Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We filmed in front of the Plaza Hotel near Central Park....one block away from my old job actually...I was there for 12hours...well 11hours...but it was fun. The only problem that I had was we got there at 9am and didn't eat lunch til 4pm....that's the longest I've ever had to wait for lunch on set. They had told us it was going to be a walk-away lunch, so I thought I would be responsible for buying my own lunch but they ended up getting sandwiches for everyone from Subway. So I was happy about that.
What surprised me most of all was how the public was acting. There were crowds and crowds of people trying to get Mariah's photo. Some girl called a photographer from TMZ so he was out there along with other paparazzi so I'm sure her photo is going to be on TMZ website or something. Mariah was cool about it though. She actually stopped rehearsing a few times to pose for pics for them. There were people crowding around before Mariah even showed up on set...I'm sure half of them didn't even know who they were looking for but just saw a camera crew and a crowd of people and decided to be nosey. It was a little challenging trying to keep the public out of the shots and separate from the extras...they thought we were just regular people so some would come stand or sit beside us when we are about to film a shot and the crew would have to tell them to move! ha!
One guy got in the shot and tried to pretend that he was an extra. It was towards the end of the day thankful for him....he was trying to lie about who called him about the casting....the dude on the crew was like you know what...who cares...you can stay...this dude was visiting NY from France...so he didn't mind.....he was in two shots....of course he doesn't get paid like we do!
I see celebs in NY all the time...well not everyday but enough....especially when I was working at my last job because we were near Central Park and 5th Ave... near all the designer stores and nice hotels. I just don't get star struck to the point where I would stand for hours in the heat to get a picture of someone like these people did. (Ok if it was Morgan Freeman then I may) I think it's because I see them more as peers. I know that I will soon be running in the same circle as them, probably, so I view us as being on the same level. Shoot they should be trying to get my picture....ha!
All in all it was a good day, Mariah looks just as pretty in person as she does on TV, Nick wasn't around...well at least I didn't see him but I was hoping to, Mariah had the sickest shoes on for this shoot...and I also got to meetup with some girls that I worked on the set with a few weeks ago (Nancy Meyers Project) so that made it even more fun! I made a great connection with a filmmaker so that was a true bonus! He seems like a pretty cool dude so I hope to build a great relationship with him and possibly collaborate on a project or two.
Update: 7.24.09 So here is the video. If you look closely at the beginning you can see me in the brown shirt standing behind the velvet rope...cheesing! DON'T BLINK or you'll miss me! I'm also towards the end walking back and forth in the background...just look for the brown shirt! hehe!
Friday, June 26, 2009
This was my first film role and I will forever be grateful to the director Leslie Ducena for giving me my very first opportunity! I wish him much success with this film and the many more he has coming in the future!!
I was crying all night long last night because of Michael Jackson's death....so my eyes were all red and puffy....I was like, oh boy, this is not a good look! ha! Lucky for me, the swelling had gone down by the time the shooting started....I just put on some mascara and you couldn't see my semi-puffy lids!
I should get the finished product at the end of the summer if everything goes according to plans...I hope that I really impress myself....you're always your worst critic...my friends and family are very proud of me right now and I just want to thank them for their support and being just as happy as I am for my accomplishments no matter how big or small!
GOD BLESS EVERYONE!! MUCH LOVE AND SUCCESS!
Monday, June 22, 2009
1) Actors should always send their resume as a PDF file and not a word document so that the format of your resume does not change when viewed by the recipient.
2) On your website you should have a Reference Page. You can get references from all the people that you work with and add them to this page. As with any job, great references are always beneficial to getting you hired! *goes off to add reference page to website*
3) Every Actor needs a web presence! Paul said that if he googles the actor/actress and he doesn't see anything about him/her within the first 5 search results then he passes!
**I don't have anything to worry about, I google myself all the time and I'M EVERYWHERE!! But that's the way I wanted it!! :-D**
This tip was actually in his blog http://answersforactors.wordpress.com/
4) Actors should always have their headshot & resume on them at all times so he suggests getting your photo and resume in a compact form that you can always carry around with you...photo business cards are good but they do not tell the agent, casting director, director, etc anything about you as an actor! So get a few of those postcards you have laying around and print your resume on them! To find out more about how to go about using this method please visit his blog post.
I have a lot of photo business cards....personal and professional....I would definitely have both on hand. You may be at a networking event and they may not want to carry something as big as a post card and prefer to have a business card. But if you're out on the street, just going about your day not expecting to meet anyone that can possibly get you work and BAM you run into someone...then hey, pass them that postcard with your resume on it and they have all your info right there to take with them!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
So I didn't sleep that well last night toss and turned, didn't want to get up this morning for my all day workshop at Actors Connection with Barry Shapiro form Herman & Lipson Casting because it was raining and as soon at my alarm clock went off at 7:30am I was suddenly SO TIRED!!
Anyhoo, I got my little butt up and headed to the city. I get there 15min early which I was surprised because I left my house 15 min later than I wanted to...
So the class is Improv for Commercials it was from 10am to 5p...we ended closer to 6p because we had a Q&A at the end of class.
There were 18 of us in the class...we first started off with games that I really want to play with my friends the next time we have a house gathering like we do on a monthly basis. The first game was sort of like charades, we were in teams of fours; one person from the team goes up and pick a piece of paper with a 3 word phrase on it such as Buy A Boat and that person without using words, must get his team to guess what the phrase it BUT they must say the phrase EXACTLY the way its written and we were timed.
The second part of the game was we pick a phrase and then only using ONE word our team has to guess what the phrase is...this part was to really see how good our memory was because every phrase that was chosen for part two was used in part one! It was so fun!!
We did a few more improv situations, 2 person copy, one person copy, and finally a group scene were we had to eat...so he showed us the proper way to eat on camera!
I learned a lot and actually did better than I thought I would do. Improv is not my strongest aspect but I did very well.
This was a helpful improv class because it was specifically for commercials...but I do plan to get into an Improv For Actors class at some point!
Monday, June 15, 2009
so I am finally getting on the postcard bandwagon...and I didn't want to pay a lot of money to get them printed....we have to spend our money wisely you know...
I searched around internet land and found a way to get 100 free photo postcards from vista print. I just googled "free photo postcards" and the link came up on vistaprint.com. I uploaded my headshot, put my contact info on there and that was it!
All you have to pay is $4.99 for uploading the image and whatever the shipping & handling fee is!
That's the cheapest route I've come across so far...I use vistaprint all the time so I trust that the quality will be on point!
Here is what my current postcard looks like:
Update 7.27.09 Here is an example of what your postcard should look like according to a poster on Backstage Message Board:
It's suggested that you do not put any info on the bottom of the postcard because the Post Office put the little bar code at the bottom...well of course I find out this info AFTER I got my postcards printed with my info on the bottom! ha! So I took my postcard down to the Post Office to see exactly where they put the bar code and it's placed on the back of the postcard right below the address of the person you are sending it to. So I'M GOOD!! :-)
One person mentioned that they do their postcards just like the gentleman above however they put a Avery label (size 2"X2 5/8") underneath their contact info so they can put their message there. I choose to put my contact info and photo on the front side and the message on the back side. Do whatever makes you happy!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
As I awaken with the gift of yet another day and prepare for the
tasks at hand, I offer up this most ardent prayer:
I pray for continued clarity of purpose so that I may hold my
vision steady and keep my focus on the needs and success of
others, which in turn shall bring me my success.
I pray for the wisdom to expect abundance in my life, that it
surrounds me and is available for the taking and to be shameless
and unapologetic upon its receipt, for I deserve abundance.
I pray for a cheerful countenance, be it clear or cloudy skies
and that I may radiate and infect others with my positive
I pray for the trust of others that they may recognize my
sincerity and true intentions so that we may move forward
I pray for the strength to fend off adversity and use my desire
and determination as both weapon and shield.
I pray for the courage to carry forth my convictions during the
battle of business and to resist temptation to a quicker monetary
result when such temptation compromises these things for which I
I pray that I may be used as a lightning rod to collect the
amazing ideas already present in the universe and when blessed
with such inspiration, that I may be able to apply my talents and
abilities to turn the power of thought into measurable
advancement of my goals.
I pray to retain my childhood wonder so that I can recognize and
revel in the small miracles of each day that others may miss.
I pray for an infinite supply of self-confidence for it alone
fortifies faith, strengthens my resolve and conquers the largest
enemy I will ever face - fear.
I pray for a compassionate spirit and the patience to offer those
who seek my advice and my help, my full and undivided attention.
I pray for good health and a feeling of well being, and the
continued desire to improve those areas of my physical life I may
be neglecting in the name of my spiritual and entrepreneurial
I pray that today is a day of excellence and at its conclusion I
can acknowledge and be grateful for the forward motion I have
made and the growth I have experienced.
I pray most of all for the understanding and support of those
closest to my heart, my family, that they will equate what may
seem like endless hours of apparent pre-occupation with affairs
of business to what is at the very core of my being, that which
drives me, for once I achieve what I have set out in its fullest,
I will become that more complete being I strive to be.
It is for these things that I pray, for I am an entrepreneur.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Well I believe in God so I really don't believe in luck....even though you will here me say "Good Luck" or "I have bad luck when it comes to such and such"...just figures of speech.
I know there are a lot of people who do not believe in GOD...I've met the most since moving to NY and I don't judge them, and I would still be their friend. Anyhoo, I was at the audition Saturday and everyone was like "Good Luck Ladies" and I was saying, Good Luck, but I really wanted to say GOD BLESS! But I don't don't know their beliefs so I just said Good Luck!
honestly as I grow and mature I realize there is no such thing as good luck and bad luck....its all about perception.
Everything happens for a reason and all things are blessings whether they are perceived to be bad or good is up to the person experiencing those things.
For instance, I got my apt in 2007 and that put a financial strain on me but I had been praying for my own 1 bedroom apt....so I was blessed with it. So I was still working at a very low paying job and I was wondering how can I afford this apt on this salary I need a new job. I spent 1.5 years searching high and low, interview after interview, employment agency after employment agency, using up all my sick and vacay time at my job to go and meet with these people and what happened? I get laid off this year!
So someone may look at that and say that's bad luck, here I am getting an apt that I can't really afford and instead of being blessed with a better paying job I get laid off and now bringing in even less money that I was when I was working!
But I see it as being a blessing in disguise. Not only am I still able to pay my rent but I'm also able to pursue my acting career full-time. Putting all my thoughts and energy into it which is something that I couldn't do when I was working my 9-5p full-time. So I'm grateful!
I said all that to say, if you ask for it and believe in your heart that you will receive it, then its yours! BUT it may not come on YOUR TIMING! That's the key thing to remember, your timing is not God's timing and so things may be happening slow for you but going at the right pace for HIM. When I look back over the last 5 years of my life I see how every event that happened led me to where I am today and I am in a very great place in my life...may not look that way from the outside looking in and I'm definitely not where I want to be but I'm not in a bad place at all.
I do believe it is about who you know...so I always pray Lord help me to be at the right place at the right time engaged in the right activity speaking with the right people to make these great things take place in my life...
You have to be ready, willing, and able to take on the opportunities when they present themselves because you never know when that opportunity will come again.
Also I always remind myself "A Delay Is Not A Denial"....
Stay Blessed people and continue to believe!
Well I can't stress enough that you SHOULD NOT be in a hurry to join SAG. Sure there are great benefits but unless you are equipped (meaning your resume is strong and solid) you are not going to be a fierce competitor amongst the other SAG actors therefore you could be doing yourself a disservice by joining before you have the experience to back you up!
I have met many casting directors in the past few months and they all have said do not join SAG until you are a "must join". Meaning until you HAVE TO JOIN!
There is a lot of non-sag projects out here for us to build our resume with and once you go SAG you can not work on NON-SAG projects anymore....and that sucks for you if you can't successfully give the other SAG actors a run for their money!
I hear right now that a lot of SAG Actors are going SAG Financial Core (FI-CORE/FPNM(Fee Paying Non Member)) meaning you are still paying your SAG dues (partial dues to the union I believe) but you don't get the benefits of being SAG HOWEVER you get the chance to work on both SAG and NON-SAG projects! The actors are doing this because they are having a hard time finding paying jobs for SAG Actors since there is so much non-union work out there. FI-CORE is just the gray area...I think its best to be either SAG or NON-SAG!
It's a personal choice, but for me...I'm saving SAG for when I know that I am ready to stomp with the big dogs and get these major blockbuster roles!
There's no need to be in a hurry to possibly put yourself out of work before you can even get started working consistently!
A friend just told me she met a guy who's a SAG Actor and he bartends and he's having a tough time finding work...look the industry is already very competitive and unpredictable....don't make things harder by trying to move too fast!
Just my 2 cents :-)
I will be working on set of the movie Untitled Nancy Meyers Project starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin(my mom loves Alec Baldwin). I think we will be portraying upscale restaurant patrons so we have to look New York Chic and well put together...that's what the lady told me.
I really don't know what New York Chic looks like, I just know what my style looks like...ha! But she referenced J Crew and Banana Republic so I just took a look at their websites and noticed that even though I do not shop at those stores I actually have some similar pieces already in my wardrobe. So I will just piece an outfit together and call it New York Chic! :-D
I have to take two outfits...I'm wearing some cute flats to the set and take my heels just in case they want me to put heels on...I have to call in tonight after 10pm to see what my call time is and where we are going to be....I hope in Manhattan....and I hope not too early in the morning.
The earliest call time I have had was 730am for a shoot in Harlem so I had to get up at 5:15-5:30am. Struggle!! ha!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
So for a while now I've been wanting to take advantage of YouTube so I decided to send out a message to my fellow creative people in my meetup groups to see who would be interested in collaborating on some projects that we can post on YouTube! **My YouTube page www.youtube.com/actressyolanda**
The projects would be a way for us to get exposure, have fun, practice scene work, and have something to show people if they ask to see us in ACTION! We would get together and recreate scenes that are about 10 mins long...that way you can see a full scene in one clip. The scenes would be from movies, plays, TV shows, or original work that we come up with (I have a writer on board too, yay!). The original scenes will consist of real life situations so a mixture of comedy and drama. I figured this would be a great way for us to stay active and to keep working when we're not working! And I'm sure we can all learn from each other and build a great support system.
So far I have gotten 10 people that are interested so now we just have to find the free time to meet, brainstorm, iron out the details of how we are going to do this, and how everyone can get the maximum exposure to showcase their talent and skills.
I'm really looking forward to it and I'm really glad that so many people are interested in my idea!
Now that I have the pieces it's time to start putting the puzzle together!
I'm still excited and just hope that I do very welll...it is my first film role...I'm playing a single mom trying to take care of her son in these hard times with this recession and just weighing her options.
I've gone on auditions for films and for featured extra work...my last audition was Saturday....it was for a film, the role was for a feisty, strong willed personality...I gave it my best...you never know what the casting people are looking for so all you can do is give it your best and not hold on to the outcome!
I was talking to a girl yesterday that was auditioning for the same role and she was saying that she was really nervous....honestly I don't get nervous anymore. My very first audition I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect but now....I just look at them like job interviews.
I'm never nervous to go on job interviews anymore.....in 2007 and 2008 I went on SOOO MANY job interviews whether it was with employment agencies or actual companies....I got to the point where I just let go of the outcome....I gave a great performance when I was in there...and hoped for the best. If they called, great...if they didn't...it's still great....leaves the door open for a better opportunity!
Speaking of jobs, I am hoping to find something part time...for the rest of the summer....perferrably something at night, cash paying, so I can make more money in less hours...2-3 nights a week...so I'm still looking out for that opportunity while submitting to castings everyday.
I have an audition Friday for a Christian Play so far it's my only one for the week hope to get more...or get some background work
I started shooting my first film role end of June! :-D
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Who's Who In Show Business by Showbiz Weekly comes out monthly
available online at http://www.showbusinessweekly.com/whoiswho.shtml
or at Drama Book Shop 250 W. 40th St. New York, NY 10018
Ross Reports TV/Film Magazine comes out every two months also available at Drama Book Shop