"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin

Well guys, here we are on the last day of 2008 and if you're like me you can't believe how quickly this day has come. 2008 was a year of major change for me:
  • I planned my last wedding at the Chateau Polonez in early March

  • Left Houston (my second home) and moved back to Las Vegas

  • Had my second child (another beautiful boy) in June
  • Got hired as a Catering Sales Manager at Aliante Station (my first casino gig) in September
  • Created my acting blog in November
  • Joined twitter {www.twitter.com/brandiford}~such an interesting phenomenon
  • Started blogging about my second love~ event planning, in December {www.glitzandglamourevents.blogspot.com}

Looking back on 2008 I'm thankful for the friends I've made, the opportunities I've been given, the challenges I've overcome and most importantly, the lessons I've learned. While it's been a great year, I am eagerly anticipating the fabulous (and unexpected) things to come in 2009. And of course I'll be sure to post all about it!

So whether you plan to party in a VIP booth, give praise in your church, or stay at home with your family & friends, tonight as you ring in the new year take a moment to reflect on the great things that 2008 brought you and ponder the even greater things that 2009 will surely bring.

Hope you take time today to enjoy the "presents" of your family, friends and loved ones. And after you've eaten your 2nd or (like me) your 3rd helping of Christmas Dinner, take a moment to enjoy one of these classic Christmas movies...

Don't forget to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas~ "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas!

"Academy Award nominee Will Smith reunites with the directors and producers of The Pursuit of Happyness for the emotional drama Seven Pounds. In the film, Smith plays Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret who embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers."- This is the synopsis of the compelling movie Seven Pounds which was captivating from beginning to end. While I can't go into detail about the plot since I don't want to risk giving anything away (I hate when people do that to me) I will say that I was impressed with the entire ensemble. Will Smith gave an excellent performance of a man so consumed with his mistakes that it affects every decision he makes. Kudos to Rosario Dawson as well, who plays a young woman suffering from congenital heart failure yet still manages to remain spunky instead of becoming a victim. In my opinion this is Rosario's most memorable performance to date.

Overbrook Productions have once again released another hit and whether or not the box office sales shoot to blockbuster status, both the storyline and the acting are definitely worth taking a trip to your local theatre.
While checking my email today I stumbled across an advertisement from one of my favorite photographers- Bradford Rogne. He's offering gift certificates for the holiday season and I'm sure there are more than a few starving artists out there who could use them-

"If you've ever wondered what gift to give your favorite actor, think Headshots! Gift Certificates are available in any denomination, or purchase an entire session package! Gift certificates never expire. Full Session Value certificates guarantee session fee for one full year after purchase. Inquire for details. Email me to purchase, or with your questions to info@photosla.com.
And, one more thing... *Get 20% Off with Argentum Photo Lab*Use Discount Code: BROGN20"

Has Bradford shot me? Not yet but you best believe he will be the first one to shoot my headshots once I'm out there. The best part about working with him is that you'll be getting a photographer & make up artist rolled into one. And he has experience with many different skin hues which is evident in his portfolio.

Check out his work at www.photosla.com and if you book a session with him send me a quick email so that I can see the results.

Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant (L) and SAG President Alan Rosenberg unveil a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles on October 25, 2007. SAG became the first labor union ever to receive an Award of Excellence Star.

Unfortunately negotiations have failed and SAG is seeking approval from it's members to strike. While I understand their logic, I remember the many people who were out of work due to the writer's strike, not to mention multiple tv shows who's ratings dropped once they returned to the air. More info is given in the article below...

November 23, 2008

LOS ANGELES---- The Screen Actors Guild said Saturday it will ask its members to authorize a strike after its first contract talks in four months with Hollywood studios failed despite the help of a federal mediator.

Federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez adjourned the talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers shortly before 1 a.m. after two marathon sessions failed to produce an agreement. No new talks are scheduled.

The SAG, representing more than 120,000 actors in movies, television and other media, said in a statement that it will launch a ''full-scale education campaign in support of a strike authorization.''

Talks broke down after the studios sought the right to create productions for new media, such as the Internet, using nonunion actors and without paying residuals, said Doug Allen, SAG national executive director and chief negotiator.

Residuals are payments to actors that are made every time a production airs, such as TV reruns. Many SAG members rely on residuals for more than half of their income, Allen said.

''They're asking us to bless a system we believe would be the beginning of the end of residuals, and that's a very scary thought for working actors,'' he said.

The producers' alliance condemned the SAG decision and said it remains the only major Hollywood guild without a labor deal this year.

''Now, SAG is bizarrely asking its members to bail out the failed negotiating strategy with a strike vote -- at a time of historic economic crisis,'' a producers' statement said. ''The tone-deafness of SAG is stunning.''

SAG's national board has already authorized its negotiating committee to call for a strike authorization vote if mediation failed. The vote would take more than a month and require more than 75 percent approval to pass.

SAG wants union coverage for all Internet-only productions regardless of budget and residual payments for Internet productions replayed online, as well as continued actor protections during work stoppages.

But the AMPTP said it was untenable for SAG to demand a better deal than what writers, directors and another actors union accepted earlier in the year, especially now that the economy has worsened.

The producers' group this week said it had reached its sixth labor deal this year, a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the local branches of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, accounting for 35,000 workers.

The stagehands alliance accepted Internet provisions that were modeled on agreements with other unions, the producers group said.

Actors in prime-time television shows and movies have been working under the terms of a contract that expired June 30, with the hope of avoiding a repeat of the 100-day writers strike which shut down production of dozens of TV shows and cost the Los Angeles area economy an estimated $2.5 billion.
For those of you who watch prime-time tv, last night's episode of Dirty Sexy Money was deliciously juicy! It seems that each episode has one more twist than the last and just when you think that one character is inherently good/evil, they do something to surprise you. While it's definitely more of a soap than it's other prime-time counterparts, the storylines are intriguing, the writing is witty and the actors are hot!!! Have you seen Blair Underwood in this show?!? The bottom line is, this is one dramedy (drama-comedy) you should be tuning into.

This website gives a lot of useful information to help out actors during tax time. They even have a sample deduction list so that you can have an idea of some of the things that you can write off as an actor.

Take a look:
As an actor/actress (or any kind of artist) you have to have some set of morals & ethics to help you define the type of roles you pursue or pass up as well as the overall direction of your career. Every individual has their own unique set as what's important to me may not be important to you and vice-versa. Well, I've recently read "An Actor's Code of Ethics" which is a chapter of the highly recommended book "The Business of Acting." While I didn't include everything that was listed in the book, I did select the ones that apply to me.

So without further ado, here is my personal credo of 10 proclamations that I hope will help my focus, my drive and my attitude along the path of my career :

*I will begin my journey with energy, enthusiasm and healthy motivation and will temper my journey with patience, fortitude and self-reliance.

*I will follow my heart, follow my business plan and learn something new about myself and this business every step of the way.

*I recognize that no fellow actor has the ability to take away from me any opportunity that is meant to be mine. We will each get what is ours to get.

*I will not doubt my ability, but I also recognize that my ability, like my potential, will grow only if I nurture it in a healthy environment.

*I will not sell out.

*I will not lose my true sense of self in the perception that others may have of me.

*I will value my family and real friends more than any professional opportunity, for I can be driven and motivated without becoming distant and removed from those I care most about.

*I recognize that there is a difference between what I am given and what I earn.

*I will give back to my community, my family and my friends in ways that say that I value what I have gotten from them.

*If any day on my journey ever seems to be too great a struggle or delivers too great an accolade, I will remember, simply, that tomorrow is another day.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. I'll be updating this page pretty frequently with career updates, acting/entertainment resources, personal happenings, and sometimes random tidbits of info that I just want to share. Although this is primarily a place for me to talk about the obstacles and rewards of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, we'll also touch on global headlines, the economy, God, relationships, fashion and for my fellow actors/artists out there- our day jobs!

If you like/dislike what I have to say, that's what feedback is for! If I post something that touches you, outrages you, inspires you to take action, or even makes you think I've gone off the deep end, please let me know.

I thank each of you for your support in advance and with that said...The Ambitious Adventures of an Up and Coming Actress have officially begun!