An Interesting 48 Hours So Far…

(Taken on the bus, yesterday, en route to NYC.)

I’m still cautious about life right now, but like I said, I’m strangely optimistic and I feel like 2018 is going to be lit. Starting yesterday, I made the big trek from Wilmington to New York (approx 3 hours one way) for an appointment related to a commercial. I can’t say what for as I’m bound by a Non Disclosure Agreement (more on that in a moment), but as I said before, it may be my highest paying job.

While taking that trip, a recruiter from an HR company (much different from my old one) reached out to me and wants to meet me. This is an informal job interview as she was interested in my profile. What interests me out this company is that they specialize in event planning. As you know, I work events either for money or free admission. I don’t have a ton of experience in the planning side of it, but my skills still may be of some use here. Just like my previous job, this is a temporary agency. That means I’m not bound to the job forever. I will reach back to her on Monday, since yesterday wasn’t a good time to talk at all.

Speaking of events, I also received an email from the music festival I worked this past year, inviting me back. The money was good, but the hassle to travel, the long hours in the hot sun, the lack of organization, and some of the rudeness of my fellow coworkers, is kind of turning me off to it. Let me put it this way: my friend who landed me the job, and was so excited to work again this year, quit suddenly because of mistreatment by management. This girl will happily suffer it out for the 4 days if it means a big paycheck. I knew it was bad when she said she was out. So… I think I will pass this year.

Fast forward to today. I went to an open casting call in Maryland for a very popular show that I cannot name. The main reason why I did this is so I can get on the roster and get a little credit for showing up. That seems to be the standard for many of the agencies, they will know that you’re committed if they see you in person.

Now about Non Disclosures. I do try to limit my conversation about what projects I work on and anything that happens on set. Some programs do allow us to be more open than most, but still within reason. You really don’t want to ruin the project for future viewers, myself included, and that’s a good thing. However, after getting dinged for even mentioning that I was working on a popular show, I’m much more careful. Especially since I’m working on more high profile projects, and with my recent eligibility in the Union, I’m bound to a lot more secrecy. It may mean a little less content on here about upcoming projects, but I will still try to inform and entertain as much as possible.

The Belly of the Beast

(Source: Futurama FOX and Facebook.)

I booked my first job of the year yesterday morning. While I won’t share what the project is about, it does have a possibility of the footage being used on a national scale, which means it will also be my highest paying job. Needless to say, I was excited.

Then that bubble got popped. Later on I caught an article about James Franco and his involvement with teen girls and a revelation by Ally Sheedy. I guess it was a good thing I never worked on his project. Still I am complicit because I paid money to train at his school, paid money to see his film, and wrote a whole praise post about him.

Given how terrible the abuses are in this industry, it makes me wonder if I really should stay in? I know it’s wrong to assume that everyone in the industry is like that, or to try an jump ship so soon after making gains, but I just don’t know. All I do know is that I feel like a piece of crap right now.

Upcoming Podcast Interview, and a Blast From The Past

(Source: Urban Dictionary.)

Good news! One of the first bookings I have for the new year is a podcast. An acquaintance of mine launched a new website called Bored in DE, which details all of the interesting happenings in Delaware that doesn’t simply include drinking at the local watering hole or going to the new Italian restaurant around the corner (both of which are fairly common in this state.)

He is also highlighting many of the residents who are getting things done or have interesting careers. Prior to Joe Biden becoming our VP, Delaware was just a tiny speck on the map of the U.S. and well…we still are. It’s the reason why my Twitter account’s location is written as “Delawhere?” No one knows or cares where we are.

(Source: Wayne’s World)

Since I have an interesting career, I was invited along with two other actresses to sit down for a podcast interview that will also have a live broadcast on Facebook. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine, Sara Jones, was just interviewed on the same podcast for her career in fashion: Anara Original, her blog: Blondie Jones, and her book: The Playbook to Essential Style; it was a great interview.

This isn’t the first time I was interviewed for a podcast. Last year during the summer of 2016, I was interviewed by Slate about my financial struggles. The podcast as far as I know hasn’t been released yet, which makes me a bit sad. I was hoping to share the link on this blog, but no such luck. Which brings me to my next topic on this post:

(Source: Jeffree Star’s Facebook Page.)

I wrote this comment two years ago before it was revealed that Jeffree Star made horrible racist comments which eventually led him to be canceled in my opinion. One of his fans liked my comment and I was half-tempted to delete it as I didn’t want to have any associations with him anymore. However I chose not to for a reason, this was my true story, and someone listened and liked it. I do need to make some corrections though because I had abridged an already long comment and I want everything I write to be consistent.

1) The job that I was living Paycheck to paycheck on was my HR job. I had previously posted how much easier it was to structure paying the bills and saving when working a 9-5 job. This was in fact the job I was referring to and I did save money…in the beginning. It was about a month later, was when I was living paycheck to paycheck after loaning my family money to live and my car kept breaking down. My savings was plundered and I wasn’t able to recover for a while. Hell, even now I’m still on shaky ground.

•I did find a job while I was on unemployment, working part-time at a restaurant. It was great timing too, because my unemployment money ran out not long after that. The only issue, I was making the same as I was on unemployment and I soon became homeless because, like I said, financial recovery took a really long time.

•I really didn’t have anything to lose by becoming an actress. I’m moving quickly for the time I started this career. It takes people up to a decade sometimes to get into SAG and I managed to accomplish it in only 2 years. I’m seriously looking forward to what the new year will bring. One of the projects I want to book begins the 2nd week of January. We’ll see what happens.

My Christmas Gift To Myself

(Source: The Disaster Artist 2017 and Cine-Series.com)

Merry Christmas! It has been a pretty mellow one in my house. This year has been filled with so much chaos, plus being so busy, that we really didn’t do much as far as presents or anything big. We didn’t even get a regular tree this year, and had to settle for a small artificial tree from the dollar store. Still better than nothing.

However, I did try to do something for myself this year and that was to go see The Disaster Artist: starring James Franco and his brother Dave Franco. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I have had some acting training in Meisner and the first place I went to was James’ school, Studio 4 NYC. I went out of business a few short months ago, right when I was planning on going back…bummer.

(Source: Facebook. Extraordinary Journey of a Black Nerd Group.)

Back in the Summer of 2016, I went to an open call for his HBO show: The Deuce. Simply because I wanted to see Professor Franco in action. Of course professional set conduct prohibits me from talking to him or any principal actor/director and I was fine with that. I just thought it would be really cool to work with the founder of my first acting school. Kind of a bragging right if you will. Although I was selected initially in the first round of open calls, they never used me on the show. However, all was not lost. Attending that open call was the best thing that happened to me as the casting agency ended up using me in a multitude of projects:

•Quantico (3 Times)

•Gotham

•Homeland

•An upcoming Rebel Wilson movie

•A new 2018 CBS show

•The Show I Was Dinged for Mentioning

For that I can be grateful to James Franco for launching my career.

Now about this movie…

I have a couple of takeaways about the film that I want to share:

First and foremost, The Disaster Artist is great storytelling of a very shady man with delusions of grandeur. For a while I forgot it was James Franco playing Tommy Wiseau. I first saw the original film, ‘The Room’, at my best friend’s bachelorette party. One of the bridesmaids did some Wikipedia research on why this film was so insane, and just who the hell is Tommy Wiseau? When I first heard that James Franco was making this film, I was so excited and he did not disappoint.

Second, I don’t know if I can watch anyone’s bare ass on the big or small screen ever again. Seeing Tommy’s rear the first time was traumatizing enough. James twisted the knife in for me. I felt a little violated.

(Source: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.)

Money Management

(Source: Facebook.)

It’s looking like I’m going to stay stateside. I had a conference call with my family yesterday and the money situation is so bad, that I’m not sure I would make it to February. My family would prefer that I still go as they are not happy about my decision (with the exception of my dad, who like me, sees that it is not sustainable.)

I still plan to go to school and I want to start in September of 2018; when the course cycle starts. Until then, there are some things I want to do here to make myself better prepared for success. Besides submitting my paperwork for the union, I also want to take a personal finance course. They offer these for free or low cost in my city.

I figure this would be a benefit to me since I have a hard time managing a varied income. When I worked traditional jobs, I was accustomed to seeing a regular check bi-weekly or weekly. When it was structured like that, it was very easy to stay on top of bills and manage a savings. Things went downhill after I was laid off and had to work jobs and gigs with varied incomes. Working at Starbucks did provide me some structure, but I made so little money that my financial situation was not improving. It’s been a scramble since then.

All of this came about when I watched a video by Marie Forleo. She talked about using her regular income to support her art, as opposed to having her art support her. As a result, she had less stress and was able to build her art/business into something that could actually support her. This is something I really want as I’m tired of struggling.

Her…

(Source: Pinterest, uploaded by Sabine Julieka Danleon.)

I’m about a week late with this post. Last Wednesday marked my childhood friend’s 33rd birthday. The beginning of January will be the 5th anniversary of her death.

Around this time 5 years ago, I had wished her a Merry Christmas on Facebook. She had announced that she was planning to visit Delaware and she was hoping to spend time with family and meet up with old friends including me. I told her I missed her and I love her and that I will see her soon. When she got to Delaware, she had a serious falling out with her mother which ended up with her going back home. Her cousin, who is also her best friend, let me know that she was devastated. A week later she passed away.

I was so numb when I heard the news. I didn’t cry, not because I wasn’t upset, but because I knew she wasn’t in pain anymore. Without going into deep details, she, along with her siblings had a troubled life. She left 3 children behind, along with many friends. When the news broke that she passed, the outpouring of love she received was on a grand scale. I had some dreams about her during this time that she has been gone that I want to share with you:

• Immediately after her passing, she visited me in my new apartment. She looked around without speaking and giving me approval that I did a good job. She later giggled (she had a distinctive laugh) and blew as hard in my ear to wake me up (she was a prankster too.)

• This dream occurred a week after my car accident. It was really weird as it was semi-prophetic and the situation played out as she said: I was walking on a path when I heard a man’s voice telling me that my friend wanted to speak with me. All of a sudden I heard her voice clear as day warning me about her sister, and how she was going to make my life a living hell, instead of getting the help she needs to make hers better (her sister is the individual I referred here as The Snake.) The rest of the dream was about her visiting me again in my waking life. She said that she will be dressed as Captain America (there was a little girl at Wizard World who had the same name as my friend and she was dressed as Captain America. 💗) She also said she was staying at the United States Marine Corps HQ (I figured this was in reference to Quantico, since that is the real USMC HQ, and my first foray into national television.) The last thing she said was “I’ll see you in California. I love you and I miss you.” …….This one I have no idea about. I went to California this past summer, but other than having a nice time with my friends, nothing profound happened. I have yet to see how this plays out.

•The last dream I had was near Christmas time last year. She insisted that I study Hamlet. I read the play from my “complete works” book, but I wasn’t able to attend any of the performances this year. Thankfully, I’m a subscriber of Shakepeare Magazine, who announced that they are dedicating the whole January 2018 issue to Hamlet (weird that it coincides with her passing right?)

I think about her often and I consider her a guardian angel of mine. I know she is looking after all of her loved ones and I feel honored that I’m one of them.

Do I or Don’t I?

(Source: Facebook.)

I was presented with a good problem today (especially after some serious drama this morning) and I need to make a decision.

There are two Background gigs available that are paying well and multiple days…but which one do I choose? The reason why I’m having a hard time is due to the fact that I was hit with this before and ended up missing out on both gigs. One asked me if I was available and I replied “yes.” The other gig also called me in shortly after and I turned them down because I already said yes to the other. The gig I said yes to, cut me at the last minute and the gig that I turned down filled their spot. I was very disappointed.

I’m going to apply to both and see what happens. I’ll go with the boy who takes me to the dance first.

Some Goals Accomplished ✅

(Source: Facebook.)

Well some good news for today: I managed to accomplish two goals off of my list.

Well, the first one is tentative until I receive my paycheck that reflects my pay. Why, you ask? Because if the pay stub aligns with the voucher I signed off of my shoot earlier this week, it means that I am officially SAG-AFTRA eligible. YAY!!!

Two years and I managed to earn 3 out of 3 background waivers to become union eligible. The dues are high, so it’s nothing I can pay out of pocket right away. However I hope I’m able to join sometime early next year.

The second is paying off a large bill that I had and will save me hundreds in the long run. It was definitely a struggle and there were times that I was definitely behind. I’m hoping for a little financial relief as I try to remedy the current student debt that I have; as well as trying pull money together for school (they’re trying to get me in for the Spring semester), and of course, my union dues. We’ll see how this all works out.

A Background Shoot and An Audition

(Source: Facebook)

It’s been a productive couple of days after the unsuccessful attempt to work at my old company again. I booked another background shoot in Philly on Monday, and an audition in Philly two weeks from now. I don’t want to talk about what project I’m working on this week. Not because they are preventing me or anything (nor would I ever give away any details); but because of the last shoot I did over a month ago, the casting agency dinged me for mentioning that I’m working on the show (I’m taking no chances this time.) What I will say is: this is a very important shoot for me. Once I officially step on set and complete my job, I will talk more on the subject.

The audition, however, I can talk about liberally. It’s Shakepeare in Clark Park, located in West Philly. The audition is in December, but the first rehearsal isn’t until June 19th, 2018. If I get it, I will have plenty of time to truly learn the text and get off book by June. The production is ‘Twelfth Night’ with a bit of a rock n’ roll twist. The info about the audition was forwarded to me by my Stage Combat instructor, who coordinated the fights for Coriolanus this past Summer. They were looking for actor combatants and it piqued my interest. From now until then I will be preparing a monologue and a 30 second rock ballad to perform. I hope to convince the casting team that I’m a better fighter than a singer and to pick me on that alone. Fingers Crossed.

Saturday Night Live

(Source: Facebook.)

Back in September, I was given the opportunity to be placed on the roster for Background work on SNL. I signed up and started receiving weekly emails asking for availability. Until this coming weekend, I have not had any sort of open availability; but I’m glad. I really didn’t have a solid income coming in so it would have been hard to spend that much time in New York with limited funds. Also I’m hoping that they do pick me for November, because once December gets here, it’s a no-go. We shall see.