The Background Actress’s Guide to Costuming


(Circa: Late July 2017 on the set of "Isn't It Romantic?")

Originally I had pitched this idea to Racked.com as a contributing writer. However they declined because they had articles of a similar nature. I was going to pass on writing this for my own blog. However, the store that I purchased the above cocktail dress from is hiring, so now this essay has become relevant.

Where to start? The beauty about working a background scene is that they give you a list of examples of how you need to dress for the scene. Like:

Gucci
Zara
Tory Burch
Prada
Etc.

They will also give you visual examples of cuts and fabric, plus what tones they need you to wear. Much of this depends on the scene you are shooting too. If you are playing a lawyer, obviously you would be expected to wear a suit of some kind. Playing a hipster would require a different wardrobe and so on and so forth. If they give you specific brand names as the type of look they are going for, it would behoove you to do some research. The best place for this is Instagram, with the next being Pinterest. Look at how your favorite celebrities dress and that will help you.

The roles I typically get picked for require me to be a wealthy, socialite type. Think Hillary from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air:


(Source: IMDB.com)

When you're in my position of very little money and expected to look rich; what do you do?

This is where my friend the consignment store comes to play! The gold dress I'm wearing above is from a higher end retail chain. It's original price is closer to, if not above, $100. Yet I only paid $16 for the dress and an additional $20 for all of the jewelry. (The purse I received as a gift and the shoes were on loan from the wardrobe department, since my original pair were considered to be too shiny.)

The next thing you need to do is to bring options. Yes, I bought and used this dress specifically for this shoot. However, if the director's vision for this scene has changed in any way, it is as simple as changing into a different outfit.

A warning though: if you only brought one option this will force the wardrobe department to loan out an outfit and take your pay voucher (and maybe your driver's license too) for safe keeping until it's returned. This also means that you have to be extremely careful with the clothes (which you should anyway whether it's yours or theirs) and make sure you don't cause damage of any kind. (Or that could affect your pay or chances of being hired for other shoots in the future. One of the shoots I did, an actor walked out with a suit that was loaned to them. Needless to say that person didn't get paid and is more than likely not working for that agency ever again.)

A few other things I keep on me for the shoot as well:

A jacket or hoodie (for when it gets cold.)

A luggage lock (so no one tries to break into your bag.)

Lotion that absorbs well. (So it doesn't damage the clothes.)

A stain removal pen.

Deodorant that dries clear.

A robe or some kind of covering you can wear while eating or applying makeup.

A couple of other things I would add would be:

1) never bring real jewelry to a set. There was an unfortunate instance of an actress that brought real gold bracelets to the set and lost them, only to never find them again. Even if you get camera time, no one is going to know the difference; so keep it fake at all costs.

2) don't wear anything with a very distinct pattern or logo. Production crews do a magic trick what's called "cheating the shot." Meaning to make a scene look like it has more people than there really are hired on set. They do this in many different ways, by adding an accessory, or changing your hair or putting you in deep background. This means more camera time for you, so help them out!

I hoped you liked this essay as much as I liked writing it. I also hope I get the job at this particular consignment store since I do get a lot of my clothes from there. Fingers Crossed 🤞

An Update to the Update


(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice. Viktor Nikiforov 💗)

So what I thought was "No" was actually a very delayed "Yes" the film project wrote me back and sent me a script. I still have no idea what part I'm playing (there are only 2 female speaking parts and the rest are background.) I sincerely hope I have one of the parts as I really need the experience to list on my resume. The only reason why I agreed is because of the concept of the script.

I can't go into too much detail but what I will say is that I could be a witch in this shoot. (Since I'm a crystal hoarding, tarot reading, incense burning, somewhat clairvoyant woman with a very loose Christian affiliation; playing a witch is probably closer to who I really am.) This also fulfills my dream role of playing Hecate in The Scottish Play. (Which was already cast when I came to audition last year 😢 However, I'm not playing Hecate in this shoot.)

Another good thing about this film is that they want us to wear as much black as possible. (Easy enough for me, that is the staple color in my wardrobe.) They also want us to bring a prop.(My tarot cards of course!)

One more thing to add about this film is that it is structured very similarly like my story writing prompts. This is a film competition with the contest runners making up strict rules that the production crew has to follow.

•A specific set of lines need to be included.

•A specific character and their background has to be included

•The production company has a time limit as to how long this film will run (roughly about 5 to 6 minutes.)

Both the lines and the character were selected in a random drawing last night and the writers had to structure the story around that. All of this shoots tonight and be a completely finished product by tomorrow night. (Talk about pressure!)

Hopefully, with their permission, I can share the final product with you on a later post.

Makeup 💄


(Source: Batman TV Series and Pinterest)

Fun fact: I used to work as a Beauty Ambassador for Bare Minerals. I also worked briefly for Estée Lauder and Too Faced Cosmetics. It was a fun gig while it lasted and honestly I wouldn't mind doing makeup for productions.

The shoot requirements in the email I was sent told me to show up dewy; which led me to put on a highlight. Since my skin is super oily to begin with, I try to avoid putting on highlighter as much as possible (I think I'm already shiny). However, the request was to make myself as shiny as possible. The real question is…did I do a good job?

Self Care

(Source: Pinterest)

Some good things happened to me today and they are all beauty/money related. First, I did manage to book another background gig (I guess I’m out of retirement for a while) which is shorter hours but higher pay (YAY). I also received my business kit from It Works and my FasciaBlaster and now I’m working on my body. 

(I’m working on getting back to this body. This photo was taken 5 months prior to the accident.)

The FasciaBlaster (I make no money talking about this product btw) was purchased based upon a recommendation by a friend. I told her about the continuing issues I have with my body due to the accident. She told me this could help with some of the damage as well as the extra fat pockets I gained because of it. The product by itself will not cause me to lose weight (a proper diet and exercise will do that.) However, it’s difficult to workout with intensity because of my lack of flexibility and circulation. I’m hoping the Blaster can help loosen me up a bit to make that easier and less painful.


 (Source: Pinterest)

Along with my It Works kit (which I do make money off btw if you want to hit me up); I purchased the WOW firming moisturizer to help tighten up the deep set forehead wrinkle I made by furrowing my brows all of the time. (Too much stress and pain can do that to you.)  So I can go back to looking 20; like I did before the accident.


(Source: Pinterest)

If you read my post yesterday, you are highly aware that I had a complete and total meltdown. I’m still very frustrated with the way things are going in my life right now, but stewing in anger is not going to get me anywhere. What I’m doing to remedy that is more breathing, meditation, and trusting the Universe. I’m also using the the Blasting period as a meditation to iron out all of my pain and stress. Hopefully this settles me down a bit and helps to refocus on what I need to do. Who knows? Maybe the self care is my next step. I seriously can’t go on camera looking a ragged pile of sadness. It’s all part of the Universal plan (at least I hope).

Crew pt. 2

(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr page and Pinterest)

The musical production of You’ve Got Red On You is coming together quite nicely and I was sent a newly revised script that will be covered in notes by the end of this evening. Being a stage manager in this production is a little simpler due to that fact that I will also be acting in it. I’m working with the special effects crew and managing props as well. Lights and sound are on their own, but we are such a small theatre they wouldn’t need me to call cues anyway. 


(Source: Backstage Badger Tumblr and Pinterest)

In addition to working on this show; God must have heard my tearful plea about moving on with my life since I failed to pay for school. Three job notices for Crew work in Atlanta popped up on my social media newsfeed last night and I applied for all of them as a Makeup Artist (since that is my strongest skill and most recently used). It’s high time I updated my makeup kit (most of the stuff in the kit expired and I had to trash it). I hope one of the gigs reach me back for an interview soon. 

Back in Business…Sort of

(Source: John Staples of JBMS Photography.)

Fun Fact: I signed up for a home-based network marketing business back in 2013. 

Another Fun Fact: I failed that business within a year because I wasn’t focused on succeeding and had to put it on the back burner because I was extremely poor and had to take on a regular job again. 

But I’m not sad about that. As of yesterday I’m back in the company, but with a different set of rules for myself and my customers this time. Yes, the business is designed to sign up as many customers and distributors as possible. However, unlike before, I’m pushing it in a different manner. Believe it or not, the entire product line is perfect for someone like me in my industry. I’m an actress and a model. I have to look my best at all times and these products work: simple as that. With that said, I have no intentions of inundating this blog with sales pitches, nor am I going to seek out my friends, family, or followers to sign up. No. If you want to know what’s keeping me fabulous, ask and ye shall receive. 

What I will do is provide a link to the website if you want to shop. I’m available to answer questions or even to show off my results if you request them. No pressure, as my acting and modeling gigs are still my primary source of income. I’m in it for the discount and whatever extra cash I make. This for me is a happy bonus and I’m glad to be back.

Today’s Audition 

I knew I was going in for a beauty campaign today. As it turns out it may be a Korean beauty company that I auditioned for. It’s very serendipitous, especially with a video I watched the other day from NPR about Pore Vacuuming in Seoul, South Korea. With K-Beauty, I’ve only used a couple of products. A fairly decent cleanser and collagen sheet masks. My skin is very problematic and needs the most help out of my whole routine. As far as makeup is concerned, I have that covered. K-Beauty foundations and BB creams are often too pale for my skin anyway. I won’t, however, shy away from eyeshadows, liners, and lip products, especially if they are really pretty. 

I’m not sure if I’m going to land this campaign, but it is directing my attention towards using more K-Beauty. Maybe this is the formula I need to fix my face! We shall see.

Caffeine and Anxiety 

(Source: Facebook, but no knowledge of which comic this came from.)

So, it has come time for me to quit on caffeine. I’m going to do this in small parts, because I have attempted to quit before and got really sick doing it. The main reason is that it heightens my anxiety and causes me to have panic attacks. I’m moving to drink greens instead for my energy source, since they are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. And of course drinking more water (which I’m terrible at staying consistent.) This will be a good detox for me. 

Consignment Shopping 

I went shopping the past couple of days for my trip to the west. Because I'm on a limited budget, but I still want to impress. That's when my dear friend, the consignment store comes in. 

Why do I love consignment stores so much? 1) You can find some amazing, unique, and vintage items at the consignment store. They are usually made with better materials and tailoring. Most fast fashion nowadays, construct pieces for cheap using flimsy fabrics and stitching. 

2) It's very Parisian. Many women in the city of Paris consign clothes. By doing so, they create looks that they can call their own. Always setting themselves apart from others without breaking the bank.

3) Piggybacking off of #2, I love the hunt for a deal. I don't shop for clothing often, (in fact most of my clothes are either hand-me-downs, or clothes provided for me from various events or jobs that I have worked) but something about buying a massively priced item for pennies on the dollar just gives me a thrill. 

Simply put, consignment shopping is fun, economical, and hip. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Birthday Weekend 

My birthday is coming up this Friday and I’m starting to make a clear assessment and some hard decisions for my life. I want to leave the US knowing that I will be financially secure in Ireland. I want to be able to see my friends and family before I go. I want to be able to continue working in my industry while in school. Ultimately all I want is a better life for myself. 

No, not everything is bad, but it’s not amazing either. With that said, all I can do is press on as I have been, even though I’m getting to the point where I’m pretty much crying everyday. With that said, here are the things going right:


                      (Source: Pinterest)

I’m performing the last two shows of “Orange Is The New Musical” this weekend and the creators of the musical are flying in from L.A. to watch one of the shows. They are going to do a sort-of talk back to the audience and the cast which should be very fun.

The shoot that I’m doing for the film “Without You” is also this weekend where I play one of the strippers in the scene. I have a cute outfit ready and raring to go, along with trying to drop as much weight, wrapping, and tanning myself as much as possible. I have a stripper background myself, so it’s nice to be able to utilize that background for an actual film. Who knows, maybe I should go back if I want to raise the funds needed for school. Once I move to Ireland, I’m not allowed to dance anyway, it can be a last hurrah. 

My Jane Austen scholarship essay is due the following weekend. I’m going to be responsible and get it done and turned in this weekend so I’m not stressed out about it. The guidelines are fairly easy so it shouldn’t take too long to write an 8 page paper with a citation page right? Right?! 

Time to get to work…happy birthday to me *sigh*.