Monday, December 31, 2012

The Next Year

As I sit here writing this, It's almost midnight. Midnight on New Years Eve. Jason is asleep next to me, and tired as I am sleep eludes me. We have to get up early to go to the Outback Bowl tomorrow so we didnt make plans. But it's so close to the new year I might as well stay awake to see it arrive.

I'm not a New Years Resolution maker. I'm more of a birthday change kind of person. I set my goals, my resolutions, on my birthday instead of on the date the calendar turns a year older.

But still, there's something special about the freshness and hope of a new year. A year when the possibilities are endless - 365 days of wonder laid out before us. We start with the best intentions - changing our diets, exercise and sleep patterns. Reconnecting with old friends, making coffee dates with new ones. Doing that one thing we have always wanted to try. And somewhere in there, the newness fades, as does our resolve. What changes? Is it life wearing us down? Obligations? Stress? Do we have so much on our plates that a year can pass without us noticing? Suddenly we're a year older and we still haven't done or seen or experienced what we wanted to. Life is a burden instead of a joy. So we resolve again next year - I will do it this time. And another year passes. Again.

Life can be an extraordinary if you let it.

So this year, resolve to make time for a few items on your bucket list. Life is precious. Time is fleeting. Go do it NOW, before you can't. Commit to giving time to yourself instead of to one more obligation/committee/charity.

And make 2013 the best one yet.

God Bless You. Happy New Year my friends.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Goodbye Sucks

I snuck into LA for a few short days to visit my family before Christmas. When I say I snuck in, I really mean it. There were only a handful of people who knew I was coming. Why? Because I needed to spend the time with my family, with my best friend, with my precious godbabies. I wasn't trying to hurt any feelings or blow anyone off, I was trying to make the most of the precious time I have.

I leave in the morning after only five days. Five days I am so grateful for, but wish they were longer.

Jason wasn't able to come on this visit with me - it was just me - giving me the opportunity to spend quality time and celebrate Christmas.

This will be my first Christmas away from my family. The last two years, Jason has made the sacrifice so I could be at home for the holiday. It's high time we celebrated with his family, especially since everyone will be in town this year. And they are so kind and gracious, offering to modify and include my traditions so the day won't be so sad for me. So I will feel included. I am so grateful and thankful that they love me so much they're concerned for me on Christmas. And that they understand just how difficult that day will be for me.

Whenever I hear "I'll be home for Christmas", I've been either crying or turning the radio off this year. I don't need any extra reminders that I will only be home for Christmas in my dreams. I'm sobbing right now, just thinking about it.

But I got to have a special Christmas breakfast with my family on this visit, which is the event that feels most like Christmas to me.

I got to hold my new godson for hours, smelling that scent that only babies have. I got to dance ballet with my god-daughter. I got to tell stories with my grandfather. I got to shop with my best friend, and run errands with my sister, and take my parents to the movies, and walk on the beach with Steph, and drink mimosas with Jen and Marissa. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

It has been such a great visit.

Still tomorrow, when it's time to say goodbye, it will hurt so badly.

Goodbye always sucks, no matter how many times you have said it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Dress for an Audition

Okay, folks. We need to have a conversation about what is appropriate at an audition and what isn't. I've been pounding the pavement quite a bit lately, and have been totally appalled by what some people consider audition appropriate attire. Maybe it's because I grew up in LA, and have been auditioning and working there for most of my adult life. Maybe I was just blessed to have an instructor beat it into my head somewhere along the road.

But the truth of it is, some people are just a hot mess. And I'm not even sure they know it.

The number one thing to consider when auditioning for a paid gig? It is essentially a job interview, and you would not (I hope) show up to an interview at a prospective employer looking like a schmuck, or like you just rolled out of bed.

You are showing the company and the casting director respect by showing up looking appropriate.

So first things first - no matter WHAT you are auditioning for, please do everyone the courtesy of doing your hair. Brush it, style it, but please make an effort. I understand wild hair - mine can be pretty crazy, especially in Florida - but I always either put it in big, sexy curls or straighten it. Unless it's behaving and I can put some product in it and show off my own natural curls. But I will not show up to an audition with a hot mess of hair, and you shouldn't either.

Second - Makeup and Grooming. Ladies, I'll get to you in a second. Men, make sure that your facial hair is well groomed. If you're rocking a beard, stash or wild brows, make sure that they are tamed and look presentable. And remember who you're auditioning for. Disney? No facial hair (except your eyebrows, of course). Ladies - we are putting our best and most attractive selves forward. I understand - there are days when I look in the mirror and think - "Who the heck is this person staring back at me? She is hopeless!". Still, foundation, eyes, cheeks, lips and a great lash curler can work miracles. If you don't know how to do this, enlist the help of a professional - ask them to teach you an easy routine to get you looking your best. We can all use a little extra help. Now if you're a model, the rules on makeup are different, so ignore what I just said. Besides, you're probably gorgeous all the time, sans makeup. Lucky you!

Wardrobe. For theatre, unless you are auditioning for something super edgy, a la Rock of Ages (where you can wear something "cooler"), a couple of nice outfits will do. Men - you can't go wrong with slacks and a button down. Ladies, you can't go wrong with a lovely dress that flatters your body and coloring and shows off your legs that look amazing in those heels. Now ladies, I understand some of us might be bashful about our legs - cellulite, varicose veins, etc... Try a pair of nice slacks with a heel. But have you really looked at some of the knee length dresses that are out there? They make some exceptionally flattering styles for all body types.

Your audition wardrobe should be a small investment, and purchased with the specific intention of wearing it to book jobs. Refresh it every now and again - you do not want to look dated. Seriously. Remember that they often don't remember your face - they remember the girl in the green dress. The girl with those killer shoes. The guy in the purple button down. It is all about impressions, folks. 100%.

For commercials, film and tv - dress appropriately to the role. College student? Jeans and a great top. Bride? Well the casting director will probably tell you if they want you to show up in a bridal gown, but otherwise a nice dress and heels should do the trick. Most Commercial/TV/Film casting directors are pretty specific about wardrobe, so when your agent sends you the breakdown, check to see if they've included any specific notes about wardrobe. If they haven't, dress as appropriately to the character as you can. And always, always dress nicely - be put together and appealing. You want to make them WANT to work with you. Only once was I ever asked to show up to an audition looking like a total slob. Once. And it felt awful.

Dance auditions. This is a whole different category, but the same general rules apply. Do your hair. Do your makeup. And please, please, please, don't show up in your rattiest gym clothes. One nice set of dance clothes or work out clothes that flatter your body and make it look it's absolute best will help.

Callbacks. Always, ALWAYS wear the same thing for your callback that you wore for your original audition. There was something about YOU that they loved that day, that caught their attention, so it's best to show up looking exactly the same unless they specifically ask you for something different. If your second call is a dance call, try to keep the hair and makeup the same and wear something in the same color if you can. Remember what I said about "The girl in the green dress"? They may not know it's you if you don't wear the same thing again. Seriously.

And besides - when you look your best, you feel confident, and we all could use a little more confidence walking into that audition room, right?

Happy Auditioning!

Did I miss something here? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please let me know in the comments section below!