Burlesque and Pole Dancing

(Source: Facebook, Artist Unknown.)

A couple of things have come up in the striptease realm for me. One of them I am definitely involved in and the other one conflicts with my schedule.

(Source: The Lost Pinup Page On Facebook .)

There is an upcoming audition for one of the big burlesque troupes in Philadelphia. Sadly I have to miss it because I can only do half of the shows on the list. I’ve wanted to do burlesque for quite some time; especially since I did a variation of burlesque, when I attended classes at my old Pole studio. I’m really disappointed, but I do hope I can participate in some way in the future.

(Circa: St. Patrick’s Day 2017.)

The video above is what happens when a slippery pole, felt carpet flooring, and too many cocktails are combined.

With that said, the pole studio I applied to is finally open and the owner and I are finalizing a schedule soon. I’m only teaching pole tease with heels (no pole tricks of any kind) and I need to come up with a routine. She is also making a promotional video for the studio and I am participating in that; so yay for pole fitness! I’ll post a video later of the routine I came up for November.

Mad Money

(Source: Is featured on the bottom left of this meme and Pinterest.)

I’m definitely going all in with my acting career. However, I will always have some sort of a side hustle to keep me alive too. Why? Because of things like this, or like this; or the two instances of my loss of employment that both led to extreme poverty and initially to homelessness.

My mother passed down a term to me that she learned from her mother…”always have Mad Money.” If you are familiar with the term, great! For those that aren’t, all it means that if you are a woman who is on a date with a man that is untoward in any way, you always keep a store of cash on you to be able to take a cab home and buy your own dinner.

When it comes to work, it should be the same way. I nor you should be beholden to abuse by superiors because you really need the work; and although it is my dream to take my career as far as it can go, the entertainment industry is basically the Wild West when it comes down to workplace conduct. I would love to be able to have the freedom to walk away with my chosen finger in the air if I hear a producer, director, co-star, or any employer say “if you defy me, you’ll never work in this business again.” That is when you can walk away with confidence.

Updates

(Source: The Simpsons and Fox. This is my current mood)

Hello! I didn’t mean to be so sparse in my writing, but I was all over the place both physically and mentally that I haven’t really been able to pull it together. I have good news and not so good news.

The good news first: I won my court case to get my medical bills paid from my car accident. My medical team did everything in their power to put me back together and my insurance wouldn’t pay for my care. Yesterday, my parents and I signed off on the paperwork to officially close the case and my medical team has now been paid.

The not so good news: My dad is still having issues related to his illness and has to be re-admitted to the hospital for another surgery and treatment. It’s not life threatening (at least I hope) but it is getting ridiculous and very upsetting.

What I do have upcoming: As I said previously, I’m stage managing at Bootless for Tick, Tick…Boom! Our preview shows are this weekend and we run our regular shows the first two weekends in October.

I have an audition during the day this Saturday for a SAG backed project as I am on the hunt for my last SAG waiver to get into the union. No matter what happens, I will at least know that I took a chance to achieve a goal.

After TTB finishes it’s run, I will have a small box office gig at the Penns Landing Playhouse in Philadelphia. It will be a fair little bit of money for me to earn while I’m working on other projects.

I’m still trying to book other gigs and maybe a part-time day job. I need to stack cash right now (especially since I may have to pay a large membership fee to SAG), so I’m looking for what will give me the most money. I may go back to bartending or serving for that.

That’s all I have for now.

Customer Service Left Me Broken Inside

(Source:Pinterest)

I’m on the hunt for a seasonal job right now. Although I talked more about my HR gig than anything else, it is actually the shortest position I have held in my entire working life. My experience predominantly lies with Customer Service; i.e., retail, restaurants, and, cabarets. Truth be told, I’m dreading the entire process. Yes, I need a survival job because the gigs are too few and far in between, and I need money. Normally I’m friendly with people:

(Source: Pinterest)

However, with all that is going on in the world today, coupled with my very low tolerance for abuse (thanks assholes in the entertainment industry); I’m having a hell of a time applying for things without having flashbacks and eye twitching.

No, not all people are bad and full of drama. Given the approaching spending season however…it can bring out the worst in people.

(Source: afuntumblr and Pinterest. This applies to more than just retail.)

I don’t know if I want to listen to Christmas music on repeat. (Especially ten different versions of “Last Christmas”.) Or have people screaming in my face over an expired coupon:

(Source: Facebook)

I don’t know if I have it in me to have regular customers at any bar or restaurant again:

(Source: Server Life IG)

I have basically turned I into an impoverished curmudgeon. I need to bite the bullet soon if I want to make any financial progress.

September Is Shaping Up

(Me looking at the month ahead.)

Without getting too excited, I’m starting to make plans for this month.

If I didn’t mention this before, I will now; I’m stage managing at Bootless for their upcoming production of ‘Tick, Tick, BOOM’. Since my role is different from before, I don’t have to make as many appearances until closer to the run. (Though I am planning to see a couple of the un-required rehearsals to get a feeling of the show and ultimately find out what I need to do behind the scenes.)

In addition to that, I did end up booking the volunteer gig with NYFW! I will post the Eventbrite link if you are in the area and want to support a good cause.

Starting this upcoming weekend, with the additional day that I will be working NYFW, I’m planning on staying in New York for a week or so just exploring the area. I never really get to do that since I couldn’t really afford the luxury of staying in the city and really get my bearings. I’m also considering flexible work with some of the catering companies or the burlesque club up there; when I’m not here in Delaware for the show to make some extra money. (The catering gig would be better, but OMG to perform burlesque in NYC would be divine!)

Overall this should be a shift in perspective since I’m spending more time in New York without killing my wallet. Hopefully I come back with more money too!

Getting Paid

Funny little story:

Yesterday I went to check the mail and saw an envelope from a production accounting company.

“My pay from ‘Bull’ is here, yay!”

I kissed the envelope and went up to my apartment. I opened it up and…it was the pay from my dress fitting for the shoot I did this past Monday. (Which is significantly less than what I am being paid for ‘Bull’)

“Aww.” I said, as I lost the wind in my sails.

Money is still money, so I celebrated receiving my check in the mail (albeit with a little less enthusiasm.) Hopefully after the holiday weekend I will see my pay.

The End.

I’m a Part-Time New Yorker

(Taken this past Monday on my way to my aunt’s place.)

“My mother away from my mother” as she likes to call herself; my aunt insists that I stay with her any time while I’m New York for work or training. This is a BIG deal as just staying in New York can be insanely expensive. My mom and I are so grateful to her that now I bring wine and flowers with every trip that I take.

As I sit here, still sad about what happened with Dublin, I look at the silver lining of this situation:

•Taking the background job on the show ‘Bull’ was super beneficial to me. I earned two SAG vouchers with one more to go and received solid career advice from the featured cast and crew. Because of that I now have clear goals on what to do next. If going to Dublin worked out, there’s a chance that I wouldn’t have taken this gig because it was too close to my departure date.

•One of the background cast members I worked with is also working NYFW. I offered my services as a stagehand and now I may have that as a gig. (More details to come.)

•I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to stay in NY when I wanted. Much of the reason why I wasn’t picking up speaking roles or booking agents in Philadelphia is because the city is so limited in this aspect. There’s just no space for me here even though it’s my closest market for work. If I want to take my career seriously (as my cast mate Jada would say) I have to be in New York.

•With that said, there is still plenty to do in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Both locations are strong contenders in live theatre and I still have work to do down here. Plus my business address will remain in Delaware, so this is not a permanent move.

Overall, this is a giant breakthrough for me. I feel more confident and ready to work. Since I will be in New York, I will continue my training up here. No it won’t count towards a degree but it will count on a resume and that is just as important.

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?”, dress $16 from Clothes Mentor West Chester.)

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.