Category Archives: Acting

Podcast Hangout (or A Quick Coffee Meeting)

I’ve been busy working with Inside Acting Podcast for a while now. We’ve got a lot of really great things coming up, including my planning for our 300th episode this year! It’s going to be tough to top our 200th episode celebration, but I’m trying to do it and there are some really big ideas that we are debating about doing right now.

But while I’m working a lot with the podcast with getting guests, scheduling things, and helping to manage everything; I haven’t gotten to do a lot of events with our listeners. We had our vocal class and headshot sessions last year, but this year we are hoping to have more gatherings so that we don’t always feel like we are putting out the podcast into a void.

Our community manager and I have been working really hard at ideas for events and we have some things that should be able to happen. But because we don’t want to keep putting things off while we schedule fun stuff, we scheduled a casual coffee hangout this past Sunday. We found a coffee shop that is pretty centrally located (since we know everyone is coming from all over LA) and put it out to the listeners that we were organizing a meetup.

We didn’t know how many people would be showing up since we didn’t do any RSVP system. But we hoped it would have a good turnout and figured that if it was a low turnout that at least we would get to know a couple of our listeners a lot better.

When I showed up, a few listeners got there before me which was great since they were able to get a table for the group. And pretty quickly after I got there we had more and more members arriving. And before I knew it, we had more people than our big table could fill and we started to take over the coffee shop with all of us hanging out and meeting each other!

There were so many amazing conversations happening there! A lot of us are members of the podcast (if you aren’t and want to become one, you can sign up for it!), and we are in week 5 of “The Artist’s Way”. Even though we are pretty active in the membership discussing our thoughts about what we are doing and if we are having any victories or setbacks, it’s really nice to discuss it in person. And I think a few people who weren’t doing “The Artist’s Way” with us will be starting it now so we will have more people to discuss this with soon!

We also were talking about some of the events that we are hoping to be doing for the membership and listeners soon. We want to do another headshot day, there are a few classes we are bringing in for everyone, and we have a few fitness classes that will be happening. It’s fun getting everyone else excited about the events because it makes us more excited too!

And some people wanted to know about some of the upcoming guests that we have planned. I wish I could tell people about guests we are working on, but because it takes a long time sometimes to get everything set up and scheduled (there are some guests I’ve been working on for over a year), we don’t usually share too much. But I did mention a few people that we are hoping to get on the show soon and that again gets everyone super excited about what is happening!

I wanted to stay at the hangout as long as possible so I could see as many people as I could, but I was having friends over that evening and needed to get home to clean and get things ready. But I was able to be there for about an hour and a half so I think that wasn’t too short. But it was tough to leave when there were so many people there that I wanted to talk to and so many conversations that I wanted to keep being a part of. Hopefully we can pick up the conversations at the next hangout that we schedule and that this in person momentum keeps going!

Enjoying Movie Nights (or Watching My Screeners)

It’s almost time for the SAG Awards which means I’m getting ready to vote on who I think should win in the various categories. It’s still so much fun that I get to vote on the awards and it fees so special to me. I know that all union members get to do this, but it’s still relatively new to me and feels like a novelty. And I do take it seriously and want to make sure I vote for who I feel deserves to win and not just who is my favorite. I know that no everyone does that, but I look at it as if I might be nominated one day. I might not be a name actor by that point, but I would want as much consideration as an a-list actor might get. So I take each nomination just as seriously as the others.

Usually, I’ve been able to see more of the films before the nominations come out. I get to go to screenings through SAG-AFTRA and the film society as well as thought Women In Film and usually toward the end of the year those end up being the films that are the ones that get nominated. But this year, for some reason I really didn’t get to make it to many of the screenings of the films that were nominated. In fact, I didn’t get to see anything other than shows that were on Netflix this time. It’s just the way that the screening season went. A lot of screenings were times that I couldn’t go, and during the holidays a lot of screenings were the blockbusters and not necessarily the films that get award nominations.

So when we started to get our screeners, I was excited because I knew I needed to watch a bunch of movies. But somehow time was going by and I wasn’t watching the screeners I had. And over the weekend, I realized that I needed to start catching up in order to have time to watch everything before I had to vote. So I have been trying to watch one movie a day if possible to make it through my movies. I haven’t been able to do that every day, but I’ve been able to do it for many of them and I’m finally about halfway through watching all of them.

It’s been a fun routine at night (or sometimes before I start work in the morning) to pick out a movie that I want to watch. It’s a luxury to be able to watch these movies at my house where I can be comfortable on the couch (and pause the movies if I need to get something to drink or run to the bathroom). And when my hips have been hurting, it’s nice that I can stretch out on the couch or floor and get my body to feel ok. That’s not something that I can do in a theater, even though I do have to stretch out in my seat when I’m out at a movie or a show. Each time I watch a screener, I feel so lucky that I get to have this privilege and hope that I never get so jaded that I start to expect this treatment.

Most of the movies I’ve watched have been very good. I’m actually sad that some of my favorites are only available on the screener website because I know I’ll lose access to watching it soon. And there are some other films that I’ve struggled to get through and haven’t understood why my friends have thought it was the greatest movie ever or that it was better than all the rest. But whether or not I like the movie, I totally agree that the performances in the films have all been the best of the best and all the actors have been very worthy of their nominations.

There totally are some front-runners in my mind for who I want to vote for already. I won’t vote until I finish watching the movies because that’s only fair. I don’t feel like there is a lot of campaigning by actors and producers to get their films or performers to win. I do get flyers and things in the mail (and I guess you could say getting a DVD screener versus having to watch it on a website is a way to campaign), so I don’t feel pressured to vote any certain way like some other awards shows might have. I get to be an actor watching actors and deciding who is inspiring me the most with their performance.

I’ve got less than 2 more weeks to work on this and I think I’ll be fine getting through all the movies. I do need to set aside time to work on it (which seems like a funny concept to me), but as long as I make it a priority in my off time, I will watch everything before needing to vote. And right after voting, I’ll get to see how the rest of my union actors feel about the performances when the winners are announced. I can’t wait to see what happens!

The Artist’s Way (or Working On My Creativity)

Even though I didn’t set a specific acting related goal for this year, that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on it for the year. It’s tough for me to plan acting related things for this year since there is a lot of uncertainty with how long I’ll need to recover from liver surgery (so I don’t want to plan for any classes until that’s done) and a lot of the things I want to accomplish in acting aren’t up to me (I can’t control when I book a job or not). So finding a good way to work on my acting and creativity is a bit challenging with those restrictions in mind.

So when in the member’s only forum for the podcast I work for someone suggested working through “The Artist’s Way” together as a group, I knew this would be the perfect way to work on acting for the beginning of this year.

“The Artist’s Way” is a 12 week guided program to help artists regain their creativity and to remove roadblocks that may be in the way. This book is something that so many people have done and it’s always highly recommended. I’ve actually tried to complete the 12 weeks a few times in the past, but I’ve never been able to get through the entire thing. This is a common issue with people trying to complete the 12 weeks, so they usually suggest having a way to stay accountable. And one of the suggested ways is to work through the weeks with a group.

The group through the podcast is currently online only, but it’s doing great for keeping me accountable and making sure I do the work. There isn’t a ton of work that you have to do to complete the 12 weeks, but there is stuff to do every day and that commitment isn’t always easy to do. But knowing that people are doing this with me and we are all counting on each other is helping me not want to slack on doing the work. I also think that since I’ve been working on building habits for the past year or so, I’m better now at following through with things than I was in the past. So now seemed like the perfect time to do this.

One of the main parts of the program is doing the morning pages. Morning pages are 3 pages of writing every single morning when you wake up. They are just basically a brain dump of anything that you want to write so they don’t have to make sense. You can write in full sentences or partial sentences, grammar and spelling doesn’t matter, and my penmanship isn’t important. It’s not always easy to remember first thing in the morning to write my 3 pages, but I’ve set a reminder alarm to do it so that is helping. There are a few mornings that I’ve forgotten for maybe 10-15 minutes, but I usually remember before I’m really starting my day.

I struggled with the morning pages before, but this time they have been really great for me. I’ve been using them to vent in the mornings. I’m so grateful that I’m safe and I have a new car, but the situation still makes me mad a bit. Getting those feelings out first thing in the morning helps me to not have to carry them with me all day. I can write in them things that are scaring me or things that I’m concerned about for that day. By putting those feelings out in writing, I don’t feel the need to keep them with me as much as I would before. The feeling I get is similar to what I feel like when I post on here, but I don’t have to worry about making sense or saying things that I might regret later.

There are also weekly questions that I answer each week of the book and they do allow me to reflect quite a bit on what I’ve done so far, what I am planning on doing, and what I should be doing. I’ve been learning a lot about myself in the 2 weeks I’ve been doing this and I’ve never had that experience before in my previous attempts. Maybe I’m in a better mindset to work on this in my life. Maybe my work on my eating disorder recovery is allowing me to work on other aspects of my life in ways I haven’t been able to do before. No matter what the reason is, I’m just happy that I haven’t felt like giving up on this process yet.

Since it feels so different compared to all the other times I tried to do the 12 weeks, I have high hopes that I will be able to get through all the weeks this time. Even if I don’t get anything out of doing this other than saying that I’ve completed it, that will be a victory. I don’t want to bail on things in my life, and being able to complete this will help to prove to myself that if I stick with something that I can make it through.

Recapping My 2016 (or Almost Doing All That I Wanted To)

I can’t believe that it’s the end of the year! It’s so true that the year flies by and that it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing what my goals were going to be for 2016. My year didn’t totally go the way I expected (both in good and bad ways), but I’m happy to say that I almost got all the goals I set for the year accomplished.

My first goal for 2016 was to do 180 workouts at Orangetheory. Sadly, this one wasn’t a goal that I accomplished. I will have one more workout for the year tomorrow, and that will bring my total for the year to 177 workouts. I know that 177 workouts for the year is still impressive and better than I did last year, but I really wanted to reach my goal. I had some setbacks that I wasn’t expecting, so that contributed to missing some of the workouts that I thoughts I’d be able to do. It’s not the end of the world that I didn’t hit this goal, and I’m trying to remember that the quality of the workouts that I did this year were so much better than last year.

I was lifting heavier weights than I ever have before. My form on the bodyweight exercises is significantly better. And most importantly I started to run this year! I never thought that was going to happen for me this year and I’m so happy that my coaches pushed me to do it. I still have so much progress to do on my running, but the amount of progress that I’ve had this year already has been incredible!

And that leads me to my next goal I had for 2016 which was to have a PR on my 5K. And because of my running, my most recent 5K was an amazing PR for me! Even with all the running training I had been doing, I had no clue that I could do that fast of a race! I accomplished so many goals I had for my 5K timing with that one race and now I have to figure out what new goals I have for 2017 for my races. My next race should be before my liver surgery and the second one will be after. And I have no clue how the surgery will affect my training so I need to be cautious with the goals I set.

The next goal I set for 2016 was regarding money. I wanted to budget better, reduce my debt, and possibly start saving money. While things haven’t been as great as they could have been with money, I think I’ve been doing a lot better than I have before. My budgeting is going better and part of that budgeting is budgeting money each month to go into saving money for big things like when I have to do car repairs or my new computer. I’ve also brought my debt down this year. And even though it isn’t as low as I hoped it would be, getting it down is tough so any reduction is an accomplishment.

I also set a goal to travel more and go on more adventures with my friends. I really didn’t do a ton of traveling this year, but the trips I did take were really fun. I didn’t get to do the trip with my sister-in-law like we had planned, but we are working on a trip idea for 2017 so at least trip planning happened this year. But I totally did do more adventures this year with my friends. I’ve been going to shows quite a bit and those still make me so happy. I got to go back to Magic Castle and had so much fun with my friends being silly there. And of course I had a ton of outings to Disneyland and Universal Studios.

The one goal that I didn’t really even get close to doing is being in another acting class this year. I debated doing the next level of improv at UCB, but I decided against it for a couple of reasons. I looked into a few other acting classes and I’ve found a couple that do interest me, but there was an issue with scheduling. And with knowing that I have surgery coming up in the spring, I’m very hesitant to try to get a class planned for the new year. I know I need to get back into a class, and I’m a bit upset with myself that I didn’t do any action with this during 2016. But I’m ok with not doing it because I didn’t want to waste money on a class I didn’t really care to do.

And my final goal for 2016 was to be in recovery or on my way into recovery from my eating disorder. I’m not in recovery at all, but I’m working toward it and the steps I’ve made this year have been significant. I think I’ve made more progress this year than I have in the past few years combined. I’m working on recovery every day which is something that I haven’t done before. I’ve had fewer binge episodes a week than before and the binges I have had were not as severe as they were in the past. I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s getting there.

Considering all the craziness of my life this past year, I’m pretty happy with how my goals went for the year. I know that things could have been better, but they also could have been so much worse. And I know that 2017 is just going to be even better!

My goals post for 2017 will be next week (along with the post with my word for 2017). I hope you all have an amazing New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Please be responsible and call for a cab/Uber/Lyft if you are out drinking so you get home safely. And here’s to all of us having an incredible start to 2017!

A Casual Brunch (or More Hangout And Less Catchup)

Even thought I haven’t been too active with Women In Film lately, I’m still a member and still so happy that I joined with I did. They recently were taking applications for new mentoring circles and I thought about signing up to see if I could get in. But I did have some negative experiences with my 2 previous groups so I decided to take a break from it for 2017.

I might rejoin a mentoring circle the next time they do applications, but it really felt right to step back from it this year. I have a lot of other things that will be taking my focus (that are not acting related) so I don’t want to join a mentoring circle and not be able to dedicate myself to it completely. That’s the issue we had with my first group. Out of the 10 women who started in it, only 2 or 3 of us would attend the meetings. I don’t want to be a flake when someone else more deserving could take that spot.

But with my last mentoring group, the negative things had nothing to do with my fellow mentees. So it makes me so happy whenever we can get together. We were supposed to have our brunch in November, but the month was just too busy for us all and we decided to push things back a month. And this past weekend was our brunch where we were supposed to have 5 of us there, but even though only 3 of us could make it there it was still awesome!

We met at Rush St. (I think that will be our official brunch place) and since there was only 3 of us the catchup time was pretty short. I had run into one of my fellow mentees at Target recently so she was pretty up to date on the tumor situation. But I filled them in on the rest of the updates which is pretty much down to now we wait to see if the tumors shrink. I also updated them on how the premiere of my short film went and how there are a few other projects I’m looking at working on.

The other two women both had fun updates. One of them is currently writing a Hallmark movie and the other has been shooting a bunch of short films. And one of the mentees who wasn’t able to make it had emailed her update to us and she’s been doing so much as well. It’s always so inspiring to hear all the incredible things that everyone else is doing and they are so supportive no matter how much I have to share or if I got no acting related things done since I had seen them last.

Since there was only 3 of us there and we all had pretty short updates, we got to spend the rest of our brunch just having fun. Since we’ve been a group for so long now, many of us have become really good friends and that’s just so much fun. We were talking about the holidays and upcoming trips that they would be going on. We also joked about how the timing of when my liver surgery will likely be will mean that one of our meetings would be at the same time. So we were saying we should totally have a mentoring circle meeting from my hospital room! If I have to be in the hospital for a few days, I know I’ll need some entertainment and having our meeting then would be pretty awesome!

I do wish that more people could attend our brunch, but with us all having crazy schedules plus with the holidays happening we knew that it was going to be a tough month to figure out when everyone could make it. Our next brunch will be in February and I’m hoping that we can get everyone together for brunch to be a great way to kick of the mentoring circle meetings for 2017!

SAG-AFTRA Holiday Party (or Getting Ready For Elections Again)

This past week was the SAG-AFTRA holiday party in LA. Even though I’ve been a member of SAG-AFTRA for a while, I have never made it to a holiday party before. Either I was working the night it was held, I had a commitment I couldn’t get out of, or I got sick. So even though I RSVPed for the party this year, I was worried that something would come up that would prevent me from going.

Fortunately, nothing came up and I was able to attend the party! When I arrived, it was just as things were starting and there was a pretty big line to get in. But they had several representatives from the union throughout the line to talk to people and greet them. Many of those people were people I know from Unite For Strength, so it was nice to have some time to catch up with friends even before I got inside the party.

Most of the people standing in line with me were people I didn’t know, but I didn’t pay too much attention to that since I was so focused on catching up with the friends who were hanging out with the line. And as soon as I checked in for the party, I walked past the food area (I wasn’t hungry so I wasn’t planning on eating) and tried to find some more friends.

The problem with big events like these are that they do make me a bit nervous and shy. I was there alone (it’s always easier when you arrive with a friend) and was really trying to find someone I knew so I could hang out with them. It took a bit of time to find a friend, but once I did I felt much calmer. And once I found one friend, it seems like more people I knew were coming over to where I was.

Since I don’t get to see my delegate friends that often, there was a lot of catching up to do. It’s been an interesting year for most of us so it was fun to hear the cool projects that they have been working on. And since most of us are friends on Facebook, they wanted to hear more about the liver tumors since they had seen the posts about them.

Most of the stuff about the liver tumors was pretty quick since I don’t have a lot of updates right now, but I did realize something at the party that I didn’t think about. SAG-AFTRA elections will be coming up next year. While the elections will most likely be in the summer, getting signed up to run and doing the prep work will be in the spring. And that will be when I will be having my surgery and recovering.

As soon as I realized that, I talked to some of my friends who are higher up in SAG-AFTRA. I explained how I have every intention of running for a delegate position again (and I’m still considering running for the local board) but I’m worried the timeline of election stuff and my surgery will be an issue. They reassured me that they will do what they need to do so everything works out for me. Hopefully the surgery won’t take me out that long, but if it does I’m glad there is a plan that we can follow that won’t cause the recovery to be an issue for the election.

For most of the party, I stuck with the few friends I found there. I don’t know if more of my friends were there, but we were all looking around and didn’t really see too many people we all knew. And as things always seem to be at a party, I started to say goodbye to people and it seemed to take about an hour for me to leave. I did run into a few more friends while leaving so the goodbye got mixed in with trying to quickly catch up, but I was able to leave at a time that was early enough for me to not have to stress about rushing home to get to bed.

I’m so glad that I was able to go to the holiday party this year. It was a good positive thing to get to do when my day had been a bit long (customers have been getting pretty angry the past week at my day job). And I got to see friends I hadn’t seen in a while and was able to start planning for the election next year. I know I keep saying I need to do more with my union, and having fun at this party proved that I need to work harder at that.

Planning My Next Project (or Meeting A Director)

Now that “Single Parent Date Night” is pretty much done (we are just submitting to film festivals now), I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to work on next. I’d love to find another project that I can star in again, but it’s not that easy. I thought about seeing if I can find another writer friend to help create a project for me, but again that isn’t easy and I didn’t know if that was the right step.

But a while ago, my friend Camber (who I met through our WIF mentoring group) mentioned an idea for a documentary that she was thinking about doing. I’ve helped to produce one documentary before, but that project was pretty easy. Our entire movie seemed to come together really well and since it was mainly interviews it was an easy shoot to do. But the documentary that Camber brought up to me will be much more involved and will require more planning.

I don’t want to get into too many details (mainly because they aren’t figured out yet), this documentary idea would be one about nature. It would involve travel both within the country and internationally and it would require a pretty decent budget. Also, since it wouldn’t be interview based, we would pretty much have to write a script for the documentary to help guide the project.

Neither of us have experience with creating a documentary like this and we knew that we would need some help pretty much from the beginning. I brought the idea to the director of “Single Parent Date Night” (who also directed the documentary I produced previously) to see if he wanted to be a part of this project too. I trust him so much as a director and would have loved to have him a part of this. But the subject isn’t one that interests him and that is something that is important to us. We don’t want someone directing a project just to do it, we want them to have a passion for it since we need their guidance on how to tell the story.

So I posted in a couple of different industry related groups that I’m a part of to see if there were any directors who specialized in documentaries and possibly had an interest in doing a documentary about nature. I kept the post a bit vague as we are still figuring out what our documentary will totally be about. I got a couple of responses, but there was one director who seemed to be very interested in discussing the project so Camber and I met with her this past week.

I feel so lucky that I’ve had some amazing people come into my life in regards to acting and other entertainment related stuff. The director we met with is very much on a similar wavelength as Camber and I are. And she had some great ideas for us on how to narrow down our ideas and to build a narrative for the film. She even gave us a list of films to watch so we could get some more ideas!

The best thing was that she said that even if we didn’t want her to be our director, she still wanted to help us make it! That is just so generous and I know that she will be a great asset to the film. I’m just so grateful that she responded to my post and was willing to meet with us even though we don’t have a full concept to present yet.

Camber and I have a lot of work to get done before we meet with this director again (or meet with any more directors). We know this documentary that we want to make may take more than a year to do, so we want to do everything right. And even though it isn’t acting, this project is a creative one and is helping me exercise the creative part of my mind. I hope that we can make this documentary a reality. Not just because I want to be able to do it. I really feel passionate that I want everyone to see what we are hoping to make and I feel like it can have a big impact on a lot of people.

A Premiere Morning (or Seeing Myself On The Big Screen)

This past weekend, we had the premiere screening of “Single Parent Date Night”. This film has been a pretty quick process (which is nice) and we’ve been able to get things done very efficiently from pre-production to post-production. I’ve been seeing the film through each edited version, so I knew what to expect. And I had seen the final cut already (but just on my computer), but seeing it premiere for an audience is always different.

We ended up renting a theater in the valley to hold the screening. And since our film is only about 9 minutes long, Christopher (the writer and my co-star) decided to create a 3 film screening of different films he wrote. The entire thing was only 30 minutes, but it was nicer to have that than to just have everyone come to a theater for a 9 minute movie.

When I arrived, I couldn’t stop smiling. As soon as I walked to the theater where we were screening, I saw our movie listed above the door. Everything looked so real and official and this was the first time a movie I was in had this.

single-parent-date-night

The theater we were screening in was a regular movie theater, so there were a bunch of seats and the screen was a full-sized screen. It was a little overwhelming, but awesome at the same time. Most of the people who came to the screening were friends of our director, Bryan. But I had a couple of friends show up too and I was glad they were there! I knew they would be honest with me about the movie and even though I knew it was good, I was very critical about my performance.

Our film was the last one screening, so I tried to stay calm while the other 2 movies played. And before I knew it, it was time to show off “Single Parent Date Night” to the world!

movie

It is always very tough for me to watch my own performances. I feel like things weren’t done right, I said something funny, or with this film that I blinked too much and too long. I’m very nitpicky and it’s hard to get over that. So I tried to focus on the audience watching the show for the first time.

Fortunately, it seemed like everybody really liked it! A lot of my lines got laughs, people seemed to be very into the story, and we got a lot of applause when the final credits came up. And I did manage to watch a bit of it when I wasn’t feeling too nervous and was in shock with how crazy it was to see myself on the huge screen there!

on-the-big-screen

When the screening was over, we all went up to the front to thank everyone for coming. Some of the people there were people who supported our Kickstarter and I wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated every dollar that was given. We were willing to do a Q&A too, but since most people there were also filmmakers and our film is pretty self-explanatory, there weren’t any questions.

After that was done, I went over to my friends to see what they thought and they all really loved it! They enjoyed my performance and thought the story was really cute too! I’m glad I had their support there because it is very nerve-racking to see a project that you have worked so hard at completing be done. All you want is for everyone to love it, and thankfully it seems like that was the reaction we got from the audience.

I know that a lot of people wanted to come to the premiere and couldn’t (either due to scheduling or distance), but we decided to put our film up online for everyone to see. So make sure you check out “Single Parent Date Night” to see what all our hard work created!

Express Headshot Day (or Another Fun Podcast Event)

The podcast I work for has been trying to do lots of fun stuff for our listeners. We’ve done some pretty great parties in the past, but now we are looking to do monthly events to benefit actors and anyone else in the entertainment industry. I’ll try to remember to share these events on here in case any of you want to join in (sorry I didn’t do that before!).

Last month, we did a vocal class with Darci Monet (who is a friend of mine). It was a class for all levels and was an introduction to how she teaches. I was an observer for that class, but I had a great time and we were inspired to do more events like that. While the vocal class could have been for all levels, we know that some people might have been intimidated if they have never taken a class before. So we wanted the next event to be something that doesn’t seem to have levels of expertise so everyone felt like wherever they were in their career that it would be a great opportunity for them.

So this past weekend, we did an express headshot day. The idea of an express headshot day is to do really amazing photos for less money and taking less time than a normal headshot session. It’s great if you have one look you want to do that isn’t something you already have. Or if you are a writer and need a professional photo to use. I even joked with my friends that they could do it to have an awesome photo for an online dating profile!

We were hosted again by Acting Up Network (we will totally be partnering with them again and again in the future) and our photographer was Adam, who did my last round of headshots. I didn’t need any extra looks right now, so I didn’t sign up to do a session (and that was for the best since I got sick). But since Adam was the photographer, I knew that everyone who signed up would be getting incredible shots and nobody would be disappointed.

Not only did we feel so lucky that we got Adam as our photographer for the day, the day we had our express day was his birthday! He said that he was happy spending his birthday doing what he loves to do (he really does love taking photos), but we wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget about his birthday! So toward the beginning of the day, one of our hosts (who was getting his photos done during the express day) got some cupcakes so we could celebrate!

happy-birthday-adam

I’ve seen express headshot days in the past and they don’t always work. But Adam really had things set up to make this work the best it could. I watched almost each of the sessions, and every person left with a huge smile on their face and very impressed with some of the shots that they were able to see at the end of the shoot.

express-shoot

Doing headshots can be a fun time, but not everyone loves doing them. But it made me so happy to watch people walk in a bit nervous or unsure if they will get a good photo and walk out looking like they hit the jackpot because they got a photo that they never knew they could get.

I wasn’t able to stay for the entire event (I was there for almost 6 hours and then I needed to get home to rest), but the time I was there was really fun and inspiring to watch. I know that we are going to make these express headshot days something we do at least once a year. It was a hit and I know that good headshots are a necessity that not everyone can afford (most shoots are $300-500 and we did our express day for $100).

I feel great that we can do something that benefits others in the industry and it is something that others have done for me so I just want to keep paying it forward. If any of you want to know all the events the podcast will do (in case I forget to share it on here), I recommend signing up for the podcast email list. You’ll get an email for each episode we release, but we put podcast and community announcements in them too.

I’m not sure what our next event will be, but I have a feeling it’s going to be something else incredible!

Another Mentee Meeting (or Beach Brunch)

I had another meeting with my Women In Film mentoring group this past weekend. Even though we haven’t met with our mentors in a while, all of us mentees have been happy to continue meeting every other month to keep each other accountable and to catch up. I’m so happy that most of us are still able to get together and these women have truly become my friends. I know if I need any advice that I could ask any of them. Which makes these meetings a really great and educational time.

We are continuing to meet for brunch, and this time we tried a new place for us. It’s called Beach Nation and there is actually a sand pit in the middle of the seating area that you can sit in! We got a table so we didn’t get sandy, but it was still fun to see. They aren’t necessarily known for their brunch selections, but they had a good variety on the menu and I think all of us were pretty happy with the options.

beach-nation

Since we got there soon after they opened, we were able to get our orders in quickly so we could start the more official part of the meeting. The format we have stuck with for the meetings is going around the table and each of us updates the others on what has been happening since their last update. Everyone else can chime in with support and advice, but it’s really the time for the person giving the update to talk.

This time, I didn’t have as much to update everyone about. They already knew about “Single Parent Date Night”, but I did share that I saw an edit of the film and we are getting close to being done with the post-production on the movie. I really hate watching myself on screen, but I’ve watched each edit that we’ve had. And while I’m super harsh about my performance (I think I can do better but I know I did a good job), I think the movie is super cute and I think when we are ready to screen it that people will like it.

I also updated everyone on the day job juggling. It’s not easy to have multiple jobs, but I’m getting a balance going with it and things have continued to take a turn for the better with that situation. I think that things also seem a lot better because I’m been working really hard on budgeting and I think I’m getting my spending down and that is making it feel like I’m making more money. I still have debt to pay off and I know I’ll have some big purchases coming up soon (I need new tires on my car and I will be getting a new computer when a new model is released), but I don’t think either thing will be a huge financial hardship for me now.

Everyone else had some pretty awesome updates as well. Some people have new day jobs, some are in new classes, and some are working on some major productions right now. Even though we are all at different stages in our careers, it’s been nice to see how we have all progressed since we had our first meeting. I think all of us have taken huge strides forward and I love that we are all super motivated and dedicated to continuing our careers in the entertainment industry. I’ve had a lot of friends either give up or decide they don’t want to try anymore so it’s cool that all of us have been sticking with it.

After we all got to do our updates, our food arrived. I ordered the breakfast burrito and it was really good!

brunch

While we were eating our meeting turned a bit more into social time (as it usually does) and we were talking about fun events coming up that the others may be interested in. I signed up for a couple of new email lists based on recommendations that I heard at our meeting so I could potentially go to some more screenings than the ones I go to now.

We will have our next meeting in about 2 months, and I really hope by then that I can have some more substantial updates to share with everyone. I’m not feeling stuck in my career like I was last year, but when you have some progress you just want to continue doing that and that’s exactly how I’m feeling now.