"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
Today I'm feeling really inspired after taking a seminar last night by Acting Coach Joe Palese of The Actor Space in Sherman Oaks. First of all, many thanks to The Casting Director {same company who provided my free headshots} for setting this class up complimentary. It was chock-full of incredibly useful information for the entire 2 hours and I found myself not wanting it to end. Most of the information was a refresher course for me from what I learned as a theatre major at my performing arts high school but it was great to reconnect with what I consider the foundation of acting, i.e. objective, beats, emotional recall, moment before, etc. Beyond that, what really struck a nerve with me was what he said about commitment. He asked us to raise our hands if we were currently studying {sad to say, in a room of 30 only about 5 raised their hands} and wanted to know why the rest of us weren't. My excuse, I mean answer, was that I'm still new to LA. Others were no time, no transportation and the most prevalent one was no money {classes run anywhere from $200 -$400 a month}. The following was his response:
  • Acting is like playing sports. If you were awesome years ago but haven't worked those muscles lately you won't be at the top of your game. And in this highly competitive city, you won't book. If you don't use it, you'll lose it.
  • If you're not willing to devote 30-40 hours to your craft {both the business side & actual rehearsal/performance} every week, then this is just a hobby and you're still an amateur.
  • And finally he gave a simple Walter Mathau quote: "Actors Act." Bottomline.
After that he had 2 of the students read a scene, gave them some great adjustments which they followed very well so that we could get a glimpse into how his classes are usually structured. And on a side note, let me just say how amazed I was when he told us that one of his students recently booked a series and is making- wait for it... $28,000 PER WEEK. {Wow!} I can't even begin to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop and am now looking forward to auditing his class next week.

Booked the Style Network's new untitled makeover show! Right now it's tentatively called "10 Things" because it's all about 10 things {physically, socially, fashion-wise, relationship-wise, personal weaknesses, etc.} that the show will improve by the end of the episode. I'm not sure which 10 they've chosen for me, but during the interview we talked about all sorts of things that I'd love to change if I had the money/time/resources etc. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE ME! I'm not really lacking in the self-esteem area and I let the casting director know that during the interview. But there are some things I'd love to either improve or flat out change if I could *for example, tatoo removal is a big possibility {and one that I'm REALLY hoping for} so that's what the show aims to do. We'll be shooting in mid-October for a week and it's paid as well! :-)

Going to bed early tonight because tomorrow I'll be volunteering at the 19th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards Festival. For those of you who are in the LA area, consider coming by tomorrow or Sunday for some great workshops and theatre performances. There will also be an Awards Ceremony on Monday evening if you want to get glammed up for a night of networking. You can get more information HERE.

Have a great weekend!

Yesterday I had the Trail To Nowhere audition. After getting a late start and then missing my exit {because I was going over my monologue so much that I wasn't paying attention} I ended up being an hour late! I didn't even know if they were gonna see me but when the casting assistant found out that I came from Long Beach she forgave my tardiness {their office is in Sherman Oaks}. While waiting for the director to come in she looked over my resume and noticed I came from Vegas. Turns out she lived there for 12 years and felt the same way that I did about it: Love it to party, HATE it to live! So from there we hit it off. Once the director came in he asked me a few questions about my monologue and let me have at it. Afterwards he asked me where I got the monologue from. I told the truth- it was an original. {I wrote it that afternoon after not being able to find something so last minute that I could connect to that would also fit the role in this film.} He laughed and said "That makes sense. You were so connected to it, it was almost like you were in a therapy session." HA! Isn't that one of the reasons why we do this? To be able to express some things we might otherwise hold inside? Anyhow, after the monologue he had me do some improv {always a bit scary at first} and that was it. They said they loved me so I hope that means I'll be getting a callback...

Today I went to the Young & Restless open call for ladies ages 18-35. I'm not usually into "cattle calls" because thousands of people sometimes show up & it ends up being a huge waste of time. But my Granny is a huge fan of the show so I went and it wasn't that bad after all. Some of the cast were on hand and were very nice to all of us and after about 2.5 hours of waiting in line I was interviewed by cast member Michael Muhney {who has BEAUTIFUL blue eyes by the way}. There wasn't any actual audition, they just asked everyone a few questions to get an idea of our personalities. I guess mine wasn't what they were looking for cause it's almost 10:30pm and I still ain't got a call. {BOO!}

After leaving CBS Studios I headed over to Raleigh Studios to audition for the game show Catch 21. It was basically a group of 7 of us playing the game with lots & lots of ENTHUSIASM! Coming from a family that LOVES to host game nights on a very consistent basis, this was a lotta fun for me. I won't know if I got picked for a few weeks but it was definitely a fun, lively afternoon. And with older family members who have played {and WON} on Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal and Family Feud twice {once in the 70's and once again a few years ago}, I think it's about time the younger generation in my family try to cash in on these game shows too! After all, I didn't see a dollar of any of those cash prizes they won...just sayin. :-)

The Dating Dilemma shoot went well! I met some cool people who I hope to work with again and overall just had a great time. More on that later...

For now, I just wanted to give ya'll the news that I booked the Body Gospel aka Sweating In the Spirit 2 project. {Yay!} I hadn't heard from the casting director in over a week {and I remember her telling me they'd make a decision in 48hrs} so I decided to follow up with her and wouldn't you know she completely forgot to tell me I was cast. She felt so bad that she overlooked notifying me, but I could care less, I was just excited to hear the news! This means that come mid-September this night owl will have to start falling asleep at a decent hour in order to make it to my 7am workout class in Redondo Beach 5 days a week. I'll be given a membership with Spectrum {they have multiple dance classes!!!} and am still waiting to find out which food program has been selected, but one thing's for sure: I ain't gotta pay to workout or to eat for the next 4 months! :-) I know this won't be a cakewalk but I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead.

In other news I had an audition with commercial agent Sylvia Ferguson of SFA Talent & Associates this past Sunday. She contacted me {and who knows how many others} via LA Casting's Talent Scout program. While I've never heard of her agency, I'm loving the goal she's displayed on her website which says "SFA 2009 Resolutiton is to Taft-Hartley 100 actors." Since I'd love to be one of those 100 actors I followed the instructions and prepared a 30 second commercial which I found while searching the sides on LA Casting. Since Sunday's are church days I barely made it in the nick of time before she cut off seeing anyone else {and felt bad for those who were turned away}. After waiting half an hour I did my thing and left. She said it was very good {and I felt good about it} but I was literally in front of her for only 2 minutes so we'll see if she calls me back in for an actual interview.

Tomorrow- audition for the indie film "Trail to Nowhere." Logging off to look for a dramatic monologue...

Last night's callback was a SUCCESS- I booked the part! I will be playing the role of Shay, a high school firecracker who doesn't trust boys in any way, shape or form. I'm not gonna name names but I think I have the perfect muse to draw inspiration from. :-)

"The Dating Dilemma" is a Christian film that explores dating with a purpose {that purpose being to find a spouse} and encourages teens/young adults to remain in platonic relationships until they're ready for marriage. We even received a form from the director saying this film is being made to glorify God so there is to be no alcohol, drugs or profanity on set. Suffice it to say, I'm sure I'll have a great time.

I'm sooooo excited as this will be my first film credit {yeah!} and will be submitted to film festivals upon completion. And for those of you asking about the pay {mainly speaking to my family here}, the rate is Copy, Credit, Meals. What that means is...

Copy: I'll get a copy of the finished product once it's been edited. And if it doesn't get completely edited for some reason then I'll get a copy of the footage of the scenes I'm in. I plan to have the producer sign this Copy Provided Agreement to make sure this happens as this is the main reason for doing non-paid gigs. I gotta get a copy in order to use it in my reel in order to get a good agent in order to get good auditions in order to get paid roles. Got it?

Credit: I'll get to add a film credit to my resume {my very first!} which will appear on IMDB. Again, this is another thing that will appeal to agents since my resume is full of nothing but theatre.

Meals: Also known as Craft Services, hopefully they'll have some healthy options there because I'm a sucker for sweets and I'm trying really hard to make better food choices. Not easy, let me tell ya!

We're shooting over the weekend in Orange County so we check into the hotel tomorrow which means I need to get off of here cause I got a script to study. {Woo-hoo!}

As a friend of mine just put it: "It has officially begun!"

...Not really, more like I'm on the internet. The 2009 Glambassadors are now featured on Glamour's Glam Alert website. I was one of 10 ladies chosen from LA and you can see my introductory video {which was really just a "Hello & this is why I think Glamour chose me" clip}. Funny thing is that for this to be sponsored by Glamour Magazine I look anything but glamorous in this clip. Oh well, with or without makeup I'd like to think my personality still S*P*A*R*K*L*E*S! :-)

It may not be TV but it still gave me a little thrill to see this on their site this morning...

Callback's tomorrow night. I was sent the whole script this time so I have an opportunity to fully prepare before I go back in. This time, however, I'll be reading for both female roles. And although "Becky" has the most screen time, now that I've read the script I actually see a lot more of myself in the character "Shay" so we'll see what happens.

*Booked the music video I auditioned for last week {YAY!!!} but decided to turn it down. Why you ask? Well pay was supposed to be $100 but once we were selected we all got an email saying they'll only be covering the cost of gas, i.e. $20. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind working for free as long as the rate clearly states: Copy, Credit, Meals beforehand. Afterall, that's how I'm planning on getting footage for my reel. But don't list an audition as a paid gig only to tell me {after you've wasted my time & yours} that it's non-paid. Seems shady to me!

*Interviewed with Casting Director Annette Capranica @ Launch DRTV for the next installment of the "Sweatin In the Spirit" dvd series. They're looking for Christians who want to lose 20 - 50lbs while working out 5-6 days a week to gospel music. If selected I'll get a free membership to Spectrum in Redondo Beach as well as free meals & snacks everyday for the next 4 months {would totally help me to lose the 20-30 lbs I put on last year!}

*Got the casting director's feedback from my "Teddy" audition:
"Brandi was so pleasant and professional. She listened and took the adjustment. The scene with the child's lullaby did not feel true. We would suggest that she take her time and feel comfortable using the space. "
... :-( can't say I'm surprised though as I did feel myself rushing a bit towards the end. And I already told ya'll I was uncomfortable trying to figure out whether or not I was being seen on-camera. So I guess this one's a no-go. {*BTW, from what I understand, it isn't the norm to get feedback after an audition but this is one of the benefits of auditioning at CAZT.} On to the next one!

*Had a Fan-freakin-Tastic audition yesterday for a Christian short entitled "The Dating Dilemma." I read for the role of Becky..."Becky is attractive, sweet and intelligent. She's also very self aware and mature for her age. Becky's extremely focused and knows exactly what she wants when it comes to a relationship. Unable to to be played or manipulated by any guy, she's conscious of all the games that men play and is not afraid to let them know that." Sides weren't available beforehand so as soon as I got there I took time to get comfortable with the character. This time once I hit my mark I didn't worry about the camera at all, just did my thing and it felt WONDERFUL. Now I just have to wait to get the call. I know I gave a great read {the CD & reader said so} but they could still go with someone else so we'll see.

On the day job front, I had an interview for an Event Coordinator position at a hip, little restaurant in Culver City. I met with the owner, General Manager & Assistant General Manager and it went well. I was told I was an "impressive person" and that they'd make their decision within the next 2 weeks. Seems like a lovely place to work, unfortunately it's a full-time position which isn't what I want. Full-time job = no time for auditions. But no job = no money for anything so I hope to hear back from one of the part-time gigs I've applied for soon otherwise I may have to go the full-time route for awhile to pay my bills!

Up next:
  • Interview tomorrow for a makeover show on Style Network {money + free clothes? I'm in!}
  • Audition Tuesday for a featured role in the student film Checkout.
Check back with you later.

Friends & Fam,

I've been a busy bee thus far and hopefully that won't change anytime soon.

With my new headshots, I went ahead and registered for LA Casting, Actors Access and Now Casting and have started the daily routine of self-submitting.

As a result I booked a music video shoot for the artists Shwayze which was a load of fun! The song will be featured in the upcoming film Sorority Row, so Rumor Willis & some of the other stars of the film were on set. It was extra work so it won't go on my resume but it was easy, quick cash and I got to meet some cool people with whom I hope to keep in touch.

One scene in particular involved a ton of flying feathers in this small section of the house shown above which was really fun at first...until we started swallowing them because there were soooo many everywhere. Add to that the fact that the next day my husband had to help pull lots of them out of my hair because they were stuck in my curls. All in all though, it was a cool shoot.

Today I had two auditions: One was short & sweet for a music video called "Back It Up & Bounce." Despite it's title, it was actually a pop song and we just had to dance & do a bit of improv to the music.

The other audition was for a lead role in a short film entitled "Teddy." If booked, I'll play a mother coping with the death of her little boy. As a mom to two boys myself that is my absolute worst nightmare but from a performance standpoint I'd definitely love the chance to play this role.

I went in somewhat nervous {because I haven't acted in YEARS and really didn't expect to start auditioning for anything so soon} but I'd read the sides beforehand so once the camera was rolling I warmed up after the first take. The problem is that I'm definitely NOT used to acting in front of a camera AT ALL so I had no concept of how I would look on tape once they replay it while making their decision. The great thing was that since the audition was held at CATZ Studio, the studio itself sends you the video of your session afterwards {for a small fee of course}. I went ahead & paid the ten bucks just to see what I looked like on film and it was just as I imagined- the emotion was there but the technique wasn't. It doesn't make me second guess myself, it just reinforces my need to start taking on-camera classes {among other things} asap. So with that said, I've begun to create a list of classes to audit in order to find the right one for me.

On the homefront... I had a great interview with a local wedding planner who's looking to hire a part-time assistant immediately. The hours will be flexible {perfect!} except on wedding days of course and the pay pretty reasonable. I'm supposed to interview with another planner and a restaurant/lounge looking for an Event Coordinator this week so I won't make any decisions until I've met with all of them {provided they all want to hire me}.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more...

This past Sunday my generous Aunt treated my grandma, my cousin and I to a Girls Night Out. We didn't get mani's & pedi's or massages, instead we did one of my absolute favorite things to do- we went to the theatre!

The Pasadena Playhouse is currently running the show "Crowns," a gospel musical about the crowns {read: beautiful hats} that adorn the heads of black women on Sunday mornings & special occasions.

As a COGIC Kid {Church of God In Christ for those who don't know} I grew up seeing these crowns on my grandmother, great-grandmother and multiple other women in the church time and time again. I always wondered why in the world these hats held so much importance that these women would fuss over them week after week and Crowns does a beautiful job answering that question.

While it started off slow, the engaging monologues and powerful vocals eventually draws you in. I could tell my grandmother enjoyed it the most but we were all entertained that night, which is exactly what theatre should do!