. If you go back and look at my first posts, they aren’t really the same as how I write now. I really didn’t know what I was doing or what the plan would be. While I still don’t know what the plan is all the time, at least I know what I’m doing and I feel much more confident with my writing. Sometimes I have nothing to write and I feel bad that you all have to read a boring post, but my life can’t all be awesomeness and adventures. There are times where I’m sad, bored, lonely, or feeling disconnected. And I do try to be honest about those moments because I know how alone I felt for years with those issues. I don’t want anyone else to feel alone.

Through this blog, I’ve found freedom in my life. I’ve become a happier person because I don’t feel the need to only show the best of my life. I show the good, the bad, and the ugly and it’s very rare when someone judges me for it (I do get negative responses to some of my more personal posts from time to time). It’s given me more confidence about so much in my life, and I know that others have gained things too from reading because they don’t feel as alone anymore. I still can’t believe I have inspired others, but I’m so glad that I’ve been able to do that.

When I started the blog, I really did think my life would be very different 4 years later than it is now. I’m still single, I’m still in debt, I’m still dealing with an eating disorder, and I’m still juggling multiple day jobs. But I am working on all of those things and I have hope that eventually they will all be worked out. Right now, being single is the least of my worries. I want to pay off my debt and be in recovery more than anything. And I really would like to find a better day job situation than I’m in right now. I really need to find a job with more flexibility than one of my jobs has right now.

By having flexibility back in my life, I’ll be able to not only do more things for my acting career but I can make this blog better too! I’ve had to turn down so many amazing events that I know you all would have loved because I had to work at that time. And while almost all of my day jobs are flexible hours (or hours of my choosing), there’s one that isn’t and that one is the one I’m looking to replace. Once I figure out a plan, I think that I’ll be able to take some big leaps and bounds in my life when I’m not tied down to when I can work on things.

4 years ago today, I hadn’t even started to blog and I had no idea if I’d be able to do it or even continue to do it for more than a few days. Now, I’ve got 4 years and  1,045 posts under my belt and I can’t wait to see what improvements I can make in this blog and in my life in the next year! Hopefully things continue to get bigger and better and the next 4 years are more amazing than I could ever imagine!

Budgeting and Spending (or Sharing YNAB With A Cashier)

This week I did a bit of shopping to prepare for my trip next week. I got a couple of things I needed (travel toiletries) and a couple of things I wanted (a new purse and hat). While I did need some of the things I got, I still was very careful with what I was spending. I’m trying to do much better with my budgeting plan and starting over in YNAB so I could start fresh with a better budget idea has really helped me. I’m much more on top of my expenses and income and I’ve been able to make larger payments toward my credit card debt than I have in the past (although I’ve had a small setback in that because I had to put almost $1000 into fixing my car last month).

The current version of YNAB is a very different set-up than what I signed up with. I haven’t wanted to make the change yet (it costs more with the new version and I’m happy with what I have), but I’m still trying to be a very involved user and whenever possible I add my spending in the app as it happens. It’s pretty convenient to have the app on my phone and entering my expenses or income takes so little time. Compared to other budgeting apps I’ve tried to use, this one seems to make the most sense to me and doesn’t intimidate me especially with having income that can vary a lot.

One of my shopping trips to prepare for my trip was to Nordstrom Rack (they’ve always got some amazing things there!) and when it was my turn to pay I handed over my credit card and then asked again what the total was. The cashier told me and I immediately got out my phone to enter what I spent (it was within my budget so it’s all good).

The cashier asked me what I was doing and I mentioned that I was entering my purchase into YNAB so I could make sure I don’t overspend what I’ve budgeted for this month. She mentioned how smart that was and how she should do the same thing. I have a feeling that she probably downloaded the app that night because she seemed really excited about it.

Budgeting may never come easily to me (unless I have an unlimited amount of money and don’t actually have to budget), but I’m working on it. Being open about budgeting has helped because it takes away the shame I’ve felt in the past about the money issues I have. I’ve been told that I’m very irresponsible for having a credit card balance that isn’t paid off in full each month. I felt awful about that and didn’t want to tell anyone else about it. But when I opened up about it, I realized that a lot of people I know have debt of some sort and there’s nothing wrong with it. And a lot of those friends have been using various budgeting apps to help bring down their debt so I want to follow their example.

It actually felt really great for those brief moments I was talking with the Nordstrom Rack cashier about YNAB. I had no feelings of shame sharing that I needed help to track my money and to make sure I’m being responsible. I felt like even if I am not in a perfect financial set-up right now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have advice I can share with others and hopefully help them get into the best financial shape possible. You don’t have to have everything figured out and settled to be able to share with others what may be able to help them.

I know that I’ve got a long way to go with my budgeting and debt payoff, but it’s the small steps that will add up and make a big difference in the end. And hopefully in the not so distant future I will know that my credit card debt will be paid off and then the budgeting will shift from debt payments to savings and I can hopefully do more fun things more often.

With The Good Comes The Bad (or My Vyvanse-Free Weekend)

Overall, my weekend was pretty amazing. I had so much fun shooting “Single Parent Date Night” and even though the night shoot was tough, it was the greatest time ever! It’s been a long time since I’ve had to be up all night (and even longer since I’ve had to do it to act), so planning out my weekend was a bit weird and I really did try my best.

Even though I had to work early Saturday morning, I went back to bed after work to get some extra sleep in. And I made no real plans on Sunday because I wasn’t sure how I would feel or if I’d get any sleep. And I also readjusted the medications I take each day to plan for the all-nighter.

I was able to take most of my medications as usual. But I skipped taking Vyvanse on Saturday because I didn’t want to take it in the morning since I wanted to go back to bed after work and I didn’t take it in the afternoon because I honestly forgot. And since the time I got home on Sunday was the time I usually take my first Vyvanse dose, I skipped that one too. And since I skipped the morning one I skipped the afternoon one too on Sunday.

I know I’m supposed to take a break from Vyvanse from time to time, but this was different. I didn’t take the break because I wanted to, I took it because I needed to for the weird schedule I had over the weekend. I thought I had prepared myself for taking the break, but the planning wasn’t enough. And it actually backfired on me.

Saturday and Sunday ended up being 2 of the worst food days I’ve had in a long time. I honestly can’t remember the last time my food was as bad as these days were. I’m not sure if Saturday was also bad because of stress and Sunday was also bad because of exhaustion, but it doesn’t matter. And it didn’t help that our dinner break for the shoot was at midnight and we ate pizza (I was hungry otherwise I would have skipped it). Fortunately I didn’t feel too sick on Saturday, but Sunday felt like a food hangover all day (and continuing to eat “bad” foods didn’t help that feeling). The one good thing with all the bad food choices was that I really wanted to get delivery food on Sunday for dinner, but I managed to resist that and went to the grocery store for a better choice.

I don’t want to completely blame the lack of Vyvanse on these bad days, but I did feel a difference in my body even mid-day on Saturday. I wasn’t feeling as strong as I’ve felt recently and I just wasn’t able to focus properly (Vyvanse is also an ADHD medication so I guess it’s been helping me focus and not just helping me with the eating disorder). I really hated how I felt and I wanted to be in a positive mindset because of the filming that night. I think the excitement of the filming did help a bit, but it still wasn’t quite right to me.

While I’ve been wanting to believe that the Vyvanse was helping me, I never was 100% sure about it. I knew that there was a bit of difference in my life, but I’ve also been doing a lot of self-improvement work lately so I thought it could also be that. But spending the weekend off of Vyvanse really did prove to me that it is working and that it is the right thing for me to be on right now.

I was back to my normal medication schedule on Monday and eating did get better that day. I think now I’m back to being on track but of course my scale is reflecting my bad choices and that stinks. I’ve been making so much progress lately and it does feel like a giant step back. Eventually I’ll get back to where I was and I just have to be patient with myself.

Even though this was a really bad weekend with my food and recovery, the good really did outweigh the bad and I wouldn’t change anything about my weekend. But I did joke to my co-star (and writer of our film) that the next collaboration we have needs to be something that shoots during the day because the night shoot was so crazy for me.

Making A Movie (or Pulling An All-Nighter)

We finally filmed “Single Parent Date Night”! We filmed the movie this past weekend and honestly it was one of the greatest acting experiences I’ve had so far!

I’m still in shock that we finally did this. It’s been a fun project to be a part of and I’m so happy that my friend Christopher wrote this script for him and I to star in! To think that this started as just a little scene for us to film for our reels and turned into a full short film is crazy! But I’m so glad that we were able to get a great team together for this and I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done!

Our filming adventure started at my house at about 7pm. Christopher, my friend Gedaly (who was so nice to volunteer to be background in our film), and I met up at my house where our hair/makeup person, Kate, would be meeting us. Kate was actually the one who did my hair and makeup for the past few headshot shoots I’ve done, so I was so happy she could do the film too! Since I was the only girl in the film, I definitely took the longest to get ready. But Kate got my makeup done and my hair in velcro rollers and then she got started on the guys.

Hair and Makeup

Once the guys were ready, we all headed over to the first location where we were shooting. We really lucked out with locations because those could have cost us a ton of money. But a friend of our director is an investor in a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet. And since they haven’t opened yet, we were able to use the space without paying because they weren’t going to lose any money having us there!

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I wanted to cry from happiness. Like I said, this started as just a simple scene for Christopher and I and it became much bigger than that. But to walk into the restaurant to see the cameras and lights set up, it really hit me that we were making a movie and this was real!

Cameras

Once we got there, we got ready to start shooting pretty quickly. I had to get my hair finished first and our sound guy had to get our mics and battery packs set up. I had the sound guy and Kate working on me at the same time, and Christopher got what may be one of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Crazy Prep

Of course, we kept taking lots of silly photos throughout the night. I got a pretty fun one of Christopher with the clapboard for the film.

Christopher

The shots we had to get inside the restaurant were some of the easiest ones for us. We didn’t have any lines and we just had to do a couple of moments that will be used in the beginning of the film.

At Restaurant

Once we were done with that setup, we moved outside to the valet area for the restaurant where we were going to shoot the first big scene between Christopher and I. The crew had to bring all the stuff from inside out to the parking lot, but they were so amazing that it was set up before we knew it!

Parking Lot Cameras

Even though I had worked on my lines the week leading up to the shoot, I was so terrified that I would forget what to say. Before each setup, Christopher and I ran through our lines a couple of times together and I’m happy to say that there were only a few times that we forgot what to say or messed up a line.

Filming In Parking Lot

We were done at the restaurant around midnight (so about 4 hours of shooting there) and then we were off to our next location. This time, we needed a house with a driveway and fortunately Christopher has a house with a great driveway to use! So we had another location that was free and we could be there without bothering anyone (Christopher’s wife and kids were visiting family that night so they weren’t home).

Before we continued on with the shoot, we had our “lunch” break and Kate touched up our makeup and Christopher and I worked on our lines some more. Then we headed out to the driveway for the next setup which was inside of a car.

Car Set Up

This was another big scene so I’m glad that Christopher and I worked on our lines before shooting the scene. We were able to store our script inside the car if we wanted to look at it between takes, but we ended up getting through all of the takes and camera setups so quickly that we didn’t really have too much time to look at it. Once we were done with the car scene, we were over halfway done with shooting the movie, so Christopher and I were pretty happy about that.

In The Car

Next was a scene outside of the car that had a mini-monologue for me to do. This was about 3am and I was starting to be pretty tired. I had tried my best to sleep as much as I could during the day on Saturday, but the late night was starting to catch up to me. I had a few moments where I had to think really hard about what my next line was, but I think that between all of the takes that we did there’s at least one really good line reading from me.

Our last setup was at the door of the house. We were actually filming 2 scenes there back to back, and as we were getting close to being done the sun was coming up quickly. I was shocked how early the sun was up (I guess that’s the risk you take filming in the summer instead of the winter) but we managed to get everything done before it was too bright outside!

And at 6am, we were done with shooting the entire film! I tried to get a good selfie from the end of the night, but I think you can tell how exhausted and crazy I feel from my look.

Wrapped

And of course, we had to get an exhausted picture of the 4 of us who were the ones who did the Kickstarter: Christopher who was the writer and star, Bryan who was the director, Jamie who was the producer, and me.

All Done

We got the entire thing filmed in about 11 hours, which is crazy because even though the script was only 9 pages that still working at a really fast pace. And we had to keep things quick because we were racing the sunrise. After we were done, I was totally ready to get home and to try to sleep. The exhaustion of the all-nighter caught up with me. But even though I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, I still was on such a high that we actually did it! This movie has been such an incredible experience the entire time and a little part of me is sad that we are done filming now!

Our film will be going to our editor this week and then all of the post-production work will be starting. I don’t know how long it will take to be finished, but you know that I will for sure tell you all where you can watch “Single Parent Date Night” and every update each step of the way.

Thank you again to every single one of you who either donated to our Kickstarter or shared our Kickstarter so others could donate. We really could not have made this film without you and I’m so grateful that I had this opportunity to act and live my dream life for a night.

Clapper

Testing My Running (or Holidays and Friends)

This past week of workouts was pretty good for me. It was a 3 workout week because of my schedule, but that’s ok because I’ve figured out what weeks this month will work for 4 workout weeks. I was able to work on a lot of running stuff this week, so that worked out really great for me!

Since Monday was a holiday (4th of July), it was a 3G class which means that instead of having 2 groups in the workout we had 3. Those classes are pretty rare for me to take so it was pretty cool to get to do one that day. And not only was the class a 3G, we were switching between blocks and all the blocks were about 4 minutes long. So every 4 minutes we were switching around the room and it was pretty crazy!

On the treadmill, I tried my best to run all the push and all-out paces. I wasn’t able to do all of them because they started to get long, but I was able to do a good majority of them. When I was on the rower, we had rows that were between 100-300 meters and then we had arm work to do after we finished the row. And on the floor, we had to do ultimate burpees every round before the rest of the floor work. It was a lot of work, but since the blocks were short and we moved so often it didn’t feel too bad. And I was able to get my workout done in the morning before there was too much holiday traffic!

4th of July

Wednesday was a run/row day, and my friend Amanda was in class! She’s starting to come every other week for the Wednesday workout, so that makes me pretty happy! While the class isn’t a team or partner thing, I still prefer when I have a friend there with me to make things a bit more fun.

The run/row day was an endurance day and I was doing my best on the treadmill to maintain a 1 minute run/1 minute walk pace on the treadmill the entire time. I did run the last run thing in whole since it was a .1 mile run and I know I can do that. The row was either 200 or 400 meters so it wasn’t too horrible and the 200 meters were a sprint so I could get them done really quickly. When we moved over to the floor, we had a lot of arm work (pullovers, bicep/hammer curls, and shoulder presses) and I was feeling pretty exhausted at the end and my arms were ready to be done. But at the very end of class we had a 4 minute core blast and then my abs were so tired that I missed the arm work.

Friday was a workout that had 3 friends in it so it was a really great vibe in the room! And that great vibe was needed because the workout was a bit weird for the day. We had 1 cardio block and 1 row block (each was 23 minutes long) and both blocks had strength work. On cardio, we had a .25 mile or .15 mile run and then we went to the floor to do pull-ups on the TRX straps, pop jacks, and crunches. The .25 mile run was the first one to be done and I decided since I’ve been able to run it before I would do it again. It was a lot tougher this time to run the .25 miles than it was last time but I was able to get it done without a walking break. But after doing that once, I realized it wasn’t the smartest plan for me so I did the rest of my treadmill time with the 1 minute run/1 minute walk plan.

When we switched to the row, we first had to row between 1000-600 meters. Then after doing that we had squats and some weight work like shoulder presses and arm rows (which felt really evil to me after we had to do so much rowing before that). Those rows were so long and all of my friends agreed that the Friday workout felt significantly longer than any other workout that we’ve ever done before! I was feeling a bit more tired than I like to after a workout after the one on Friday, but I got through it and I had the giant sweat mark on my shirt to prove it!

Friends

The next few weeks of workouts will be a bit of a scheduling ordeal for me to work though. This week should be ok (I think I’ve got it figured out), but I’ve got a trip coming up that will be making my workout schedule a bit tough to figure out. I’m working on a couple of plans and I think I’ll be able to do 3 workouts a week minimum each week even with my traveling coming up.