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.

Gucci SS18…My Complaints

(Source: Pinterest)

I’m back. After several days of rest and recuperation to try and get my anxiety under control, one of the things I did as a functioning human was watch the Gucci SS18 show live from Facebook.

I consider runway shows to be as much a theatrical event as I do live theatre. As a brand you want to put on a good show for your audience, but I had some issues with this show in particular.

The Lighting:

Pre-show they had normal “work” lights on for the attendees to take their seats. With the drone cameras flying above, you could see this beautiful set inspired by Ancient Rome and Egypt as well as a massive, winding runway. Along with that set you could see that the guest list for this show was incredibly large as there were many butts in seats. Once the show started, the workers went off, the room went dark, the strobes began, and continued throughout the entire show.

Aside from the main area where all of the photographers and videographers were stationed to capture the clothes, there was no light. This is a disservice to the remainder of the audience (who are also members of the fashion industry in their own right) because they are not privileged enough to sit in the designated area to see the collection.

Also I noticed during the final tracing of the runway the lights literally went off in some sections. It was so dark, that it took a few moments for the audience to understand that they were doing a final trace and didn’t clap initially. Plus a dark runway is incredibly dangerous for the models. The set and lighting designers should have given them the courtesy of spiking the runway with glow tape, so they don’t crash into the audience.

The strobe lighting gave me a headache and I was watching on video. I could only imagine what the live audience suffered through.

The Pacing of the Show:

I’m not at all bashing the collection or the models. The collection was beautiful, from what I could see, but that is also a major problem I had with the show. The models were practically racing down the runway! Since I have experience walking in runway shows, I’m sure they were given the direction to continue walking at a fast pace and don’t stop for the cameras. Yes, they practically had an army working this show. Still, if they couldn’t stop to pose, at least let them walk at a slower pace for the small portion of the audience that had good lighting.

I’m going to have to look at the photos later to really look at the clothes. The production value of this show was piss poor with the set, the collection, and the lighting wasted.

New York So Far

(My tourist photo lol!)

I arrived back in New York this past Friday to attend a stunt training and to work a volunteer gig for NYFW. So far, so good.

(Taken yesterday. They were doing Stair Falls. Since it’s my first class they didn’t have me do this yet.)

The stunt training went particularly well. Much of the essential skills that they teach are very similar to what I was learning in Unarmed Stage Combat, but with tweaks that read for film. I plan on taking more trainings until I’m good and ready to do this professionally.

(Taken earlier today.)

Since it was so nice today and I had free time, I took the subway down to Coney Island to walk around. I haven’t been to Coney in 8 years and I just wanted to buzz around to see if anything has changed. Not much though it does seem like they are building more apartments in the area. It’s still Coney and I love it.

(Taken yesterday before taking the train to stunt class.)

Tomorrow I meet up with a friend and former co-worker I haven’t seen in person in a long time. (Although we correspond regularly on social media.) She is getting married next month, and since I am unable to attend her wedding; I wanted to give her part of her wedding gift when I see her:

(A Signed Tom Hiddleston postcard that was gifted to me from Wizard World Philadelphia last year.)

This was given to me by the friend of the young lady that I calmed down from a panic attack before meeting him at the convention last year. My friend is a major fan of his (me, not so much…at least not anymore) so I felt that this postcard would be in better hands with her. I can’t wait to see her as we have much catching up to do.

I will update more later once I go to the Jason Wu Grey Out event and after the Chulo Underwear NYFW event I’m working.

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!

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.

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 🤞

I’m Choosing Not to Date

A guy that I flat out told that I'm not going to date, messaged me today to "check on me." I sound like a horrible person writing about my annoyance of this; but I want to clarify that I, have a really bad pattern of attracting or dating men who don't really care about me. What does this mean? Doesn't that guy care enough to check on you? The answer is no. What he's really doing is checking to see if I changed my mind about not dating him and that is what bothers me.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find a guy that is genuine. Especially now that I am an actress and a model. Something about being in this career field is appealing to men. Much of it, I'm sure has to do with bragging rights. Who doesn't want to date a model/actress? The issue here is that it violates a rule that I have…the 23:6 rule.

I adopted this rule from a friend of mine. We discussed (over many shots of whiskey and after my awful heartbreak) why I should really hold out and be selfish about what I really want in a guy. This is what he told me:

For at least 1 hour every day and 1 day every week, the person you are dating will consider you to be the most ideal. Be it your looks, your job, your income status, your personality. But what about those other 23 hours of the day and those other 6 days of the week? The time when you are not so loveable? The time when that job you have takes more time than you can spend with him? When you gain weight? When money is really tight? When you're having a bad day and you need time to recuperate? If he can't love you at the worst time in your life, he is not permitted to love you at your best time.

My friend is so right. I apply this rule with every man that I meet now. Especially if he gives indication that I am only going to be a convenience, and not a priority to him.

The Dream is Dead

The more I keep getting denied for a loan, the more I keep getting fed up with my life. My dream of attending school overseas is swiftly dwindling and now I must figure out alternatives to continue to make my career work. Student aid is denying me on all fronts, so going to college in the United States won’t make a bit of difference. Instead I will have to pay for training out of pocket and continue to work low paying gigs in order to support myself. I guess it makes no difference, I would have had to take a low paying job in Ireland anyway to stay afloat. However, I really wanted to move away from my family and Delaware; to move to a city that supports the arts. 

But all is not lost, I could go back to training where I started up in NYC at Studio 4 or stay in the Philly area and go back to Playhouse West Philadelphia. I’m still going to make a goal to move out of my family’s home. Staying in Delaware while working on an acting career has become cumbersome in traveling, opportunities, and expenses. Plus like I said the environment has become toxic (even though I love them) which is also dragging me down. 

So I put myself out there to see if there are any opportunities that could make me union eligible and provide more paying opportunities along with more opportunities to have speaking parts. I’m probably going to have to make a customized reel and seek an agent as well. I have to keep going or I will be trapped in a void forever.

Back in Business…Sort of

(Source: John Staples of JBMS Photography.)

Fun Fact: I signed up for a home-based network marketing business back in 2013. 

Another Fun Fact: I failed that business within a year because I wasn’t focused on succeeding and had to put it on the back burner because I was extremely poor and had to take on a regular job again. 

But I’m not sad about that. As of yesterday I’m back in the company, but with a different set of rules for myself and my customers this time. Yes, the business is designed to sign up as many customers and distributors as possible. However, unlike before, I’m pushing it in a different manner. Believe it or not, the entire product line is perfect for someone like me in my industry. I’m an actress and a model. I have to look my best at all times and these products work: simple as that. With that said, I have no intentions of inundating this blog with sales pitches, nor am I going to seek out my friends, family, or followers to sign up. No. If you want to know what’s keeping me fabulous, ask and ye shall receive. 

What I will do is provide a link to the website if you want to shop. I’m available to answer questions or even to show off my results if you request them. No pressure, as my acting and modeling gigs are still my primary source of income. I’m in it for the discount and whatever extra cash I make. This for me is a happy bonus and I’m glad to be back.

Today’s Audition 

I knew I was going in for a beauty campaign today. As it turns out it may be a Korean beauty company that I auditioned for. It’s very serendipitous, especially with a video I watched the other day from NPR about Pore Vacuuming in Seoul, South Korea. With K-Beauty, I’ve only used a couple of products. A fairly decent cleanser and collagen sheet masks. My skin is very problematic and needs the most help out of my whole routine. As far as makeup is concerned, I have that covered. K-Beauty foundations and BB creams are often too pale for my skin anyway. I won’t, however, shy away from eyeshadows, liners, and lip products, especially if they are really pretty. 

I’m not sure if I’m going to land this campaign, but it is directing my attention towards using more K-Beauty. Maybe this is the formula I need to fix my face! We shall see.