Keeping a Work Journal

           (I’m a bit of a notebook addict)

Last week during the class that I teach, I was explaining to my students about the importance of keeping a work journal. As to be expected their eyes were a little glazed over and started doodling on the notebooks provided instead. Still I gave them some simple rules:

•This is a journal that is simply used for information regarding your career. This is not to be used to write down your deepest darkest secrets, but as a memory keeper.

•You write down any job that you have worked (paid or unpaid though the former is preferred.) This includes the date, the nature of the job, the cost incurred (if any) to do the job and of course the payment for that job.

•Any event related to your career should also be documented. (Date, cost, what the event is, who you met, etc.)

•Classes and Workshops: While I would expect there would be notes taken for any lessons; the same rules still apply like the jobs and events (date, cost, subject, who you met, etc.)

•One last thing I would also include in the journal are random items as well, regardless of whether they cost money or have to directly do with an upcoming job or event. This would include: Films watched. Books and/or magazine articles read and why the information was valuable. Cosmetic items purchased. Clothing or costume items purchased. If you move to an area that is greatly beneficial to your career or places traveled in general. People you met or people you saw that inspired a character. Odd jobs that contribute investment money into your career. Even previous experience before embarking on this career that shaped you.

For instance today: I spoke with my modeling agent about my upcoming fitting for a show I am in. In addition to that she asked if I could volunteer my time for a charity show that is presenting next week. My journal entry looks as such…

10/22/16

Spoke with Shawna about upcoming fitting for Eleganza event. Must contact Colleen or Alex at Claire’s Boutique for fitting time. Bring formal and business footwear during fitting. Dates for fitting are 10/25, 10/26 or 10/27 from 2-7pm for one hour. 

Also Shawna asked if I could volunteer for another show at the Chase Center on 11/3. I agreed. Fitting will be on 10/31 in Greenville (check email for more details.) Show starts at 6pm. Call time is 5pm.

That’s about the jist of what a work journal would look like. On the day of the fittings I will write down my travel, who I spoke to, what I’m wearing, etc. What I love about work journaling is that it helps me keep my head together. I hope this helps.

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Shark Week

For those of us, of the female persuasion, we have to deal with a week of bullshit every month called Shark Week. Although I haven’t started yet, this upcoming week is already ramping up to be a doozy. Why you ask? Let’s see…first, it’s timing for arriving at the worst time is impeccable. Next week is tech week leading up to the 3 shows I will be performing in Carmilla. I get the feeling it will arrive sometime around next Friday (the day of the first show.) 

The second: PMS. Every month my symptoms are different. This time I got super bloated, super fast and now most of my clothes are tight. Last month I was an emotional wreck. The month before, my face was littered with acne. 

Third and worst of all, I’m the hungriest person you will ever meet. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to eat. Some reason around this time I don’t stay full and I’m usually famished not long after eating. 

I’m fully aware that periods are a part of life. They’re just really uncomfortable. And in the next few days a test to see if I can manage my emotions and not get short with people. I was already tested yesterday with one of the people who I’ve written about previously that resurfaced. The last thing I want right now is to get in trouble for going on an ass whooping spree.

Working the Runway 

                       (Source: Pinterest)

So after a busy week and a bad case of writers block, I’m back and with happy things to report. 

In the past four days I have been cast in two paying modeling jobs. The first one I got is with a local boutique that specializes in gowns and is hosting a huge gala to present them. The second is with Philadelphia Fashion Week. Both are awesome, I look forward to both of them.

The interesting thing is, this has been my first few modeling jobs in quite a while. This part of the industry hasn’t been getting too much attention from me just due to working on Carmilla and doing as much background as I can (I still got rejected several times since my last post for background.) I was starting to get a little discouraged that I’m not moving in the way that I should. That is not to say that working on these productions haven’t been great, they’re amazing; still I can’t help but feel I should be doing something bigger. But everything does happen for a reason and I think the runway jobs are that reason. Who knows what designer(s) I may connect with? I do have a gala to attend in March 2017 and I need gown ideas. This is what I wore to the last gala:


(Circa March 2016. Cost of this gown…$10 from a prom resell event.) 

Normally I would thrift again if need be. However, if there is a gown I see at the show that really strikes me, I may pay the bigger money and go for that one instead.

But back to the subject at hand, runway modeling. Typically when you think of runway you automatically refer to this:


                     (Source: Pinterest)

A 17 year old, 6ft tall Amazon, who is a size 2 max and probably weighs about 50 lbs lighter than me. I’m not against these girls (your body is your body) but they were the norm for quite some time. Now the industry is changing to reflect body positivity: hiring curvier and more petite models. Hiring models with disabilities  and battling ageism as well. Major designers are now including these models into the mix because it’s smart. Think about it, I have a black tie event that I will be attending. I’m more inclined to purchase a gown if I see the model is closer to my body type than someone who is incredibly thin. I hope sometime in the future there will be a greater variety of models. In the meantime, I’m happy to be a part of the increasing trend.

Blocked 

Yeah, it was one of those days. The first disappointment being that I could not figure out the logistics to get to New York to do a background job. I neither had the money or the time and that is really bumming me out. It’s my fault really, I feel like I need to budget better and I don’t know how with such limited resources. And that was even before being unemployed. I wish I made money like I did back in the old days but…even they aren’t pulling it in like they used to. Sigh. 

The second disappointment was an ambassador job that paid a decent wage and close to home. I went to apply for it and got the notice that this position has already been filled. BOO! Given, it wouldn’t start until a month from now at the Linc but it would have been something in the future that I could count on. Both gigs were probably not meant for me. 

Back to the drawing board.

Teaching and Public Speaking 

To keep money in my pocket, I’ve taken up teaching at my local modeling school and agency. Parents of these students and even the students themselves (I have one or two that are adults) come in and learn not only proper grooming but personal development and audition skills as well. The beauty of the session I am in and the students I have is that I am a working teacher. It’s good that I have worked in fashion shows and performed in plays and films. I feel I that I am able to put a real life spin on what I’m teaching and therefore able to convey a clearer message. 


(Photo Courtesy of my former classmate Randall Law. Circa April 2016.)

This past April I was invited by my former classmate to speak to the current students of my old high school. I really enjoyed it, especially since my journey to become an actress was quite weird and winding. If anything, it would help the kids understand that where you start isn’t always the final destination. My biggest concern is: being out of touch as an adult. How do I effectively communicate with people so young?


(I was a a student of the now former Academy of Communications and Publishing with a focus in Film and Video Technology. This is the equipment of the dark ages I used to work on. The kids have access to better tech nowadays.)

I figure since memes are popular, plus my excessive use of Urban Dictionary will help me from being a complete embarrassment. (Though I did have a 19 year old explain Snapchat to me and she called me an Old Person 😡)  I really hope to influence my students (especially since they are all female) that they can be strong women in this industry without compromising who they are and how they feel about themselves. Keep me in your prayers that I don’t mess up.

I hope all of my public speaking on this level, brings me to more public speaking gigs on bigger levels. Acting is great and that is something I will continue forward with; I just want to incorporate more lectures along with it. Here are my goals:

•Join Toastmasters and compete in Regional, National and International levels.

•Do a TED Talk (I don’t know on what yet.)

•Do a lecture at a University (who ever will book me.) 

Some things I know I need to work on (and when I hear others do this it drives me nuts) is to reduce saying “um” and “uh” between each sentence. It’s ok to allow for a pause and gather thought even though I panic and want to keep conversation going. I have to go back to my old competition cheerleading days when we were encouraged to “use the space” and not stand stone-dead in one spot. And finally to work on my lisp and stuttering. I know those of you reading this haven’t heard my voice but I do have a slight one and I stutter when I get nervous (I need to stop being nervous.) All in due time I suppose.