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.

Second Chance

(Source: Sailor Moon, Toei Animation. Creator Naoko Takeuchi.)

Remember two weeks ago when I submitted my information to a high level mover and shaker in the industry? That gig they advertised has come and gone with me not working on it, but they advertised another casting call scheduled for this week.

As always, I strike while the iron is hot with this strike leading to some success! I got a call back for a live audition.

This gig may also not be for me, however, I will definitely be on their radar for any future project.

The other rumor about this individual…they may be able to represent talent. Ultimately that is my goal: to get representation, bigger parts, and more work. Wish me luck!

Sound

(Source: whatspopping-sugar Tumblr and Pinterest.)

In 2015, I attended my first screening party as an actress. I was there due to appearing as a featured extra in a small independent project. While there, I overheard one of the other guests in attendance, answering a question asked of him:

What makes a good film?

Interestingly enough, his answer had nothing to do with the script, the actors, or the direction. His answer was purely technical….

“The film has to have good sound. If the sound is bad, it ruins the entire film.”

Sound advice if you ask me (pardon the pun.)

Having previously studied film and television production, along with currently working at an art house movie theatre, sound really can make or break the film!

I’m in a constant battle with the volume knob of the sound board every time I’m working as a projectionist. A couple of issues that I have with the films are, 1) too loud music but too low speaking volume. Or 2) too low/too loud altogether.

The second one seems simple enough. Just turn the volume up or down. It’s a little trickier than that. Too low volume is a combination of both low music and mumble acting (actors who speak with poor enunciation. It drives me up a wall.) If the volume is too high, the sound has a weird blown out effect to it, which also makes it hard to hear the actors even when the volume is at a reasonable level.

How can a filmmaker combat this?

Part of me suspects that low speaking volume, but high music volume, may be to mask a shit story. In which case the filmmakers are just going to have to own it and make the sound level across the the board. Special effects sounds should be louder, but only by a few decibels (we are not trying to destroy our patrons’ ear drums.) And please tell the actors to stop mumbling!

So What’s Up With Diss Tracks?

(Source: Facebook.)

Of course the news from the past 24 hours is the release of an extreme diss track from one recording artist to another. It seems like a silly concept to me, given that I’m old school, when someone talks trash on you…you meet them outside to fight.

I consider diss tracks to be the equivalent of a keyboard gangster posting on social media: All words and no action.

That’s not to say creating art isn’t a good way of expressing hurt or frustration. I mean, hell, I do it all the time. But in the effort to keep people talking or in this case, to promote an album, it’s petty for no reason.

On a side note: while the actions of one of the recording artists using blackface and what they have done in their personal life is abhorrent; isn’t it kind of hypocritical of the creator of the diss track to call that out, but gloss over their employer’s allegiance to white supremacy? Where’s the outrage there? Oh yeah, I forgot…they’re being paid a princely sum.

A Very Obvious Publicity Stunt

(Source: memegenerator.net and Facebook.)

Black Slaves did opt out of slavery…it was called The Underground Railroad, and that mission for freedom was fraught with danger.

But that is beside the point.

This is a publicity stunt performed by, what many call, a malignant narcissist. I’ve been talking about publicity stunts for the last few posts and I find the act to be fascinating. Mainly because it begs the question:

What depth is a celebrity willing to go, to make money?

In my “expert” opinion, as someone who takes many odd jobs for a quick buck, I would say this particular depth is somewhere near the Earth’s core.

However, I don’t have it in me to throw my ancestors under the bus. My elders raised me on the stories of our family’s past. It’s too horrific for me to deny or diminish what happened to them for a dollar. That’s plain evil.

Rocktopia

(Source: Broadway.com)

I’m heading to Broadway tomorrow! This weekend, I’m required to register with Tribeca to complete my paperwork and pick up my credentials for access to the festival. At the same time, my friend and former castmate from ‘Orange Is The New Musical’, Yvette, is performing in the show ‘Rocktopia’ on Broadway. She has been posting pictures of her experience left and right, and I’m super happy for her. To lend my support, I bought a ticket to see the show and let her know I’m going. I’ll post pictures on Instagram after the show.

Fenty Beauty

(Source: Black Nerd Problems Twitter.)

Ok. So. I’m super late to the Fenty game, but I finally put down the money to purchase a bottle of the company’s foundation for myself. Dear God, this is amazing foundation, and I’m not blowing smoke either! I did a tutorial on my Instagram stories (which I saved in the highlights btw); you could see that my skin looked smooth and translucent. I want to share my takeaways:

1) It didn’t turn orange, which is a common occurrence with me and liquid foundations. The only foundations that don’t turn on me are powders, but they are still just a twinge too yellow for me. My skin didn’t turn greasy either. Fantastic.

2) This is the only brand I’ve noticed that managed to crack the code relating to olive undertones. This is a huge struggle for many cosmetic brands. Bare Minerals (the company I used to work for) came close, by making fair to deep foundations with more golden undertones. However, they were still not able to get this close. When I pumped out my Fenty foundation, it was a soft green. Most brands make foundations too red. Hence why I mentioned that most of my foundations in the past, turn me orange.

3) The product comes out watery, but dries to a powder finish. I love that. I didn’t have to use a lot to get good coverage, and it feels super light. Believe it or not, I don’t like to look or feel super “done” like many makeup aficionados you would see on Instagram. Especially when auditioning for various projects. The casting directors and production companies want to see me for who I am. If I look too made up: it can screw me out of a job. Needless to say this foundation was a good investment.

4) The foundation matched me so well, that it confused my mom. She thought I looked too clear, pale, green, etc, because she wasn’t used to seeing me not orange. My mom never had acne or uneven tone, so she never had to use foundation in her life (lucky.) Because of this, she has a hard time differentiating between what is good makeup and what is bad makeup.

5) The packaging is really simple and it looks like you get a good quantity for the money. Like I said earlier, it didn’t take a lot of product for me to get good coverage. If I were to forecast my cost per wear, I’m looking at about 25-35¢ each time. Probably even less.

6) I also went into a darkened room and took a flash photo. The reason is to see how the foundation does under bright lighting. Working under bright stage lighting, set lighting, and flash photography, creates a problem with foundations. The term is called Photo Flashback. See example below:

(Source: Pinterest. It happens to the best of us.)

I had no flashback and no melting from sweat or oil.

From now on, I will be preaching the gospel of Fenty to the masses. I’m super satisfied with this product and will definitely continue to purchase it in the future. Does Rihanna have to be awesome at everything she does?

(Source: @chuuzus Twitter.)

The answer is Yes.

Gown Hunting

(Source: Classical Art Memes Facebook.)

It’s 2018, and that means there are goals to be set. My friend and I made the promise to go to the ball in Harlem this year after missing it last year. I have taken further steps to try to get ahead of the game.

Gown Shopping!!!

(Me circa March 2016.)

The gown featured in the photo above is what I wore to the ball in early 2016. It is pretty. I looked like a mermaid. I paid $10 for it. However, my boobs kept trying to escape the dress all night!

(Me trying to do my best ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Robot Dance Party Guy impression. I nearly fell out of this dress making this video 😂)

This time I’m looking for straps or sleeves since it will still be chilly that time of year. It will also mean having to pay full price too…

<<
ource: Facebook.)

Ugh. It's ok though, it just means that I really have to elevate my job search into something high paying to afford it. I hope to have pictures soon.

Getting Ready For My Audition

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I’m super nervous about tonight. The weather is absolute crap right now and I have to walk through this frozen tundra after I get off the train to get to the audition site. Plus I’ve been practicing my monologue and 30 seconds of a song, it’s just not clicking. I’m still going to go tonight, but it already feels like a wash.

For my monologue, I went with Orlando’s opening monologue in As You Like It. The casting group wanted a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s comedies and I have performed it before. My song is Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen. Both pieces are a total scramble in my mind right now.

I was hoping this would run smoother, but no…

(Source: Facebook and Tyler Perry.)

A Background Shoot and An Audition

(Source: Facebook)

It’s been a productive couple of days after the unsuccessful attempt to work at my old company again. I booked another background shoot in Philly on Monday, and an audition in Philly two weeks from now. I don’t want to talk about what project I’m working on this week. Not because they are preventing me or anything (nor would I ever give away any details); but because of the last shoot I did over a month ago, the casting agency dinged me for mentioning that I’m working on the show (I’m taking no chances this time.) What I will say is: this is a very important shoot for me. Once I officially step on set and complete my job, I will talk more on the subject.

The audition, however, I can talk about liberally. It’s Shakepeare in Clark Park, located in West Philly. The audition is in December, but the first rehearsal isn’t until June 19th, 2018. If I get it, I will have plenty of time to truly learn the text and get off book by June. The production is ‘Twelfth Night’ with a bit of a rock n’ roll twist. The info about the audition was forwarded to me by my Stage Combat instructor, who coordinated the fights for Coriolanus this past Summer. They were looking for actor combatants and it piqued my interest. From now until then I will be preparing a monologue and a 30 second rock ballad to perform. I hope to convince the casting team that I’m a better fighter than a singer and to pick me on that alone. Fingers Crossed.