I continue to take more and more chances with my acting career these days. I had previously sent in an audition for the NBC Diversity Showcase. I didn’t make it past the first round for that showcase, but it’s ok. I got some practice with self-taping an audition and while reviewing my takes for the one I wanted to send it, I definitely learned a lot about how I’m appearing on camera. I’ve been practicing more and more at home and I’m hoping to use sides that I can find online and do at least one self-taping audition at home a week. I won’t be able to send those self-taped auditioned in unless casting requests them, but practice is practice.
I’m also looking into learning some accents. My agents recently contacted me asking if I could do a Boston accent. I can’t, but I told them that I could try to learn one quickly if they wanted me to. Right now, I don’t have any accents that I feel like I could whip out at any moment. I’ve never been asked to do an accent in an audition before my agents texted me about the Boston accent, so it’s never seemed too important to me. But now that I know that I might have lost out on an audition because of it, I’m going to see if there are some online videos (or even podcasts) for me to start picking up some accents.
I also just submitted myself for another diversity showcase. This time it was for ABC (and there’s still time to submit for it as the due date isn’t until June 6th).
This time, all I had to do was submit my headshot and resume. That’s a lot easier than self-taping and makes this seem more like a regular audition (even though self-taping for auditions is becoming more common, it isn’t done too often for union jobs). Hopefully my headshot and resume will impress the people at ABC and I will be invited to audition!
Finally, I’m starting to get a bit more pushy about projects. I have a lot of friends who are producing webseries or films and I’m telling people when I think their project is interesting and would like to be a part of it. I can’t wait for a friend to ask me. There’s not always a part for me, but it never hurts to ask (as long as it’s done in a polite way).
Hopefully something will come of all these efforts soon!
After the shooting at UCSB the hashtag #yesallwomen starting popping up on twitter and Facebook. The hashtag started in response to men saying that not all men act the way that the gunman in the shooting acted (feeling like women owed him sex and that they had no right to reject him). But the #yesallwomen movement started because even if very few men act that way, all women have encountered a man who treated them horribly.
I’ve seen posts over the last few days with people sharing their stories about how they were raped or assaulted. I’m one of the lucky people. I’ve never been hurt, at least not too badly.
In college, a guy on my campus tried to grab at me. I was lucky that he was very drunk and I was able to fight him off by hitting him with my shoes. I’ve been on dates where guys think that I owe them sex because I agreed to go out with them. I’ve had guys tell me that if they did anything to me it couldn’t be rape because nobody would ever want to rape a fat girl. I’ve been groped and grabbed more times than I can count.
One incident sticks out in my mind. It was a few years ago at one of the LA Actor Tweetups. Those events are usually fun hangouts and catchups for me. I get to see people who I haven’t seen in a while and meet new like-minded people. But at this one particular tweetup I was standing in a corner talking to a friend of mine (I think we were talking about the SAG-AFTRA merger which hadn’t happened at that time). While we were in the middle of the conversation, a guy walks up to us and grabs my breast. Then he takes his other hand to introduce himself. I smacked his hand away and he said that he didn’t mean anything by grabbing me. He just wanted to get a better look at my name tag. Needless to say, my friend and I walked away but the groper left the event before I could report him to the organizers.
It’s sad that we live in a world where this sort of behavior is expected. It’s sad that women are supposed to be responsible for how men think of them. If you wear something short or tight and you get raped, you were asking for it. I remember when I was at summer camp when I was 12 or 13 and an older female camper was assaulted by a male camper. Our cabin counselors talked to all the girls in my cabin that night and said that the girl should have never walked with the boy by herself. We were all told to stay with a buddy no matter what.
Just because you walk alone with someone does not mean that you are consenting to anything more than walking with that person. Just because you are drunk or high does not mean that you are giving up all your rights.
I’ve always been taught to protect myself. I know how to fight back. I know never to walk alone at night (even to this day I will not walk to my car alone). I know never to let my drink out of my sight and if it has been, I know to throw it out. When I got my first apartment, I was given pepper spray as a gift.
But as women, we cannot control what men think about us or what they try to do. And I’m glad that my friends who have sons have been sharing online that they plan to educate their sons about consent (which has been missing from most boys’ upbringings in my opinion). And while most men who were not educated about consent will be good and still make sure that they have consent before doing anything, there is always the exception who doesn’t know (or doesn’t believe) that getting consent is important to them.
So if you were online over the last few days and didn’t understand the #yesallwomen hashtag or disagree with it, know that you might not be a part of the problem, but pretty much every woman you know has been a victim of it.
And that since I’ve only been called horrible names, been groped and grabbed, and had someone try to attack me that I’m one of the lucky ones. What I’ve been through is nothing compared to almost every other woman I know.
And to the women who have been brave enough to share their stories, I’m so inspired by you all. I know that it must be very difficult to share those stories with people and take the risk of being judged. But hopefully by the open conversation that you have all started more people will realize that this is a problem and there needs to be a change.
First of all, a quick update on the job situation. That one shift I was scheduled for next week was cancelled as they were overstaffed. When I asked if there was another shift I could work, they said that since I was unavailable one day next week and that was the only day they could fit me in, there were no more shifts available to me. When the shows start back up again in September there will be evening and weekend shifts for me, but I need something to get me through the summer.
Ok, moving on from that unpleasantness.
This past weekend I got to do some dog sitting. My only dog sitting client right now is my friend Erin (who does my hair). But that’s nice because her dog Auto is an easy dog to watch.
As soon as I got to Erin’s house Auto was so excited to see me! He had spent the day by himself (don’t worry, he has access to go outside to go to the bathroom, he was just lonely) and he was so happy to have a buddy in his house. He’s got some problem with his leg, so he is limping right now. But that didn’t stop him from trying to tackle me to the ground so he could attack me with love (keep in mind that this is a dog that probably weighs about 15 pounds).
Since I was going to spend the night there dog sitting, I made myself comfortable on the couch. Erin has Amazon Prime and Netflix so I settled in for a night of watching movies with Auto. And he got comfortable right away.
When I took that picture, he was both snoring and farting on me at the same time. Clearly, he loves me.
One of the best things about dog sitting is just being able to hang out with an awesome dog. I haven’t seen Tucker in a few months (although I will get to see him in a few weeks!) so I really miss being around a dog. And as long as I live in my current place, I can’t have a dog of my own. So dog sitting helps me get in my dog fix.
It was an easy weekend job. Although Auto feels like when I’m there he always has to be touching a part of my body (not through my clothing). So while I slept on the couch, he was by my feet touching my toes with his front paws.
But I don’t mind that. When I starting dog sitting him he used to sleep on my stomach and try to use it as a trampoline. A dog holding onto my feet isn’t bad at all.
I’ve been lucky that recently I’ve had more double shift days than usual (although as I typed this blog post I got my schedule for this week which says I’m not working at the box office job at all this week and only for 3 hours next week). I know I’ve said before that I’m finally getting used to it, and again, I’ll say that it’s starting to feel a bit more normal.
Last week was the members only announcement for the next season at my box office job. I had worked that event last year, but it was as a telesales member then (which meant I made commissions). Even though this year I didn’t get any commissions on all my sales, it was still a successful evening. I worked more hours that day between my two jobs than I had any other day since being laid off from the telesales job. And I really have fun with my box office co-workers. This event ended up being only women working from the box office.
And that particular event is fun too. I get to see so many people who I’ve only talked to on the phone before. And since this will be my 3rd season at the theater, many people know who I am.
But people knowing who I am also took a weird turn this year. This customers are used to me calling them to renew their memberships, and that a telesales job not a box office job. I’m trying to be politically correct while talking with the members so I just say that I switched from working telesales to box office. And when they asked me to say hello to my old boss or my former co-workers, I just told them that I would.
While money is still extremely tight for me right now, I’ve been very fortunate being able to make ends meet somehow. I even managed to pay my rent early for June. But now I’m down to less than $20 to get me through the end of the month.
I’m still on the lookout for day job #3. But it’s hard because I can only work evenings and I still want to make myself available for the box office job (even if they do only use me once a week). I’m looking for maybe another work from home job, but one that doesn’t depend on being done during business hours. That way I could do it in the mornings before I make my recruiting calls or in the evenings when I’m not at the box office (or even after that job in the late evening).
So I’m putting it out here (since you were all so helpful with sports bra advice). If anyone knows of another job for me, please let me know. While I’m doing ok with paying all my bills right now, I have no idea what the next month has in store for me.
I wanted to do an update post on something I wrote about last week: being fat-shamed while bra shopping. I honestly wrote that post as a rant and didn’t feel like many people would be able to relate to it.
The response I got was so unexpected and it made me feel so good. First of all, thank you to everyone who commented (here, Facebook, and on twitter). I also got emails and text messages from people about the post. Most of the reactions to the post were shock. People couldn’t believe that I was treated like that.
I heard from people who I haven’t heard from in a decade telling me their bra shopping horror stories. I heard from people who I’ve never met before telling me the same thing.
It seems like feeling shame and frustration while bra shopping is an almost universal feeling. And I know this may seem stupid, but while writing that post I really wondered if anyone would understand my frustration. Most of the people I know can walk into any store and find something that fits them. For me, I sometimes have to drive miles to find a store with my size. And even then, many times my size is sold out (because they only have one or two items in my size). But it turns out that even my “straight-size” friends understood. I wasn’t expecting that.
Besides people telling me their stories, I also got some advice on other places to look for a sports bra in my size. Sadly, many of the places recommended to me won’t work out. Most don’t have my band size. And the few places that have my band size don’t have a cup size small enough for me.
But I think I might have found something that could work. I got a recommendation for this bra from RoadRunner Sports. They do have my size, but only carry it in black or white (why can’t I get a cute color?!?). I ordered a couple of different sizes in black and I’m waiting for them to arrive so I can try them on. Hopefully one will work and then I can return the others (sports bras aren’t cheap!).
Again, thank you to everyone who read, responded, or shared that post. You helped me feel less alone and less self-conscious about wanting to find workout clothes that make working out easier and more comfortable for me. You helped to make me realize that I am worthy of finding something that is right for me and that I shouldn’t let mean salespeople get me down.
This past Monday, one of the blogs I freelance on, Ms In The Biz, celebrated its one year anniversary! Any blog making it one year is a huge deal and I’m so honored that I’ve been a part of it since day one (or even before day one since one of my posts went live before the site technically launched).
Helena, the creator of the blog, joined up with Film Break to have an amazing anniversary party. It was held at Vaucluse Lounge. Vaucluse had an incredible history. It used to be Charlie Chaplin’s house (the second floor is still owned by his estate). I had never been there before, but it’s close to some other bars on Sunset that I have been to so I was able to find some decently priced valet parking nearby.
The party was so much fun! My friend Robert arrived at the same time as me so we walked in together (and tried to mingle together as well). Our first stop was on the red carpet where I tried to have a cute pose.
Next, we walked around trying to see if we knew anyone else at the party. I saw Helenna and grabbed her for a quick photo at the step and repeat.
I also ran into some friends who I hadn’t seen in years! That’s one thing I love about events like this. It helps me reconnect with people who I haven’t seen in forever!
I had such a great time at the party. I normally get a little panicky at events like this. I don’t like crowds and I’m always worried that I won’t know someone else there, but fortunately this event was so perfectly set up (and the timing of me running into my friends could not have been planned better if we had tried) that I never had to worry or panic at all.
So here’s to 1 year of Ms In The Biz and I look forward to being a part of it for many more years to come!
I had a really horrible encounter at a store yesterday and I really wanted to share it with you all. I know this will sound like a rant, but this is the perfect place for me to rant.
I’ve been wanting to get a new sports bra for a while. I had one that I loved that fell apart in the wash a while ago. Since then, I’ve gotten a few others, but they fit into one of two categories. Either they have very little support and create a uniboob or they are crazy compression garments and take like 20 minutes to put on. The compression one is great for spin class, but I want something simple, basic, and flattering for hiking and other low impact activities.
I had gotten the one that I previously loved at a specialty lingerie store in the valley, so I decided to make the drive over there again and see what I could get this time.
The store is called Sara’s Lingerie and it is supposed to be great for any type of specialty bras (nursing, prosthetic, plus size, custom). I remembered that the prices for many of the bras were really expensive (like $250 for a bra), but the sports one I got last time was $40. And that’s pretty much what I wanted to find again. I lucked out with finding a meter right in front, so I figured that would be a good sign of things to come.
I was totally wrong.
When I walked in, there were 3 sales ladies at the register (one of whom I believe is the owner, Sara). They asked me what I was looking for and I told them that I wanted a simple sports bra and how I had been there a few years ago and they found me the perfect one. They actually keep records on what all their past customers have purchased, so they looked me up and saw what I had gotten before. They said that they didn’t carry that one, but they would try to find me something similar.
I was then led into one of the fitting rooms where I had a proper bra fitting. If you’ve never had a proper bra fitting before, it’s done topless. You can’t find out what size you are if you have a top or bra on. I’ve been through a fitting at the store before, so having to be topless didn’t surprise me.
The saleswoman then left the dressing room to find some bras for me. While she was out there, I heard her and the other two sales ladies talking in another language. They would occasionally glance over back at me or gesture to me while they were talking. It made me feel pretty self-conscious. Whether or not they were talking about me, I automatically felt like they were saying some not-so-nice things about me (if they weren’t talking badly about me, why couldn’t they speak in English?).
The saleswoman came back with a selection of bras, and as soon as I saw them, I figured she didn’t realize I needed a sports bra. She brought me several lacy bras with no real support. I said to her that I only needed a sports bra, and she kept insisting that these bras were sports bras (since when did sports bras have lace and the option to be strapless?). I tried them on to prove to her that they weren’t right. But she kept insisting that each of the bras that she brought me (even the no underwire lace ones) were designed for sports. I jumped up and down a few times in the dressing room to show that they had no support, and she said she’d bring me a few more to try on.
She then brought me a few other bras that are made for women who have had a mastectomy and need to fit a prosthetic breast inside of their bra (my mom has one of these types of bras). Again, I said that I wanted a sports bra not a bra that fit a prosthetic breast. The saleswoman told me again that they could be used for sports activities. I refused to try those bras on.
She finally brought me one sports bra into the fitting room, but it was 2 sizes too small. When I asked her if she could bring me that bra in the proper size, she told me she didn’t carry it in the store. It would be special ordered because she doesn’t have people my size coming into her store asking for sports bras. And if someone my size does ask for a sports bra, they never buy them.
I was shocked that she said that to me. I’m sure I took it more sensitively than most people would, but I pretty much felt fat-shamed in that fitting room (I was topless when she said it too and that didn’t help my self-esteem). Why did she waste my time with all these other bras if she knew that she wouldn’t have anything for me?
The one bra that she could special order for me would have to come from Germany and would cost over $100, so I wasn’t interested. I asked her if there was anything else she could show me, and she said that they don’t carry plus size sports bras because there is no want for them.
I left the store pretty pissed off (if you follow me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram you saw my mini-rant about this). I know that it is tough to go shopping at my size, but when people make it more difficult or make me feel guilty for wanting to buy something it just makes it worse. I’m sure when some people see me walking down the street they think to themselves that I should just go and workout.
Well, I want to, but clearly the clothing industry doesn’t want to make things easy for me.
After posting my mini-rant on social media, I got a few suggestions of places that also carry specialty bras (since that’s what plus size sports bras are). I tried sporting goods stores, but they don’t have my size. Some other friends suggested Lululemon, but I think we all know how they feel about plus sizes.
In the meantime, I do have one sports bra that I can wear and hopefully one of the locations that my friends have suggested will carry another one that I can purchase. But I can say one thing for sure. I will never shop at Sara’s Lingerie again. There is not need for stores to be fat-shaming their customers.
And doing it while the customer is topless is just cruel.
I’ve had what seems like hundreds of day jobs since I moved to LA. I started as a nanny and after-school teacher while I was in college and it’s moved on to more stable (and rent paying) jobs since graduating.
Of those many day jobs, most of them have been pretty horrible. I’ve had jobs where my boss was verbally abusive (he said that I was a horrible person and I deserved to die). I’ve also had a boss who called me fat and undateable. And I’ve had jobs that were just so bad that I had to quit after less than a month.
With all of these jobs under my belt, I get a little scared that I’m always on the verge of having to look for another job. I’ve been fired in the past, and it’s always in the back of my mind. When I worked my telesales job, for the first year whenever my boss called me in to his office, I started to shake and freak out that he was about to fire me. My boss thought it was kind of funny that my mind automatically goes to being fired when most of the time when he brought me into his office it was for good things.
I’ve compared my feelings about my day jobs to how an abused puppy must feel when they finally get into a good home. While it seems too good to be true, I’m always scared that everything is going to disappear and I’ll be back to where I started.
So when my recruiting job boss sent me an email saying that we needed to talk on the phone about how things were working out, my first thought was that he was disappointed on how things were going for me. The email happened on Friday and he wanted to chat on Monday, so I spent lots of time this weekend looking for another job. I was so sure that he was going to fire me.
When we talked yesterday, he wasn’t concerned about my results, he was just worried because after I talk to candidates, he sometimes has a hard time reaching them. So we just need to work out a system so he can try to call them the same day instead of waiting a day or two.
I felt so silly thinking that I was about to be fired. I don’t think that this boss would fire me without warning or trying something else first. But in my head, I’m still thinking about all those other jobs where I was fired with no notice.
Again, like I’ve said a million times, I’m trying to focus on thinking positively and that my life is getting better every day. And I’m becoming a better employee every day and that employers should want to keep me on staff. Hopefully, one day in the future I won’t automatically think that I’m being fired when a boss wants to talk to me.
I’ve been going to Benefit for a while to get my eyebrows done. I first discovered Benefit as a salon when I went to an Eventbrite event a while back. And while I don’t go to the location where the event was held, the Santa Monica location is very close to my box office job.
I almost always make an appointment to get my eyebrows done. It’s nicer than walking in plus then I don’t have to wait around for someone to be available. So when I decided to go get my brows done this past Saturday, I tried calling to make an appointment. But when I called, I just got a message saying that the mailbox was full. This seemed weird, so I kept trying back. For a few hours, all I could get was that weird message. So I decided to risk it and go in without an appointment.
It took me twice as long as I usually do to get over there and once I turned on the street, I discovered that there was an event going on where all the stores on the street were selling things on the sidewalk at huge discounts. The street was crazy busy and it took me forever to find a parking spot.
I should have seen this as a sign, but I finally parked and walked inside Benefit. Once I got inside, I said that I was hoping to get my brows done and I couldn’t call to make an appointment. The manager let me know that the phones were down and unfortunately they couldn’t fit me in for a brow wax because everyone was booked up.
I was a little annoyed (I feel like even if the phones are down something should have been put on their twitter or Facebook account to let people know that there couldn’t be any walk-ins that day). But I scheduled an appointment for the next day.
On Sunday, I got to Benefit with no issues and found a parking meter right in front of the door. As soon as I walked in, the same manager from the day before was there and she apologized for the day before. And since I was inconvenienced, they gave me my brow wax for free!
I was shocked that they would comp my wax on something that they could not have helped. When I told the manager that they didn’t have to comp it, she said that they wanted to be known for good customer service.
And even though I’m already a fan of Benefit (for the eyebrow wax and the cosmetics), they have made me a fan for life!
Plus, they did an awesome job on my brows and I got a nice makeup touch up right after.
This post is both a funny story and a lesson that my mom taught me when I was little.
To start with the lesson, my mom has always said that you should only speak positive and nice things about people. You never know who knows someone.
And here’s the story that reminded me of that lesson.
I was working in the office of my bosses for my recruiting job on Friday. I only work in the office about once every other week helping my bosses (who are husband and wife) organize their files. Also right now, I’m helping them pack things up as they are moving into an office building (instead of the home office that they have now). It’s not tough work at all, so a lot of the time I’m chatting with either John (my main boss) or Kris (his wife).
This past Friday I was helping Kris throw out old paperwork that they didn’t need to transfer when they move to the new office. Some of the paperwork was for the country club that they belong to. I recognized the name of the country club as a place that my second cousin, Wendy, mentioned when I was over at her house for Passover.
I mentioned to John and Kris that I thought my second cousin might belong to the same country club as they do. They asked me what my cousin’s name is and I told them. Both John and Kris had a look of shock on their faces and I asked them if they knew my second cousin.
Turns out, John dated Wendy in college and he and Kris are responsible for introducing her to her husband! They are very very close friends!
After the shock wore off, we all started to laugh. What were the chances of this?!? I showed them the picture from Passover and they told me that they were supposed to be at that Passover dinner, but they ended up having to be somewhere else.
Of course, I thought my cousin Wendy would get a kick out of hearing this story, so John sent her an email. She thought it was pretty funny as well. After I was done with work, I sent her an email myself.
And I also thought my mom would find the story awesome as well. So I gave her a call and relayed the whole thing to her. And of course, the first thing she said to me was to remind me of the lesson about always saying nice things about others.
I might not always say only nice things about people, but I do try hard to do so. And things like my bosses knowing my second cousin (and a lot of my other extended family members as well) remind me of how important it is to try even harder to never burn bridges or gossip about others.
It’s so true that it’s a small world and things will get back to people even if you don’t think people know each other.