Finally Some Good News!

I booked background on a show my grandma loves to watch. But that’s not the good news: the good news is I will be working 4 days on this show which means MONEY!!! 💵💵💵

(Source: Pinterest)

I put in for the job in the first place because of my grandma. Even though I have worked on other shows, the shows themselves could not hold her interest, even though she wanted to see me. With a show she loves and such a big scene (they added the fourth date for me today) it would be impossible for her not to watch!

Still, I remain cautious. I’ve been booked on jobs that kind of ripped the rug out from under my feet and said they didn’t need me anymore. So I’m not getting my hopes up too far until I’m actually on set. It sucks to fly by the seat of my pants.

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 🤞

IKEA


(Source: Greg Mania on Twitter.)

The new IKEA catalog came out and I received it in the mail yesterday. It's a little bittersweet especially since I'm no longer moving to Ireland. What I like about it is that it gets the wheels turning in my head. What would my future home look like and where will it be? I already know from having cleaned large mansions that I really want something small and modest. This is funny since it goes against my zodiac of Taurus, who lives for luxury and having many expensive things to brag about.

But…I was recently very poor and at one point: homeless, so having the largest and most expensively filled home is not on my priority list. I'd rather have that money in my pocket for emergencies, the occasional splurge every now and then, and the freedom of time. As much as I like to work, I don't want to work so much to maintain my home that I don't get to enjoy living in it. My first priority is to move out from where I am right now. (Probably to Philadelphia.) Next will be to furnish my home. (IKEA!) After that, lots and lots of gigs mixed with couch potato time.

Industrial Epiphany


(Circa July 2017. On site of the commercial for MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Center.)

If you saw my Instagram post (which is featured on the bottom of this site) you would have seen that I took a walk this afternoon. I was severely depressed and I wanted to clear my head. After taking that walk I went to Starbucks and saw my friend Gail from Reedy Point. She asked me about the shenanigans that happened on Saturday. She also talked about industrial shoots and gave me a new casting agency to check out. During that conversation, I realized that I made more money doing industrial type work than anything I have ever done for tv and film as an extra. Even if I don't have lines, I have a featured part or the production company has a better budget.

The shoot I participated in where the photo above was taken, only took about 4 hours to shoot and I made double what I did working 14 hours on a national television show or major film. So I think I have found my niche.

I would still love speaking parts, but more than likely that would be from live theatre. I submitted myself to several things after I got back home that either were related to medical, industrial, or commercial. We'll see who calls me back.

Motherhood

I took one of those mini quizzes on Facebook this morning. I wanted to distract myself from the shenanigans I call my daily life, and it seemed like the fun thing to do. Until I got my result. It was about what big event will happen to me this month. The answer…I Will Get Pregnant.

Wow.

Actually, being a mother is something I have always wanted to be. However, I had this idea in my head that I will meet a man I would call the love of my life and we would start a family together. The chances of meeting that guy are extremely low, but motherhood is still on an all time high.


(Source: piecomic.com and John McNamee)

I did have a small taste of what it would be like to be a mom when my late friend and her infant son lived with me over a decade ago. It was a lot of work, but it didn't scare me away from being a mom. Even now, I have come to the conclusion that although there will be no man in the picture, I am still going to become a mom.

Just not this month.

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.

Audition Review

I just got out from my audition for the role of Orlando in As You Like It, and I feel pretty damn good about it!

Will I be offered the part? Who knows.

When I auditioned for my very first production (which happened to be Troilus and Cressida) I will admit that I had the "nervous poops". This time I felt confident with the text and speaking the language. Much of that is to do with the sheer number and quality of productions I have performed in prior (and a little bit of studying too.)

No matter what happens, I felt like I was home again. Auditioning for Shakespeare was the correct choice for my confidence.

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?

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. 

My First Sorta-Stunt Gig

All tears and sadness about school aside, I want to talk about what I am doing for my current show You’ve Got Red On You: A Musical Parody of Shaun of the Dead. I was originally hired on as a stage manager, and that is still part of my duties; however, I now have a small part as a florist and as multiple zombies. This, of course, is due to making sure we have enough people to play zombies and get killed off. I will have 6 costume changes in this show, and I will be doing a lot of stage combat. So much so, that I can now consider it a stage combat category on my resume. (A stunt category too since I have a planned fall.)

 

(I feel like I’m back in competition cheerleading doing this show.)

So this is cool! This play, I will be speaking in a British accent, fighting, falling, dying (multiple times), and spraying blood everywhere. It is helping me take my mind off of my reality for a little bit….