I’ve Landed

(Source: Pinterest.)

Ok, ok. One more post before going off the grid for a bit.

Currently I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in City Centre Dublin. My flight landed in Dublin Airport at the buttcrack-of-dawn this morning. The airplane seating was a little tight. I know good and well that paying economy prices usually means less than favorable seating with domestic flights; however, I was quite surprised that my international flight was the same way. Previously I have flown to England and Japan with a little wiggle room, so I expecting the same with this flight. There were still in-flight films provided and it gave me a chance to rewatch ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ It took up most of my flight time which was great.

Once I arrived, I called my mom to let her know that I arrived safely. After that, I had to get approved for student status at the immigration booth. Super easy process.

The real panic came when one of my bags did not arrive in baggage claim. Of course it’s the one bag with all of my underwear and my coat in it (SMH). I started to get nervous. I went to baggage claim only to find a long line with other passengers from my same flight. The employees knew something was up and asked the people doing the unloading of the bags if they possibly placed bags from our flight in the wrong receiving bin. That was exactly what happened and we managed to recover our bags. (Thank goodness!)

Once I exited the terminal, it was chilly. A huge difference from the 100 degree hellscape I just left from. Not really a complaint, but more of a shock to the system. From Summer to Winter in a blink of the eye.

I took the shuttle bus from the airport to the area where I’m staying and got a little confused as to which direction I’m supposed to be heading. An older gentleman saw that I looked lost and asked me where I’m going. Once I told him it was easy for him to figure out. He also asked me where I was coming from, I said the United States and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “You didn’t vote for HIM did you?” I chuckled at the fact that no one, myself included, will refer to my country’s awful leader by name. I replied “Absolutely Not!” to which he replied “Good for you!” A great first few hours in Dublin so far. 😂

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m taking less time on social media, but I will definitely be back to report on the upcoming ‘Hamlet’ production with Ruth Negga.

For now, I’m just killing time until I can check in to my accommodation and take a much needed nap.

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.

I Own Property in Scotland!

(Source: @matthewalexanderkellerwilliams IG.)

My history buff friend, Sean, shared a link on Groupon to purchase a share of land to restore a very old castle in Scotland. I figured, why not? It was less than $20 and it goes towards restoring a piece of history.

Here’s the fun part:

1) I have a deed to the small patch of land I now own.

2) I also have the title of Lady of Chaol Ghleann which I found out is legal (you may now call me Lady Shamma Casson 😊)

3) I’m allowed to wear the Dunans Rising Tartan which looks something like this:

(The Scottish Register of Tartans.)

A little backstory on my relationship with plaid:

my great-grandmother and grandmother had an unnatural obsession with plaid. Clothes, accessories, furniture, even my great-grandmother’s car was upholstered in it. So the love of plaid was killed out of me.

However the Dunans Rising Tartan has such pretty coloring…I’ll give it a pass. I plan on purchasing either a scarf or a wrap in the future.

I’m also using the property ownership as a manifestation affirmation. Hopefully I manifest something more tangible to live in like a tiny castle. A girl can dream.

TrapStock

(Source: Patientce Foster and The Cream Agency Instagram.)

This Sunday, I’m attending a new music festival event that I am not working (what a shocker!) I’m going to listen to trap music and relax in my lawn chair with a book.

(Source: Facebook.)

I’ve been working pretty much every day this summer without reprieve. My gears are grinding down to a halt and I’m in need of some semblance of self-care.

(Taken at the end of June.)

I’m also trying to support this lovely lady featured above. For those who don’t know, her name is Patientce (this is the correct spelling for her name) and this is her first major music festival that she’s putting on in her hometown…which also happens to be my hometown. She is also the industry insider that I have auditioned for before.

Now before you think this is my way of jumping in favor of her, the answer is no. Yes, she works with high powered people, but meeting her was truly enough for me. Besides I’m not going to be here in Delaware for much longer so working with her is now an impossibility. At this point I’m supporting building something good in this city that is not gentrified. I’ll post pictures on Instagram so be sure to follow me: @shammacasson.

Another Opportunity

(Source: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, NBC.)

The Universe works in very mysterious ways. Not only was I offered an opportunity to audition for a film, now a videographer friend of mine wants to work on a project with me.

This time, it’s a horror scene that I would film with another person. No pay, BUT he’s giving me the footage for my reel!

I mentioned in a previous post about productions that can’t pay their actors, but have the audacity to not hire them without a reel, and the only compensation they offer is more reel footage. It made no sense. My friend, who offered me this project, is doing this the CORRECT way by making beneficial for both of us.

I will give credit where credit is due. He watched my Instagram stories where I talk and film all of the time and that was a form of a reel for him. Don’t be mistaken though, I would never be able to pull those stories together into a professional reel to send to casting directors. However, the industry is changing and more casting decisions are being made based upon how strong your social media following is.

I’m excited about this opportunity, and a little suspicious about why everything I’ve wanted to do since January, is only now forming a month before I’m supposed to leave.

(Source: Facebook.)

How It Always Works Out

(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, Mitsurou Kubo.)

This morning I received an invite to audition for a role on an indie film that would be shooting next month. The timing comes right after I complain about my career going stagnant, which now renders that post null and void.

There’s no guarantee that I will get the part, however, the fact that the director reached out to me is important.

So what is the film?

It’s about a young woman who has major relationship failures with except for a meaningful relationship with another woman in her early twenties. I was offered to play one of the supporting roles in this film. The best part is, it’s a paying role too.

YES. This is the dream. To play a speaking part in a film or television show and actually getting compensated for it.

The only issue is that the schedule may roll into when I’m supposed to leave the country. Who knows what will happen, but it’s an opportunity I feel I couldn’t turn down. Prayers and fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.

Pole Competition

(Taken yesterday at the Kleinlife Center in Northern Philadelphia.)

Yesterday, one of my students performed in the local pole dancing competition. She had wanted to compete for some time now so she took a brave step and signed up.

She choreographed her own routine and did not ask us for any input. The result was a marvelous! She also placed 4th in her division. Not bad for a first-timer huh?!

More so than that, I was inspired. For years I was a competition cheerleader and loved the thrill of preparing for a competition whether we won or not. It’s the same thrill I get when preparing for a show…which is also why I’m feeling a little empty about my career right now.

I have done pole comps in the past, but they were significantly smaller in comparison to yesterday’s, and that isn’t even the largest.

My goal is to compete as a way of getting out of my rut. I think focusing on my career too much can actually be detrimental rather than helpful.

Hopefully there is a small comp in Europe that would allow me to perform.

Big Things In The Works!!!

(Taken Monday after my epiphany.)

While I was rambling on one of my Instagram stories (saved in the highlights) about one of the films we showed at work: I thought about vlogging film and television reviews. A friend of mine suggested I use a separate platform as to not disrupt my current social media brand. Well that sparked something.

Currently I have an active YouTube channel that I use specifically for self-tape auditions. Since those links are usually private, I don’t have other content posted for the public to view. Until now.

Posting reviews is hardly anything new and there is plenty of competition out there for me. However, I just want a platform to air my grievances at other people over what I should actually be doing myself…work in the film industry. That is the premise. You are going to watch an actress who is also trained in the technical side of film, bitch and complain about why the production was bad, while also praising what’s good about it.

Don’t expect it to be comedic. Comedy is a precious skill afforded to few and its not my forte. My biggest hope is that it’s relatable and informative. Just like my blog.

I’m excited aren’t you?

The Follow Up and Film News

(Taken this past Friday evening. This was my audition number.)

As of right now it’s not looking likely that I was picked for the project with the industry leader. That’s ok, because I’m grateful for the fact that I got this far and met her. I will continue to apply as long as she is putting out casting notices and she highly encourages it.

In other good news, it looks like I’m going to film another project with the same director who gave me my first speaking part (yay another role and reel footage!)

(Source: Facebook.)

The synopsis of this film is a gentleman who travels from his home in Boston to work in Côte d’Ivoire. I would be playing the lead’s girlfriend. The part currently is limited, but they asked for my input on how I would play it. They got straight away to re-writing it.

(Source: Prinze Whyee. A still shot from MUDA, currently in distribution in Africa.)

Re-writing a part is nothing new, the director did it the first time when I had to step in on ‘MUDA’ as the last lead’s little sister. I think it’s awesome that he is able to do that for me and immediately thought of me for this new film.

I’m excited to embark on something new!

Some Good Things

(Taken yesterday before my casting call.)

As I stated in the post previous to this one, I was a little nervous about what the day would bring for me on Friday. It turned out well.

First, there was some confusion about my shift in the morning. Even though I offered to cover a person’s serving shift and they said ok, apparently they asked someone else too and didn’t bother to tell me. I would have been annoyed if it wasn’t for the fact that I had something to do immediately after that shift. I could have cared less. I just wanted to go home and prepare.

Having a sudden breather helped big time. Yes, I have done plenty of runway auditions, but still I was dead set on impressing this person because I want to work with them in any capacity. Taking that time allowed me to soothe my nerves.

Later on at the audition, it was a good group of people. The models, the casting crew, they had a good energy and it didn’t feel competitive or chaotic. I did my walk and afterwards we got to take pictures with the leader herself (which is featured on my Instagram take a look!)

I’m hoping for the best outcome, whether it’s to work on the project as a model or as crew. Fingers crossed 🤞🏽