Tag Archives: mixer

Another NextGen Mixer (or A Fun Post-Election Hangout)

Even though the SAG-AFTRA election season is over, there are still so many awesome actor events for me to participate in! I’ve been getting registered for the upcoming convention and submitting interest in various committees. I’m getting so excited about both the convention and the committee opportunities. I know how much I loved the convention last time and I have a feeling that it will be just as amazing this year!

But I’m not just getting ready for future events, I’m going to some. And this past week was the big mixer event for the NextGen Performers Committee. I’ve gone to some of their smaller events, but this one is their biggest. It’s not just a NextGen Performers event, it’s also co-sponsored by New Filmmakers LA. I haven’t been to any of the combined mixers before so I was pretty excited to see what this one would be like.

It was held at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, so it was a bit of a drive for me. But I was able to get there pretty close to the start time. But I had no idea how big this mixer was since I had only gone to the smaller ones. And when I arrived it was already pretty packed inside! There was a fun step and repeat to take photos at, but I decided to focus on trying to find some of my friends first.

Fortunately, within a few minutes of arriving I found a bunch of friends who were also a part of the slate that I ran on for the recent election. We were all so glad that the election season is over and we can focus on more union work now. And I also ran into some friends from the other slate and it’s nice to know that we are all past the campaigning and political stuff for now and can go back to working hard together.

With the bar being so crowded, I got a bit overwhelmed and when that happens I get a bit shy. So I ended up sticking with my friends for most of the night. I know that we were supposed to be networking, but that’s so difficult to do in a loud bar. It was so much easier to just catch up with people who I already know so I didn’t have to worry about offending them by saying that I can’t hear anything that they are saying. But it was a good mix of people I know through so many different things (even some girls from my Girls Night Out group!). So I wasn’t too isolated in the groups that I was talking to.

Since this was such a bit mixer for the NextGen Performers group, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris was there to speak. I’ve been so fortunate to get to know Gabrielle over the past few years and she is truly incredible. She took over as SAG-AFTRA president after Ken Howard died and that was not an easy thing to do. But she’s done such a wonderful job with the union and I’m so happy that she was reelected. But one of the most amazing things about her is how much she cares about everyone. She is so happy to see people and always asked about how we are doing. When she found out my friend was working on his first union contract, she had the biggest smile and was so proud of him. Having a leader that cares that much is a rare treat.

After the speeches, the official time for the event was coming to an end. We had a reserved section of the bar plus there was some free food and drink tickets. I think we could have stayed there after the official time ended (it just wouldn’t be reserved for our group or have the free stuff), but once it was 9pm I was feeling ready to go. I had a pretty long day that day with working my day job and a doctor appointment, plus the drive to the valley is a bit long. I knew that I was already overwhelmed and adding being tired to that wasn’t going to let me make any good impressions on people. So I started to make my round of goodbyes, which always seems to take forever, and headed back to my car to head home.

I love all the NextGen Performers events. Usually they are much smaller than this one which is nice because I can spend the time getting to know new people and it isn’t as crazy. But having a big event is so fun and festival especially when it comes at the end of what was a bit of a stressful election season.

A Happy Hour Mixer (or Being A NextGen Performer)

As much as I’ve wanted to get involved more with SAG-AFTRA, it seems like it just hasn’t been working out well with my schedule. I’ve wanted to attend various gatherings and meetings, but they seem to always be when I’m working. So when I do see an event that I can attend, I try to do whatever I can to make sure my schedule stays clear so I can go.

The NextGen Performers Committee is a committee within SAG-AFTRA to help unify those in the union between 18-35 and to help them get more involved. It’s a great committee and I have several friends who are a part of the leadership of that committee. They do a lot of great work especially since many younger union members don’t realize how important the union is. They haven’t known any other time and sometimes don’t realize when something is something that the union had to fight hard to get. It’s one of the committees that I’ve wanted to get involved with but hadn’t had a chance just yet.

But when they announced a mixer this past week at Rush Street, I knew I had to go! I had that evening free (except needing to pick up a friend at LAX at 11pm) and Rush Street is so close to my house that it wouldn’t take me long at all to get there. So I RSVPed and was excited about getting to spend some time with my fellow union members. I had ever intention of walking over there since it’s so close to my house, but I decided to dress up and wear heels. I don’t have to wear anything other than workout clothes normally, so I took advantage of this mixer. And since I was wearing heels, I didn’t want to walk over. So I drove over and found a free parking space!

The mixer was upstairs at Rush Street where we had a private space. I’ve been upstairs at Rush Street before for dinner, but never on the back patio where we were this time. And there was some free food (which always gets actors excited) and postcards promoting the upcoming Los Angeles meeting for SAG-AFTRA right when I walked in.

By the way, if you are a member of SAG-AFTRA and are free on Sunday, I highly recommend coming to the meeting. It should be a really educational afternoon and you will get to meet many leaders in the union. I’m excited to get to be there to see some people who I haven’t seen since either the holiday party or convention.

I wasn’t sure how many people I would know at the mixer, and there were a ton of people I didn’t know. But I did keep running into friends there including the friends who are a part of the committee. Some of them I had seen within the past month and some of them I hadn’t seen in over a year. Either way, it was awesome to get to catch up with everyone. And while everyone was busy saying hi to everyone who was there, I felt like I did get some great quality time with the people who I wanted to see while I was there.

And since this committee is focused on millennials (and those of us a bit older than that), they had a challenge for us for social media. They had different signs and if we could take a photo and post it on Instagram, we would get a free water bottle. I’m never one to turn down a free water bottle, so I took a photo with 2 friends to post online.

Since this mixer was a casual event, there was no agenda or timeline of anything. It was just a good time to get to hang out with other union members and talk shop. And that’s exactly what I got to do. It was perfect and again made me feel the pull to want to be more involved in the union. I know there isn’t a ton that I can do right now, but with elections happening this year I know that I want to do more than I have in the past.

I would have loved to have stayed at the mixer for a while (even though it was supposed to end at 9 it was still going strong at 9:30), but I did need to get home to get stuff done before my late night run to get my friend at LAX. I was trying to leave quickly, but of course it was taking forever to say goodbye to everyone that I wanted to say goodbye to. But I eventually made it out of there and was on my way back to my car.

With this mixer this week and the meeting coming up this weekend, I’m just feeling so excited about everything happening with the union. There have been some really exciting announcements lately (including the official union app and that residuals can be direct deposits now) and I can’t wait to hear what might be announced next!

 

Getting Ready To Get Mentored Again (or A Evening With WIF)

When I did the WIF Mentoring Circle the first time, I was so excited to have a bunch of meetings with other motivated women for a year. At first it seemed great, but after the first meeting, pretty much only 2 other mentees came to meetings. And while the agreement was to have 6 meetings within a 12 month period, my group only had 4 meetings in 18 months.

It wasn’t a total loss. The other 2 mentees who came to the meetings were awesome and I learned a lot from them. I wasn’t supposed to be allowed to apply for another mentoring circle until my group completed all 6 meetings, but since it was announced that that would not be happening, I applied for the Winter circles.

In my application, I said how I could see how amazing the mentoring circles could be, and sadly that wasn’t my experience with my group. I was so excited that I was accepted again, and there was a mixer this week to meet some of the other women who would be in the program this time.

The event was a pretty casual evening. There were food and drinks (I ate before I went so I can’t tell you if the food was awesome but I’m assuming it was) and most of the evening was unstructured so we could just chat with some other woman at the event.

I was at a table that happened to be full of non-actors (a rarity and a nice treat!). We were all chatting and I don’t quite remember how the conversation got started, but I started chatting with the woman sitting next to me about the podcast Serial (which we are both obsessed with!). It turns out this woman (who I didn’t ask permission to name on my blog so I won’t right now) got a fellowship for WIF through UCLA where she is in the screenwriting program. That’s pretty awesome!

After about an hour at the event, the women who run the mentoring circles spoke and explained that we will know who our mentors and fellow mentees are by the end of the year. They haven’t put the groups together yet, so if there are people who we want to have in our circles we can request them (but no guarantees).

After the speech, I got up and spoke to the woman in charge. I just wanted to thank her again for accepting me into the program for the second time. And I wanted to make sure that I would have different mentors this year. I loved my mentors, but I think part of doing this experience again is to meet more people and expand my networking circles. She said that they would do their best not to put me with the same mentors again, and if for some reason it wasn’t like that, I can let them know.

After that, I decided to head home so I could get some work done before having to work the next morning.

Overall, it was a super successful kick off to the next mentoring circle. I’m so excited to see who’s in my group and who my new mentors will be. I can’t wait to find out what everyone’s specialty is and what jobs my mentors have. But I’ll have to wait a bit to find that out.

 

Hollywood Mixer (or Ms. In The Biz Is Almost Here!)

This week, Ms. In The Biz launched the sneak peek of the site. As I mentioned before, I’m a writer for the site (in fact, 2 of my articles are on there right now!).

To celebrate the sneak peek (and the official launch which is coming up soon), Ms. In The Biz partnered up with Film Break for a really great mixer event.

It was held at the Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt in Hollywood. I’ve lived in LA for almost 12 years (my LA-nniversary is in August), and this was the very first time that I’ve been to the Roosevelt.

I got a bit lost in there, but I realized I entered from the back entrance (the one on Hollywood Blvd). But once I got out to the pool area, it was gorgeous!

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We were right next to the pool, which was all lit up.

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I got there on the early side (because I didn’t want to stay out late), and immediately ran into some friends and fellow Ms. In The Biz writers.

But it quickly got very crowded there, and I tried to keep finding places to mingle that weren’t full of people (I had a fear that somehow I’d get pushed into the pool in the crowd!).

Even with that set back, I met so many amazing creative people. And for the first time at a mixer event, I think being an actor was in the minority. I’m used to the LA Actors Tweetup where it seems like everyone is an actor (and that’s awesome). But at this event, I met directors, film critics, make up artists, sound mixers, and writers. It’s nice being around all these creative types that do different things than you!

Thank goodness for business cards because with all the noise, I didn’t quite get everyone’s name.

After being there about 2 hours, I decided it was time to head home so I could be up early the next morning to get errands done before work. Based on tweets and FB posts I’ve seen, the party went on quite a bit more! I’m a little sad I didn’t stay longer, but I know that I’d be miserable at work the next day if I didn’t get sleep!

If you haven’t already checked out the Ms. In The Biz site, please do! It’s an amazing project that I’m so proud to be a part of! Make sure to sure to sign up for the newsletter so you know when the new posts are up.

I believe there will be an official launch party for the site in the next month or so, and if it’s open to everyone, I’ll make sure to post the info on here!