A Scam that Built a Community

(Source: Image Orca Pinterest.)

Is it possible for a scam to bring people together? In my case and many others, yes it did.

A “recruiter” messaged me a few weeks ago to tell of a a beauty campaign featuring diverse faces and body types for a campaign. I was wary of it at first, but I was also wary of a strange email sent to me about a film (MUDA) that turned out to be very real. So I asked for more information and they sent me an email regarding what the campaign is and what the contract looks like.

Before I agree to anything, I typically do research to find out more about the companies involved as well as the campaign. Shockingly these scammers did an incredible job at crossing their “T’s” and dotting their “I’s”. They provided real companies, real discount codes for their products, a genuine conference call with everyone that would be working on the shoot, as well as a real location as to where we would be staying. Unfortunately, but fortunately, the veil lifted for everyone soon after and it was revealed to be a scam.

The silver lining in all of it was that everyone scammed was on a group email and we all corresponded with each other after the big reveal to figure out how we can fight the scam and stay in touch. Now we are a community that follows each other on Instagram with the hopes that we will collaborate on projects in the future. It’s definitely possible: many of us are models, actors, recording artists, bloggers, and brand ambassadors. Movers and shakers in this industry that are making big things happen.

I’ve been fortunate enough to not be pulled into an elaborate scam that affects my safety or my finances. Those people are out there and it’s concerning that they would go to such lengths. Take this as a warning: do all of your research, ask questions, ask others that are involved, and if something doesn’t feel right in your gut, walk away.

My Apartment is Kicking My Butt in Shape

(Source: somewhere on Twitter.)

I haven’t really talked too much about the apartment I was able to rent. Honestly my schedule doesn’t really permit for much of anything so it’s been difficult to stay consistent with this blog, but that complaint is for another time. However the time has come to not only talk about the apartment, but also why it’s forcing me to get in shape.

The apartment is really old and the bathroom is scary gross. The tenants are good people, so the lack of cleanliness is not a reflection on them. It has more to do with the fact that the last time the space was truly renovated was in the early 1900’s. I would fetch a guess that the bathroom has not had an update since the early 1990’s. There are all sorts of vermin crawling all over the place. I bought special storage bins for my clothing and toiletries so they wouldn’t have bugs in them. Plus I regularly check my suitcases and my bed to make sure no critters have crawled in them. It’s bad.

When it comes to using the bathroom, I hover squat over the toilet…IF I use it. I just use the toilet while I’m at school or at Starbucks mostly. The sink is disgusting, so I use the kitchen sink in my apartment to wash my hands and brush my teeth.

The worst part is the shower. This is a shared bathroom for 3 apartments within the building with 5 adults living there and for the shower to work it charges €2 for 5 minutes.

Yeah…..no.

1) I need to take more than 5 minutes in the shower just for my hair alone. So in order for me to be truly cleansed, I would say I’m spending upwards of €6 per shower.

2) I bathe everyday, because I sweat profusely and I walk around in city pollution. €6 daily adds up big time. I’m looking at €168 monthly just to take a shower.

3) Since living in film and funk gives me anxiety, my family and I established that it would be cheaper to pay for a gym membership and use the shower there. Right now I’m on a student contract (3 month intervals) with a really posh gym in the city for only €45 per month.

So I’m taking advantage of my new membership by using the facilities for more than just hygiene purposes. I’m seriously out of shape and even though I lost a little weight since I got here, it wasn’t significant enough for me to buy new clothes or look better in photos. This is a good thing. I worked out after school today for 30 minutes and was already super winded. I’m now motivated to workout every day until that no longer is an issue. Hopefully I drop a few more pounds and gain some energy back.

Oh and I took a super long shower too.

(Source: Facebook.)

Inclusiveness

(Source: Facebook)

I know the meme I’m including above has a sour face, but I promise it’s not in relation to the Entertainment or Fashion industry being more inclusive in general. The face is directed towards people begging certain outlets to be more inclusive where as they have historically shown themselves not to be. Primarily the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and The Academy Awards (even though they are making an attempt.)

I read an article from Teen Vogue about Rihanna’s SavageXFenty runway show last week. The headline said “it was everything that Victoria’s Secret runway show should be.” My question is why? They don’t even make inclusive sizes for women like myself. Plus the quality of the garments is so crappy, that I would prefer if this company just fades away into obscurity. (I used to work there so I know.)

We need to stop asking for a seat at the table where we are not wanted. Instead pour as much money into companies who do celebrate us, like SavageXFenty, to make bigger and better shows with dazzling collections year after year.

Men’s Makeup is Not Easy

(Source: fyeahbackstagebadger.tumblr.com)

There was an informercial playing on one of the TVs at work today and what I saw was absolutely tragic. The male lead had horribly blotchy makeup on. His forehead was partially made up. Only a portion of his cheek area was covered, the top of his nose, and a little on his chin. That’s it. Worse yet, the foundation was super yellow and the untouched parts of his face were super red. I’ve made a dramatic reenactment picture of what it looks like below:

(The yellow parts are the foundation and the red parts are the natural skin that was uncovered.)

I know that men’s stage and film makeup should be simple, but it’s really not. Like everyone else it boils down to good skin care, quality cosmetics, and proper skill. All three things must be in place for seamless application. For example:

(Source: Popsugar.com)

Daniel Kaluuya’s makeup artist, Amber Amos, blends his face to perfection for red carpet events. The big thing she makes sure of is that she has a smooth canvas to work on. While she uses high level brands on her client’s face, the breakdown is fairly easy to use for less expensive products as well.

1) The guy MUST have a washed face. Applying makeup to dirty skin is a no no for anyone, but lazy guys especially should heed this advice.

2) Moisturize. A good moisturizer is key, not only for smooth application, but for smooth skin in the long term. Otherwise their skin is dry and foundation has a bad habit of building up in the dry spots. They should be using eye cream too, but I may be asking too much.

3) A good primer is a necessity for a smooth canvas. It helps to fill in large pores and fine lines that would otherwise be enhanced by the foundation. Nivea Men’s After Shave is inexpensive and effective.

4) Ms. Amos uses Fenty Beauty on her client, but any prestige brand of foundation also works. I used to apply Bare Minerals Matte foundation on male customers when I worked there back in the day. Use it with the Soft Focus brush for light application.

5) Foundation alone would make anyone look ghastly, which is why bronzer is also helpful to add a little color to the face without using a blush (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Apply it on the areas that the sun would normally kiss: forehead, top of nose, tops of cheeks, chin. Kind of like reverse contouring.

6) Finish off with a translucent setting powder and setting spray to hold the look for the rest of the day.

If you’re interested in watching a really good application of men’s makeup, follow Bob Herzog on Facebook. He is a news anchor out of Ohio and does his daily makeup videos for his fans. You can also find more videos on YouTube, though I will advise that they may be more complex with their steps.

My Career Is Stagnant At The Moment…

(Taken late last month.)

There’s not much I can do about it. What I can do is take stock of where I’m at now:

•SAG eligible

•A decent theatre resume

•A film credit

•Nominated for a regional award

That’s what I have for the time being, though I managed to get this done at a rapid pace of 3 years (SAG alone takes some people a decade.)

Right now, the only thing I have going on is my YouTube channel until I work another film in 2019. I’ll try to keep this page updated on any industry related things that may come up in the meantime.

Second Chance

(Source: Sailor Moon, Toei Animation. Creator Naoko Takeuchi.)

Remember two weeks ago when I submitted my information to a high level mover and shaker in the industry? That gig they advertised has come and gone with me not working on it, but they advertised another casting call scheduled for this week.

As always, I strike while the iron is hot with this strike leading to some success! I got a call back for a live audition.

This gig may also not be for me, however, I will definitely be on their radar for any future project.

The other rumor about this individual…they may be able to represent talent. Ultimately that is my goal: to get representation, bigger parts, and more work. Wish me luck!

Mini-Break

(Source: Pinterest.)

My family was away this past weekend. Dad is still getting treatment at the outpatient facility and Mom took a business trip out of state to consider a possible relocation.

It reminded me of the old days before I was homeless. I used to have my own space, a working vehicle, a job that paid all of my bills, and freedom…

So what did I do with my new found quiet time? Slept a bit, organized some papers, reassessed my life, and prayed.

Lately I’ve been down about my career. It’s been a dry year for me and seems like it’s taking forever just for me to pull together my down payment for SAG. Even though I’m working three jobs, the money is sparse; which makes me worry if I can even get to Dublin at this point. Having to focus on my family’s care has also added to the stress, which makes this break all the more beautiful.

My Mom will be home late tonight. My Dad, a few days later. I will miss the peace a quiet for now, but I know I will get back to it soon.

Tribeca: The End and What’s Next?

(Photo taken last night on the red carpet at BMCC Tribeca PAC.)

Last night was my last shift at the festival. It was another star studded event featuring the film ‘Disobedience’, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. Both Rachels wore lovely gowns for the premiere and were absolutely stunning. It’s funny, now that I’ve have seen so many celebrities in passing, I’m compelled to get into better shape; though I don’t aim to be, nor could I be as thin as they are. My wish is to make my body better than what it is right now.

So the big post-festival question is: where do I go from here? I’ve already talked about my need to perform again. Yes, that has to happen before I sink further into depression and outdate my résumé. I’m thinking about doing some more training in my field, like an audition workshop, dialect course, or on-camera acting course. Something to get back into the flow. The voiceover project is coming along slowly, but I should have some better news about that later on this week.

I will say, this whole experience has motivated me to further work on my craft.

Tribeca Day 1

(Circa yesterday on my break.)

Last night was my first shift of the festival and it was different for sure. The job of being an Orange Hat isn’t difficult, but there is so much excitement going on that trying to help our VIPs can be overwhelming. That being said, we have a mixed bag of VIPs to assist and that includes celebrities. When that happens, it’s essential to keep your game face on, and not get star struck.

Speaking of celebrities: I have also witnessed my first red carpet in real time. The flash from the cameras were blinding (I don’t know how they can stand it.) One thing I did notice was how quickly they do a red carpet event. It was all of 10 minutes max that I saw Ethan Hawke and Noomi Rapace (both appearing for their film ‘Stockholm’), fly through the entire thing with interviews included. Then the Tribeca crew had to replace the name tags of the previous paparazzi with different paparazzi, change the background, and set up new barricades for a new set of celebrities to walk past. Absolutely nuts!

Speaking of paparazzi: I made friends with one! I spoke to him on my break. He noticed I had Crew credentials on and asked me how I liked the festival so far. I told him it was cool and I had never seen anything like this before. Even though I have worked at comic cons, this was a new level of chaos. I also told him how I’m utilizing this opportunity for my career since I’m an actress too. We chatted for a while longer, he broke down the process of a successful red carpet experience for both the celebrity and the photographer. The process of selling photos, and showed me some of his work. He also does professional headshots, so I may reach out to him in the future.

Speaking of making friends (this post has the most convenient segues): the Orange Hat Crew is very cool. Since we are all mixed in the chaos together, we are also bonding. So far, I have met a woman who travels to work the big film festivals on crew (I wish I had the cash flow to do that.) I also met a woman who works both the HR division (my old gig) and is also helping out on crew. Another person I met is the one who was courteous enough to buy me the coffee you see in the photo, even though I didn’t ask him. He works on a production crew and is aspiring to be a screenwriter. When the festival wraps up there will be an after party in early May. I think I’m going to attend.

I think that’s everything I want to post about so far. Today is day two and it may be much of the same, but I will keep you posted on any new developments.

Preparation 


(I would smile but the mud would start cracking.)

I have something booked for next week which I will do a post on later. What this post is about is getting camera ready. Featured in this photo is a “Fango Mud Therapy” sample mask by Jor’El Parker. (The DC/Marvel references are not lost on me.) I got it by way of a subscription to Ipsy. My face had a major break out due to stress and transitioning of my skin care. It was a total mess and I needed a fix so my face would not look jacked up on camera. Prior to working in human resources and working at the bar, I used to work in retail selling cosmetics. I’m a bit of a product junkie and I try many things to see what works on my skin. (Prior to working in cosmetics, I never wore make-up or was particularly girly and glamorous. I was definitely more of a Tomboy.)

Even though I was a Tomboy, I still had acne issues and tried to keep some sort of a skin care regime. This has served me well in the anti-aging department (I’m 33 currently.) Right now I’m in a weird place between using hardcore anti-aging and anti-acne skin care. My face does not know what it wants to do at the moment. Like either be dry and wrinkly or oily and pimply; pick a stuggle dammit!

A couple of things I also need to add to the list of preparation is:

•Touching up my roots because they are looking a little silver.

•Shaping up my brows.

•Eye cream (always!)

•Teeth Whitening treatment.

•Wax, wax, wax!

•Continue to train my naturally tight, curly hair to lay straight and flat for the shoot.

•Body wraps, lots of water and continue improving my fitness regime. (Story about that later.)

This will probably not be my only post today as I have a lot on my mind and need to talk about it, but I want to get a power nap in and think about how I’m going to write it in the meantime.