Rejuvenating my Spirit

(Source: Yuri!!! On Ice, MAPPA)

Don’t get it twisted, I’m still having the roughest time in this country, but something happened while riding on the train heading to class:

One of the passengers was watching Gotham.

Not just any old season in Gotham. It’s the season I’m in, and he was a few episodes away from watching the one I worked on! It took everything I had not to grab this man by the shoulders with a wild look in my eyes and say “I WORKED ON THIS SHOW. YOU’LL SEE ME IN EPISODE 8!!!!!” But that would not be appropriate.

However it made me feel so much better. I know background work is not taken seriously, but it should. It still involves acting and long hours of work. My face can still be seen and that is heartwarming.

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.

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.

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!