Sunday, December 31, 2017

Highs and Lows of 2017

Highs (Listed in No Particular Order)

1. Winning Tickets to the Joanne World Tour
I have always loved Lady Gaga's music, I really wanted to see her in person. After the Super Bowl every radio station was talking about her and how she was going to go on tour. I love participating in radio contests and have won tickets to shows in the past, so I decided that I was going to try to win tickets to her show. Low and behold, I was caller 25 on Power 96.1 Atlanta. I won the tickets at the end of February and I was told that I would be called to pick up the tickets in October. Well, October passed and I had not received a call, so I called the radio station and they told me to come in and get my tickets. I won two tickets and I had the choice between sitting in upper level seats or standing in General Admission by the stage. I chose the upper level seats. JUST KIDDING. My best friend and I had the most amazing time time!! The show was supposed to start at 7:30 but she didn't actually go on stage until 8:42 P.M. We had no complaints, we never imagined we would be as close to the stage as we were. Lady Gaga blew me away. I was a fan of her before, but now I am OBSESSED. She put on one hell of a show. I am now saving up to go to Vegas to see her at her newest residency show that will begin in December of 2018.

2. Various Vacations
I was blessed to be invited to two of my friends' vacation homes, I accompanied my mom on a business trip, and we were gifted with an all-expenses-paid trip to Florida by my sister who won the trip off the radio.  I am grateful to have gotten the chance to spend time with my loved ones in beautiful places. These are memories that I will never forget.  Thank you to Julia and Jenny for inviting me to your beautiful homes, thank you Mom for letting me tag along on your business trip, and thank you to my sister, Marianna, for giving me and mom the trip that you won off the radio.

Jenny and I in Seaside, Florida
Matthew, Jenny and I at the beach!
Family and friends in Highlands, North Carolina

Beach in Florida
 Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I may or may not have cried when I went into Hogwarts. Harry Potter was one of my favorites as a child and it was so special to me to go there.


3) Spending Time With Family 
My family comes first no matter what and I consider some of my friends to be my family. I was blessed to make lots of memories with them this year and to have lots of quality time with them.

One of my Bestie's Wedding!!


  My Grandfather Being Diagnosed with Cancer and then Dementia
     This is something I never thought would happen to my mom's side of the family. I lost my paternal grandparents to lung and colon cancer and I had high hopes that my maternal grandparents would continue to live healthy lives. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer in late spring or early summer. My mom flew to Mexico in August to go visit him, my grandma, and her siblings. Two weeks after my mom's arrival, my grandpa changed in many ways.  He stopped recognizing my mom and he was very confused about where he was, and he would start something but then he wouldn't finish it because he forgot what he was doing. He was extremely active for many years, he loved to go on walks, and he loved to read and now he can't really do those things anymore. His dementia diagnosis is something that has haunted me everyday these past four months. Not that cancer is less important, but his type of cancer is slow growing and not fatal. His dementia is hard for me to talk about. I don't want to accept that my favorite and only present grandfather that I have ever had doesn't recognize his own daughter anymore. After my mom left, he talked about her as a visitor and said, "I really liked that young girl that came and stayed with us. She likes to eat a lot, but we should buy her a plane ticket to come back and see us." I want to go see him and I want to help my family, but this is something that is so hard for me to accept. I don't know what to do. I am still in denial about it. I don't know if I will break down when I see him. I want to be there for my family and I hope I can go visit them soon.

     To say that this year was bittersweet is an understatement. I am grateful for the time I have gotten to spend with family, the vacations and the blessings but I am heartbroken at the same time that my grandpa was robbed of his good health. I also experienced and witnessed other good things and bad things this year, but these are things that I feel like sharing with you all. I would like to say thank you to Kimberly, my best friend, for being my rock this year. She is my hero. I can tell her anything. She is a true friend. Thank you all for reading. May 2018 be a year of good health, little stress, and success for you and for me. Best wishes to you all.

What Friendship Is and Isn't To Me

1) Friendship is being able to be yourself with someone.

2) Friendship is being there for your friends in times of need.

3) Friendship is checking in on your friends.

4) Friendship isn't about who buys you things.

5) Friendship isn't about who you see the most.

6) Friendship isn't about who you have known the longest.

7) Friendship is knowing when to talk and when to listen.

8) Friendship is about putting yourself in your friend's shoes.

9) Friendship isn't about comparing yourself to your friend.

10) Friendship is about respecting the title of being a friend.

11) Friendship isn't about guilt tripping someone into doing something.

12) Friendship is about being honest with your friend even though you might tell them something that they do not want to hear.

13) Friendship is about defending your friend when someone is talking smack about them.

14) Friendship is a mutual thing.

15) Friendship isn't about showing up or leaving when it is convenient for you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Chronic Complainers on Set

Chronic Complainers on Movie/Television Sets
     Complainers, we all know them, we have all been them, but some people always have something to complain about. You can't keep everyone happy. Here are some common complaints I hear about on a day-to-day basis.

- Complaining About Being Bored/ Not Being Used or Picked To Go On Set
     Just because you are booked, there is no guarantee that you will be used on set. You might sit in holding all day. If you are professional background actor, you should know that. You have nothing to complain about. If you have something better to do, why did you commit to being a background actor for the day? You are getting paid to sit and snack all day. Bring a book, start a conversation with someone, learn how to entertain yourself and stop being so high maintenance.

- Complaints About Not Being Served Breakfast or Not Liking What Is Served for Breakfast
     Breakfast is a courtesy, not a guarantee. Eat beforehand or pack something to bring. Also, I hate hearing picky eaters complain that they don't like what is served for breakfast. This is not your mommy's kitchen, you are not a two-year old. Nobody HAS to give you breakfast. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit. 

-Complaints About It Being A Short or Long Day
     You will very rarely go into a show knowing how long of a workday you will have. You can take a guess or a PA might estimate, but really you will never know. When you commit to being a background actor, learn to be flexible. Don't make plans or be sure to have flexible plans because there is no guarantee that you will make it to those other commitments. If you commit to being a background actor for the day, you shouldn't have any other commitments. There is no leaving early or asking to leave early.

- Complaints About What Is Served At Crafty
     This one kind of goes along with the breakfast one. If you are provided snacks other than cheese puffs and water, I don't want to hear any complaining. Again, stop being so picky. Bring your own snacks. It is a known fact that most of the snacks provided are junk food. If you are on a diet or can't eat sweets, bring your own fruits and veggies.

- Complaints About The Weather
     There are somethings that you can do that can better your experience if you are filming outside in the heat or cold.  First of all, ask the casting company if the scenes are interior or exterior and look up the forecast for the anticipated day. If it's going to be cold, bring layers, bring hand warmers, bring a blanket. Sometimes you have to film summer scenes during winter. If that's the case, have a jacket handy nearby for when they cut the scene. If it's going to be hot out, you can bring a portable fan, bring a cooling rag, bring a frozen bottle of water to hold in between scenes.  You might freeze or melt for a day, but remember that it is only one day and you committed to it. 

     By no means am I perfect, I complain here and there, but I know what I sign up for when I commit to being a background actor and I usually arrive prepared. I would also like to enforce that sometimes Extras Casting companies are unaware of certain issues, because nobody tells them. Sometimes you need to reach out to them so that they are aware of things that can be fixed. 

Here are some things you should complain about...

- Sexual Harassment/Assault on Set
     If anybody touches you or talks to you inappropriately please tell the nearest PA, AD and mention it to the Extras Casting Company.  A lot of people keep these incidents to themselves because they are afraid of being blacklisted for turning someone in, as someone who has worked in casting before, I will tell you that is not the case. Turning someone in can prevent it from happening to someone else.

- Safety 
     If you are asked to do anything that you know isn't safe, don't do it. They might hate you, but who gives a crap. Don't put your safety at risk.

- Getting Mistreated
     Sometimes crew members are just cranky and they let their frustration out on you, but there are times when lines are crossed. If anyone starts cursing you or insulting you, let someone know.

- Getting Breaks
    If you are on set for a long period of time and you need to use the restroom, let the production assistant or assistant directors know. Nobody expects you to not use the restroom, but at the same time know your limits and don't be drinking a gallon of water a day knowing that you will be needed on set .Also, if you are wearing high heels and have been standing for long periods of times, it's ok to sit down or ask to. Sometimes the crew is so caught up and their business that they forget or don't think about these kinds of things. It's not that they don't care, but sometimes you just need to ask or remind them.

-No snacks
As mentioned above, don't be picky about your snacks but let's say you've been there a few hours and there have been no snacks put out..  reach out to the extras casting company or PA and ask if snacks will be put out. Breakfast is not a guarantee but snacks usually are on well budgeted film and TV sets. Again pack your own snacks if you're not sure that there will be any and in case the movie or show won't provide any.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Resolutions for 2017

1. To read at least one book a month.

2. To practice on Duolingo for at least 150 days.

3.  To hike at least once a month.

4.  To remember many people by name.

5. To get 10,000 steps in every day for a month.

6. Take an acting class.

7. Go on a family vacation (with mom and sis), even if it's only for a weekend.

8.  To better my health.

9.  To drink three liters of water every day for a month.

10. To sing in a musical or in front of a crowd at open mic night.

11.  Meet new people.

12 . To take more chances.

13.  To Curse less

14. Spend less time on my personal social media pages. (Work requires me to use social media)

15. To do more to achieve my dream.