Tag Archives: education

More Union Education (or Making Sure Ads Go Union)

You may have noticed that I am posting more and more about union events. I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to become more involved in the union and I’m finally taking advantage of that! My schedule is fairly regular so I can make plans to attend different meetings and events and I love how this makes me feel continuously involved in union happenings and not that I’m on the outskirts. And this week was another week where I was at union headquarters for another meeting!

So many of the meetings and events I’ve been going to lately have been about commercials. This is a pretty current issue for a few reasons. First, the union will be negotiating the new commercial contract next year so we are getting prepared for that. But also, commercials have always been both union and non-union, but we are starting to see more non-union than before. Many jobs are still union, but we want to make sure they stay that way and that we get even more union commercials.

SAG-AFTRA has an entire committee dedicated to keeping commercials union and that was what this meeting was about. Members of the committee as well as union staff were there to explain more about the plan to get more commercials to be union work and what things have been happening so far.

While I’ve been at several events regarding union commercials, I learned new things at this meeting. These meetings are a response to the growing problem of non-union work and because of what members say in them the union can know what our specific issues are and how to remedy that.

I’ve been pretty lucky. While I don’t audition for commercials a lot, my agents have never asked me to violate union rules and audition for non-union work. In fact, when a commercial lied about being union and when I found out, my agents told me to leave because they didn’t want me to run into any issues. Not all actors are that lucky and they were discussing how their agents are encouraging them to work non-union even though they are union members.

But even though I’ve been lucky since becoming a union member, I know the issues of non-union commercials from before I joined SAG-AFTRA. When I was non-union, I did a commercial that paid pretty decently. It was super easy work and with what I made I paid my rent and bills for a month! I was so excited! But I didn’t realize that because my contract allowed the ad agency to use the commercial in perpetuity (which is common in non-union work), I had no idea then that I would have something that has been on tv for 11 years! It’s a haircare commercial/informercial and I see it on tv all the time. If this was union, I would be making residuals and still be getting paid. But because it was non-union and I didn’t have the protection of SAG-AFTRA and the contracts we have, I only got that 1 payment that doesn’t seem that much when you think about it being split over 11 years.

Because of my experience with non-union work, I’m passionate about making sure that other actors don’t have the same issue. If they aren’t in SAG-AFTRA and chose to do a non-union work, I want them to know what things to look for in a contract so they are making an educated decision. But I am even more passionate about helping commercials be union so that actors will have the protections that we have in our contracts. And that’s why I love getting to know more about the Ads Go Union campaign in meetings and being able to share what I learn with you all. This time, we got more information on recent things that the campaign has done and promoted to other members.

Even if I don’t book another commercial in my entire career, this issue is going to be an important one for me. I know first-hand how easily actors who don’t know better can get into a contract that they may regret later. And I want to see more union work so that my union brothers and sisters have more opportunities to do what they love. For me, my union dedication is all about education and seeing others succeed. And hopefully I will succeed as well.

I am looking to branch out a bit more and find union events about other issues so I can learn more about other union things I may want to get involved in. But for now, I’m just so happy that I’ve been able to get involved in the commercial recapturing initiative and that I will be able to find ways to help out other actors. I do plan on attending more and more events and I will keep finding ways to be involved and to make sure that all actors are educated on the issues.

Fitness and Nutrition (or Reminding Myself Of The Basics)

About 2 months ago, I shared how I was invited to be a part of the Runner’s Fit and Fueled course. I was so excited to be starting my year off the right way and to learn more about proper nutrition when it comes to fitness. I have studied nutrition a lot (many people with eating disorders know a ton about nutrition and food) but I was worried about how I would do when my fitness level was likely lower than what the others in the group were at.

But now that the official course time is over, I can say that I had nothing to worry about! The others in our private Facebook group were very supportive and most of the focus was on nutrition and not fitness. That was a big relief because I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t do what was being taught because of my fitness level.

And I had every intention of doing this 4 week course exactly as it was set out and reading each of the lessons and watching the videos as soon as they came out. But of course, best intentions don’t always happen that way. Life took over and I wasn’t able to do the 4 week course when it was all released. I was feeling a bit frustrated because I wanted to do this as my first month of the year, but if I had done that I wouldn’t have been able to give it my full attention and I knew that I needed to do that.

Fortunately, this course wasn’t restricted to just the 4 weeks that it was happening. The Facebook group is still there and I can view any of the videos whenever I want. And I know that I will be wanting to go back to the videos a few times because I know that things will connect with me at different times. And I have all the handouts downloaded on my computer as well. And I have a feeling those handouts are going to be something I use for a while.

What I loved about the way this was taught was something I wasn’t expecting. Because this is a course for runners, there are days that are your hard run days and days that are your easy run days. And of course you also have rest days. And the nutrition was broken down into what to eat for each of those days to maximize what you are doing. For example, what to eat before and after a long run to help your body work at its most efficient. Or what to eat on a rest day to not mess up all the hard work that you put into things on the other days.

While I don’t necessarily have hard or easy run days, I do have days where I have a workout and days when I don’t. And I can look at workout days as hard days and days off as easy or rest days. Each of those types of days has sample meal plans to use with different options. And as someone who struggles with meal planning, this is an amazing resource for me! Some of the things in the meal plan are things I already eat, some are things I have eaten in the past and kind of forgotten about, and others are things I wouldn’t think of as a meal option. So I’ve been going through the meal plans and seeing the best way to implement them in my life.

While the plan has some elements of carb cycling, it’s not necessarily that. It’s more about eating what will make your body work the most efficient way possible and making sure that all your nutrition needs are met. There are so many diet ideas out right now and I’ve been checking out a few of them. But it’s been overwhelming. The Runner’s Fit and Fueled course seems to be more about the idea of getting back to good and wholesome foods and not fitting into a certain diet plan or hitting certain macros each day.

I know that I’m going to keep referring back to everything in this course for a while. While it may seem like basic nutritional information, for me it was almost a reminder that sometimes a meal plan doesn’t need to be something crazy or elaborate. It can just be filled with good options that will help you work out and keep you full. I don’t need to stress about getting into a certain mindset or tracking things like crazy. I just need to get back to basics and make sure that I pay attention to what my body is saying.

If you are interested in doing this course (and I recommend it for anyone who has a regular fitness routine), there will be another round starting on March 5th. I feel like this course really did help me get into a better mindset about what I want to do with food and how I feel about fueling myself. And I hope that if any of you are looking to learn more about nutrition and how it affects how you work out that you will sign up! And you can use the promo code BOMBSHELL to get $5 off!

Runner’s Fit And Fueled Course (or Planning On Starting 2018 The Right Way)

There are several things that I struggle with, but some of them are things I struggle with more often than others. And one of those things that is a constant struggle for me is nutrition and food. This will likely be a struggle the rest of my life as that is the nature of having an eating disorder. Hopefully the struggle is easier to deal with as I get into recovery, but I’ve come to the realization that it will never completely go away for me.

Another thing that has been a more recent struggle for me is getting back into running more. I’ve had some setbacks that have prevented me from working on my running, but I’ve also had excuses that really shouldn’t be stopping me. And I don’t have any 5K races that I’m working toward right now so my motivation for working on my running has decreased. But I do want to fix this as I know how awesome I’ve felt every time I’ve had a new accomplishment with running and I want to get that feeling back.

But I want to really work on both of these struggles in the new year and I think I found an awesome opportunity to do so! I was invited to participate in the Runner’s Fit and Fueled course that is starting on January 2nd! This course will include lessons, videos and handouts that is all about training as a runner and the proper nutrition that runners need.

In the course I’ll get sample meal plans, grocery lists, strength training workouts, a Facebook group for support, and guidance on how to get fit and reach my goals. This seriously sounds like the perfect way to start off the new year for me! It’s not as structured as some of the other nutrition things I’ve done before, but I think that will be good for me. This will teach me how to live normally but accomplish these goals. I won’t be on a strict diet plan that isn’t maintainable for me in the long run.

I’ve done a lot of nutrition things in the past, but this is the first time I’ll be doing a running course too. I know that I’m still a beginner runner, but I want to get better. I know that my endurance isn’t what it was earlier this year and I want to get back to that. I haven’t done a run outside of a workout in a while and now that it’s cooler in the mornings and afternoons I don’t have an excuse not to do them, but I haven’t been doing it. So I’m hoping that the guidance and motivation that I will get in this course will help me get back to that.

Of course, I’m a bit nervous about being such a beginner runner when others in the group might be people who have done marathons or other long runs before. But getting over those nerves to do something that is good for me is something else I need to struggle with. There is no reason why I have to be an expert before I try to get help. There’s nothing wrong with getting help at the beginning of my journey and I’m sure that the others in the group will be happy to help me out. That’s how I feel where there is someone new at Orangetheory and I can help them out.

Since I still have time before this course starts, I want to work on some goal setting ideas for what I want to get out of it. My big goals are a bit too big to be able to accomplish within a month, but I can create some smaller goals that I can work toward. Being better at cooking at home and not having as much sugar in my diet is one thing that I really want to work toward with my nutrition. And for my running I’d love to have some more running PRs with timed events and maybe even run further than I have before. And if I can find a 5K race toward the beginning of the year to use as a goal, that would be awesome too!

The Runner’s Fit and Fueled course starts on January 2nd, but the price goes up on December 15th so I recommend signing up now! And if you use the promo code BOMBSHELL you’ll get $5 off! I would love to have some of my readers in the course with me so we can support each other in reaching our goals!

It’s Convention Time (or I’ve Been Waiting 2 Years For This!)

This past weekend was the SAG-AFTRA National Convention. I was attending as a second term delegate and it was just as amazing as it was the first time. I honestly had been waiting for convention to happen again as soon as the last one was done and I am now already anxious for the next one in 2 more years!

Since this time I knew what the convention was going to be like, I was much more prepared for things. I planned out my schedule a bit better so I wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed and exhausted, but since I was battling a cold it was still a bit tough on me mentally and physically. But it was totally worth it.

Convention started on Thursday night with a cocktail party to meet my fellow delegates. Last time, I was feeling a bit nervous and stuck with mainly talking to the delegates I already knew. I also felt like I had arrived late so I was feeling a bit scattered. So this time I got there early so I wouldn’t be late and had time to get checked in for the convention to get all my things before the party started.

While at the party, I did talk to a lot of my friends who are delegates, but I did make an effort to meet new people too. I got to talk to a bunch of people from New York, Portland, and New Orleans and many of them were first time delegates. The best advice I could give to them that it was going to be so overwhelming but they would be wanting more when everything was done. Some of the smaller locals don’t have slates to help prepare new delegates for the convention like LA does, so I tried to do my part. I also found out over the few days of convention that some first time delegates found my blog post from 2 years ago to learn about what convention would be like. So if you are reading this 2 years from now to get ready for the 2019 convention, hi!

I didn’t stay out too late because I knew the next morning was going to be an early morning. I was going to work my day job from convention again and I was going to start 2 hours early to make up for any time that I was going to miss to vote. That meant getting up at 6am to be out the door by 6:45 to deal with rush hour traffic. It was a very early morning, but it worked out ok since I was able to get logged into work right on time and I got a great seat for the convention in the LA section!

I also spent a bit of time that morning checking out the expo since I missed that the last time. Most of the organizations weren’t set up that early on the first day, but there was a “Words of Wisdom” wall we could sign and since the convention hadn’t started yet I got to be the 3rd person to sign it.

I wrote on the bottom “Don’t forget to smile!”. I knew that it would be getting filled up throughout the convention, so I’m glad I got to sign it before a lot of the space was taken.

Once convention started, things moved pretty quickly. We had to do the elections for the various vice presidents which included the executive VP as well as the geographical and categorical ones. Fortunately, most of that time was spent in the main convention room as Los Angeles and the actor categories are the biggest one. And they made some changes to the voting this year so it was significantly faster. I thought I’d have to be away from work for maybe 20 minutes when it ended up being less than 5!

And after those elections, we moved on to the resolutions. This would take part of all 3 days of the convention and is pretty important. This is where we vote as representatives for other members on various issues. I take this seriously and spent time before convention reviewing all the information and seeking answers to questions that I had. And since I had my computer with me, I was able to text others that were there that know more than me if I had questions.

At the end of the first day, I then had to get ready for the gala. But that is going to be a post for tomorrow. But I was out pretty late that night and had another super early morning for day 2. And again, I had to work from the convention, but my work shift was only 3 hours instead of 7 so that was much better. And we had more resolution voting and then we had what so many of us considered one of the highlights of the convention: the food truck lunch!

I didn’t take any photos of lunch, but trust me, it was delicious! And it was a bit of a longer lunch break so I had some time to wander around before the next part of the convention started. I took advantage of the photo set up with the giant SAG-AFTRA card.

And I saw my friend Robert who was there volunteering as a member ambassador! He also ran as a delegate but wasn’t elected. But it made me so happy to see that he is still being super involved in the union and of course we had to take a photo together too!

I also had some time to check out the expo again and see what was set up there. I got some information on various union affiliated organizations and got some fun swag too. And while I was there, our National Executive Director David White was adding his words of wisdom to the wall. He is one of the most inspiring speakers at the convention and at any union event he’s at and I had to get a picture with him.

Day 2 ended with finishing as many resolutions as we could and then there was a film screening we could go to. I ended up skipping the screening because I was really tired, but I heard it was amazing and I’m a bit sad I didn’t go.

Day 3 was the last day of convention and started a bit later than the other days. I also didn’t have to work my day job so that was nice. While we had breakfast provided every morning, the last morning is the nicest breakfast and I was able to eat outside with some of my fellow delegates. It was a mix of people I already knew, people I met for the first time earlier in the convention, and people I was meeting for the first time at breakfast. We had an amazing conversation that really was what being at convention is all about. We learned about each other’s concerns about the industry and what we all want for the future. It’s just so inspiring and I love getting to be a part of that.

The last day was a mix of finishing the resolutions as well as some speeches. We got to hear the reports from the president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer. Those speeches had some really inspiring moments. One of my favorites was when Vice President Rebecca Damon used a “Hamilton” quote. She said how this convention room is the room where it happens. And she is so right and I feel so lucky that I am inside that room.

Once the convention was adjourned, all the LA delegates had to stay so we could take a photo. Since I’m one of the shorter delegates, I was up in the front again.

And then technically it was all over. I couldn’t believe that it was done. It felt like it was so fast and even though I was ready to sleep for 27 days in a row, I wanted more! But I wasn’t ready to leave because I wanted to make sure I got lots of photos with my friends there. Everyone at convention is someone who is inspiring, creative, and just awesome.

Officially, my time as a delegate is done. But there are lots of opportunities for me to stay involved and I’ve already been working on those. And before I know it, it will be election time again and I’ll be running for delegate again. Being involved in union service was not something I considered before my first term as a delegate, but now that I’m involved I don’t want to stop. I know that this second term is still only the beginning of my union service career and I can’t wait to see what is next for me!

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Meal Planning and Learning French (or Monthly Challenge Time)

The start of a new month brings the end to one monthly challenge and the beginning of another! Of course, I’ve kept doing almost all of my monthly challenges beyond the end of that month so it’s really not the end to anything this time. First, a quick recap on my February challenge.

My challenge for February was to work on weekly meal planning. This is something I’ve tried to do multiple times and I was hoping that this time things would finally stick for me. Meal planning is something I know I should do for both my health and budget, but it has never been easy for me. I’ve tried different methods of planning and nothing felt right for me. So this past month, I decided to give myself the month to test out different things and to see what I could come up with.

I started with trying a couple of meal planning apps. I was only trying the free ones because I didn’t want to pay something that I wasn’t sure I would like. I know that some people love the apps, but for me they just didn’t work. I couldn’t see things the way I wanted to and it felt like more work than it was worth. I really wanted an app to work because it seems to be what so many people like and have success with, but I can’t force myself to work with something that doesn’t work for me.

After that, I did various versions of writing down a list for the week. I’m still testing out a couple of options, but I’m finding that having this list system is going ok for me. I can work on the week’s list on Saturday or Sunday (whatever day I can go get groceries), see everything that I have for the week, and make a grocery list based on that. I’m not buying things that I don’t need, so I’m saving money. And I’m finding that if I can cook one night at home, that covers me for 3 meals and I can eat something home cooked most days.

I’m not 100% perfect with following my plan, but I’m doing much better than I expected. If nothing else, this has helped me get into a schedule with my food and I’m not having problems with not having something in the house for lunch or dinner. There is still room for improvement with this, but I would say this challenge is a success!

Moving on to March now. It was a struggle for me to think up a challenge for this month. I ended up doing some searching online for inspiration on what could be a good month-long challenge. There were so many good ideas, but many of them are similar to things I already do so it wouldn’t be enough of a challenge for me. But I kept gravitating toward some of the educational challenges so I decided to look more into those. And I finally found something that seems good to me.

For the month of March, I’m going to work on learning a new language every day. More specifically, I’m going to work on learning French every day. I’ve wanting to learn French before and I’ve tried it a few times (sound familiar?) but it’s never been a habit that I can stick with. But I know that doing something educational every day will be good for me and learning another language will be a tough challenge for me.

I’m planning on using the Duolingo app to do this, which is something I tried before. But now, I have reminders set up for me to work on this every day and I’m connecting it to my social media so I can have friends checking in on me. I’ve liked the app before, I just wasn’t consistent with it. But that was before I got really into my monthly challenges, so I’m hoping that the motivation will be with me this time and I can stick with it.

I don’t expect to be great at French within a month. I know that it will take so much longer than that to be able to learn another language. But in 30 days I can learn some basics and get into the habit of working on this. Maybe by the end of this year I can feel comfortable with how much I know. I don’t have any reason I need to know French right now, but I’ve got some motivation to learn it in the long run.

12 years ago, my mom and I went to France and Italy together. We had a great trip and have said that we wanted to go again. And if we go back, we’ve said that we’d like to go to Disneyland Paris. I know you don’t need to speak French to enjoy Disneyland Paris, but I think knowing it would be helpful and would make that trip even better. My mom and I don’t have any travel plans any time soon, but we know that we want to go back one day. And when that happens, hopefully I will be able to speak a little French and understand it as well.

I’m excited to see how a brainy challenge will go for me because many of the ones I’ve done before aren’t as much about learning new things. But I know I should be doing more things to keep learning every day, and this is a great way to add that to my daily habits!