"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
After describing the purpose of my blog to my non-industry friends time and time again I’ve decided to change its name to Adventures of An Actress to make it self-explanatory. Plus it has a fun ring to it don't you think? With the new name comes a new background design that I LOVE- {those of you who get this in your email or Google Reader, head on over to www.adventuresofanactress.blogspot.com to check it out} as well as a new clip for me to say hello to my new readers out there. So take a moment to look around at my new digs and let me know what you think…

Although I was late to my interview {madness at home since my granny had to go to the hospital due to food poisoning RIGHT as I was about to leave} it went very, very well once I actually got there. The owners are very laid-back and just want someone who they don't have to look over everyday- sounds right up my alley. I left wanting this job even more so now we wait...

Oh and my granny is fine now in case you were wondering.

*Cue the Rick Ross Remix while you read this post*

Slowly but surely things are beginning to line up for me...

On the home front...
I found a place I absolutely LOVE in Burbank and wouldn't you know it's the same place we were planning on moving to when we first came out here? Though it wasn't advertised online, I called the management company to inquire about one of their other properties and found out that they have one unit available in the place we originally wanted. Since we won't be able to pay the deposit until next weekend I'm praying no one else will snag it before then because I really do love it.

Agents & Auditions...
I'm still putting auditions on hold right now but I did meet with Venture IAB for commercial representation. They saw my profile on LA Casting and had me read some copy for a Jell-O commercial. It started off well enough but for some reason I got nervous halfway through and it showed. I don't know why I let my nerves get the best of me, since the two guys I read for seemed nice enough, but for whatever reason I did. I think it's probably due to the fact that this is the longest stretch of time I've had to go without auditioning at all, and I'm not used to that. Auditioning is like working out, when you haven't done it in awhile your body can tell! So I'm not expecting a call from them...but it sure would be nice to get one. :-)

Casting Director Workshops...
I've gone to 2 workshops so far. The first one was at Actors Collective where I read for Andy Henry. Although this one went really well I really didn't care for the format that this company provides. Everyone reads in front of everyone else which doesn't duplicate the setting of an audition- at least not any of the ones that I've been to. On the other hand, my 2nd workshop was at Actor's Key and I definitely prefer their one-on-one format much better. Here I read for Dan Shaner and it was a mess. I was unprepared {sides were memorized but I didn't do much with the character}, a bit intimidated {Shaner is definitely not a bullshi**er} and overall just felt like I made a premature move reading for him. As a result I've since decided to only meet with Casting Associates & Assistants and not the actual Casting Directors until I've got some more training under my belt. The nice thing, though, is that with this company you get written feedback from the CD when you're done. From this feedback I learned that Dan liked my headshot- hey I'll take it.

Reel Deal...
Since I've only done one short film thus far {for which I am still awaiting copy} I've decided to go another route with getting material for my reel. Instead of waiting to get booked on another short or student film and then hoping that I'll get a copy that I can use months down the line, I'm going to use the services of a company that shoots your scenes for you for the sole purpose of starting or adding to your reel. There are multiple companies that offer this service- including Create Your Reel and Best Shot Reels but I decided to go with Relentless Filmworks. After looking at all three sites I felt that their work really spoke to me the most so I had a consult with them yesterday and I'm really excited about the concepts we've come up with and can't wait to read the scenes they create!

Dream Day Job...
I've made it to the final interview round for a part-time job as a Marketing & Special Events Coordinator for a restaurant in Hollywood. I would really REALLY love to get hired here for a variety of reasons-
  1. Funds. Living in Burbank won't be cheap and neither will all of the acting classes that I'd like to take- like NOW. Did I mention I have a paypal you can donate to?
  2. Fun. This place is super casual. I won't have to wear business attire- not even business casual and the overall vibe just seems like a laidback, fun place to work.
  3. Flexibility. I told the truth: I'm an actor looking for a day job that I will enjoy and be successful at. And you know what? They're cool with that. As long as I get the job done and produce the results that they're looking for they could care less if I step out to go on an audition. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? This reason alone makes me want to work here.
I've passed the initial phone interview and the first round of in-person interviews. The last step is for me to meet with the owners tomorrow and if they love me {and why wouldn't they} then they'll check my references and I'll finally have a part-time job! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high because I have no idea how many other candidates have made it to this point but it's hard when I know I'd be perfect for it. *Prayers, friends, prayers*.

Now that I think about it, I guess slowly but surely wasn't the right words to use. It's more like fast & furious around here and hey, that's what The Year of the Hustle is all about.

We're in the thick of apartment hunting, driving all around town looking at one building after another. It's crazy to me that I'll be paying more for rent than what all of my friends pay for their mortgages in Texas and I'll be lucky if it comes with a fridge! But what can I do? Gotta live where the auditions are. Speaking of which, I guess I will be closer to the studios after all because the apartments on the westside are much more expensive than what we've found in North Hollywood and Valley Village.

We've got 2 places in mind so far but I'm going to continue looking this week before we make a final decision. And I'll be glad once we do because I had to cancel the internet game show :-( and a slew of student film auditions since I don't have childcare. Yeah...gotta get my ducks in a row ASAP!!

Great News: Stephen got a new job- praise God!!!

This is a huge deal because it means we can move out of my grandmother's house {we were supposed to be here only 1 month and it's now approaching 7} in the next 6 weeks and into our own digs. He just started this week and will be working in Marina Del Rey so we're looking at the Culver City area. We've found a lot of places in our price range that seem very family-friendly and although I'll have to take the horrible 405 to get to the valley, it's the best option that makes the most sense for us. So Yay Stephen!! I'm so proud of you! :-)

As far as auditions go, since he's gone all day I now have to find childcare immediately if I want to attend any audition that's held before 7pm- which 98% of them are! And until I do, I have to pick my submissions very very wisely. Sure my granny can watch the baby if I have to go to something very important {i.e. that pays}, but he's such a fireball of energy that he really needs to be with other kids. And since I just found out that I booked the internet game show that I auditioned for a few weeks ago {A laptop & a 5 day trip for 2 to the Caribbean is up for grabs- woo-hoo!}, I've gotta get things rolling immediately.

One final good news tidbit- I was interviewed by NY actress Brittany Pooler for her blog's Spotlight feature- take a look here.

Logging off now to schedule some appointments with centers & home daycares that accept drop-ins. And if any of you can recommend someone in Central LA or on the westside please email me asap- brandi@brandiford.com. Thanx!

I read this BRILLIANT article last night that tells the plight of the actor during pilot season in such a fantastic, funny, honest way that I had to share:

Here's an excerpt-
Your agent submits your name. The casting director may not think you’re right or not be a fan and you’re dead. Assuming you’re over that hurdle you’re invited in to read. There usually are a hundred or more actors reading for every role. Great odds, huh? In these initial sessions you’re usually reading for a committee – the writer/producers, the pod producers, a couple of studio representatives. All you need is one of them to not like you and you’re toast. And by “not like” that could mean “too tall”, “good but we’ve seen him in things”, “he was my waiter last week at the Daily Grill and was terrible”, and “guys are not going to want to fuck her”.

I'm not quite at the level of being submitted during pilot season yet, but when I get there I will appreciate this article even more.

Great news though- I got my second SAG voucher on Monday. Woo-hoo!!!

Got my retouched headshots last night. Very excited to see how well these do for me in terms of getting more auditions. What do you think?

Thanks to Adam Parth of Silver Gecko Photography for shooting these for free. Sometimes craigslist can hook you up! By the way, if you're in need of new headshots and are short on cash contact Adam asap. He's still shooting freebies for a limited time to build his portfolio {let him know you were referred by me} so get in where you fit in while you can.

Looking for another day job? Consider registering with the following agencies to do promo work. If you've never done it before it's pretty easy. The hardest part is standing on your feet for long periods of time but for $15 - $20 per hour I'd say it's worth it. The following info comes from the awesome newsletter Alex's Info:

PLACEMENT AGENCY’S - For those of you looking for TradeShow work, catering, bartender and more. Here are several, with more to come. I believe you will need to go into each of these agencies and register. Remember to be a pleasant squeaky wheel, follow-up in a professional manner and create a genuine connection with someone at the agency. Friends help friends. AttackMarketing.netBartenderWaiters.com, BeautifulBartenders.com, CreativeChannel.com, DevolutionSolutions.com, EncoreNationwide.com, GrandCentralMarketing.com, Productions-Plus.com (I was with them when I booked my XM Satelite Radio gig that I did for many years), OnTheRocksModels.com, NCIM.com

Also- The government is hiring for Census Takers so if you don't mind going door to door to take surveys {there are many different neighborhoods to choose from} this one's for you- http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/.

Would love to take advantage of this deal but Hollywood is not ideal for families. So those of you living in LA who are childless and looking for a sweet deal, here it is:

LOW INCOME HOUSING FOR HIGH END APARTMENT - In Hollywood, a limited number of apartments have been set aside at 1600 Vine St. Apartments (corner of Vine St. and Hollywood Blvd.) for low-income households. Thru February 4th (or until all applications have been distributed), a total of 500 housing applications will be distributed at the following three community centers: Hollywood Worksource Center (1680 Vine St. Suite 206) , Frances Howard Goldwyn Los Angeles Public Library (1623 Ivar Ave.), Hollywood Community Studio (6671 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1517). A housing lottery will take place after the application period closes.