"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
Day 28: Interviewed for a part-time actor-friendly job that will bring in some extra cash without requiring a huge time commitment.

Day 29: Checked out an apartment that a friend of mine has graciously offered to let me use for Diary of a Wedding Planner. Took lots of pictures to send to the director & DP and felt a huge sense of relief that her place will work for what we're trying to do.

Day 30: Enjoyed watching the SAG Awards while dreaming of the day I will be attending myself.
Day 27: Signed up for a free email subscription to Cynopsis to stay up to date on pilot season and scheduled an interview for next week with a talent agency for a pilot season internship.

*By the way, I'm good to go with the casting director internship! It's only once a week for a few hours and I start on Tuesday. Yay!
Day 26: Narrowed down 20 commercial agencies to target over the next month. Came up with this list from a number of things including discussions we've had in Class Rules, experiences of friends & colleagues who like the agency they're with and my own personal imdbpro research when I see the same faces over and over again in different commercials currently running. Did you know you can make $20,000 or more if you book a SAG national network commercial that runs for a long time? Yeeeeaaaahhhhh, not chump change by any means so I gots to get me some rep!
Day 25: Held a casting session for 2 roles for Diary of a Wedding Planner. Most of the actors were very prepared and made us laugh which is always good. I already know who I want to hire but I need to see how they look on tape and I have to make sure my director, Allison Vanore, is on the same page. We both liked the same people while in the room so hopefully we'll agree once we see the playback otherwise we'll have to compromise. Good thing is, there were 2-3 people we liked for each role so we have some great options.
Day 24: Interviewed with a Casting Director's Assistant regarding an internship. The interview went really well and they're looking for someone to work one day a week until mid-March, so definitely doable. If selected I will help out their office by copying sides, answering phones, checking in actors who are coming in to audition and possibly serving as a reader from time to time.
Here's the scene that Tara and I shot on Saturday. Kevin Herrera did a great job shooting & editing it and with a very fast turnaround! And just in case I get asked let me answer the question now... no I didn't shoot with the curly 'fro because it was a bad BAAAD hair day and I just couldn't do it. Next scene though, I will rock the fro!
Anyhow, here it is...


Email subscribers can view it here.
Day 23: Had too much fun at a dance studio open house today! My favorite class was Burlesque but I also had fun in the Broadway class too. I wanted to try out Booiaka & Urban Hip-Hop but they were super packed. Now that I've had a chance to sample the classes for free I have a much better idea of which ones I want to pay for.
Day 22: Shot a scene today with fellow Class Ruleser Tara Tomicevic on the beautiful campus of UCLA. Tara wanted something she could use to enhance her reel and as ya'll know I still don't have one at all so I wanted something different from DWP {since that's where most of my footage is coming from at this point}. So I wrote a quick 1.5 page scene that fit both of us. She plays a distressed college student and I play a grad student who is also her mentor. Afterwards we treated ourselves to Diddy Riese Cookies for a job well done.
Day 21: Submitted Diary of a Wedding Planner to an online film festival called Your Indie Film.
Day 20: Contacted the casting office of a popular primetime show to request an internship after being referred by a friend who interned there previously. The assistant to that casting director responded back within the hour and we've scheduled a meeting for Monday. Yay!
Day 19: Had my first audition of the year and nailed it! I was prepared, made choices and when I got in the room I had fun. I know this doesn't necessarily mean I'll book it because there are so many variables that are out of my control but I did everything I could to give myself the best shot. This audition was for the lead role in an independent pilot - meaning a studio is not financing it. It's a paid job and the script was actually really funny and well-written. Hopefully this will set a precedent for more paid opportunities to come my way. :-)
Day 18: Very productive day!

*Had a coffee date with an actress/writer who is very like-minded and about her business. Met her on Twitter pretty recently so this was our first time meeting in real life. Always nice to meet new people who get it!

*Submitted to quite a few projects today including a new Tupac Shakur film being directed by Antoine Fuqua.

*Worked on sides for an audition tomorrow- my first of the year!

*Scheduled a casting session for DWP next week at Cazt.
Got my headshots back today from Alex with Pixelator Photography and I've narrowed them down to 8 that I like. Would love for you guys to help me choose the best 2 or 3 from this bunch! Normally an actor asks their representation which one they feel they can market best but since I don't have any rep yet, I'm asking ya'll. Keep in mind these are unedited unretouched RAW photos but the two or three I select will get retouched. By the way, I just realized that the commercial shots I took last year also had me in yellow. Guess I really love how that color makes me feel! Anyhow, each of the photos have a number right below it so please list your choices in the comments section or email me with the ones you like. Thanks friends!

1- Who Me?

4- Spunky Brewster

6- Can't we all just get along?

7- Holding it in

8- Letting it out!

9- Carefree
 
37- You really wanna go there?
38- I see right through you
40- Not gonna stoop to your level
41- So disappointed in you
Soooooo... what do you think?
Day 17: Started class at the Dustin Felder Acting Studio. It's a pretty small class of about 10 of us. For our introductions we had to sing or rap a few bars in order to loosen us up... yeeeeaaaahhhh if it's not at a karaoke bar after 2 cocktails I get very nervous when I sing so that was definitely an ice breaker. Really like the vibe of the class though. Very positive. Very uplifting. Very much filled with other believers which is a rare treat.
Day 16: Had a production meeting for Diary of A Wedding Planner. Aiming to shoot episodes 3-5 mid-February. We lost our main location so location scouting is the highest item on our priority list right now.

Also watched the Golden Globes tonight. Awards shows are always fun! Dreaming of the day I'll get to go...
Day 15: Got a response from one of the Model Mayhem photographers and took a few headshots today. Yay! It was super quick so I hope they come out nice. Actually all I really need is one good commercial shot for now. Didn't get to shoot the scene for my reel today though since our cameraman booked a job, yay for him, boo for us. Hopefully we can knock that out sometime this week.
Day 14: Emailed a handful of photographers to inquire about doing a headshot shoot on a TFP basis. TFP stands for Time For Prints, meaning I pay them with my TIME and they'll pay me with the PRINTS. Nowadays though it's really TFCD {Time For CD} since they'll be giving me a cd of all the shots. Hope to hear back from someone in the next few days so we can go ahead and shoot this next week. I also got notifications for a Hydroxycut audition next week and an audition for a theatre company on the 25th. Yay!
Day 13: Went to Class Rules, my weekly self-management for actors gathering.
Day 12: Worked on the "Fix It" scene I wrote for myself and a friend that we're shooting on Saturday.
About a month ago I got an email from a reader named Shelby who used the contact form on my website to reach me but didn't leave her information so I had no way to respond. Shelby, thanks for writing!! Don't know if you actively read this blog but if you do, this post is for you...

First Name : Shelby
Comments : Hi, Brandi! I'm a newbie in an out-market (not LA) and just stumbled on your site. Congrats on all your accomplishments so far. Looking at your photos and web work - I must say, you are not taking advantage of the curly look. I know LA is lots of straight hair (or weave) - I have family there - but you look so cute and more natural with the curly looks. Ethnic hair is so much more popular these days. Of course, the LA market may be different but you really should consider that look. Course that is tempered with what you need to do - I'm just a newbie and not in that competitive LA market. Good luck - sistah to sistah!

Growing up I've had this on-going love affair with my hair. I've colored it {started at the age of 4 or 5 when I took my mother's hair dye off the counter, sat under the table so that the tablecloth could hide my sins as I literally poured the dye in the MIDDLE of my head!}, had an infamous jerri curl {though I was really young and cute so I wore the look well}, braided it, twisted it, cut it, wore drawstring ponytails {I still remember doing chaines across the floor in dance rehearsal and watching my ponytail fly off into a corner!}, pressed it and eventually developed a taste for that creamy crack that most black women love.

As I grew older I got really into weaves, first bonded ones {meaning they use hair glue to glue pieces to your scalp} and then sew-ins {self-explanatory}, until one day I got tired of always wearing fake hair and decided to start getting my own hair done. Well, that was back when I lived in Texas and could afford to go to the hair salon once a week for maintenance AND was still relying on using that creamy crack once every 6 weeks. But once we decided to leave the humidity of Houston, I knew I wanted to try and see if I could go natural. I kept seeing pictures of these beautiful black women with these gorgeous thick curls and I wanted that too! But going natural is no easy process. If you've seen Chris Rocks' Good Hair then you have an inkling of an idea of how hard it is to kick a habit you were raised to love and embrace. And trust me, it has been hard!

It's been 1 year and 8 months since I've been relaxer free and I'm finally confident enough to walk around with my own hair out without getting it straightened. It's actually been a little over a year since I've straightened my hair at all, mainly because I need to find a stylist who really knows how to care for natural hair before I let them put any heat on it. As you can see, I've been wearing my hair out for the last few days and I love it. It's comfortable. It's cute. It doesn't weigh me down. And honestly a part of me just feels free.

Don't get me wrong. I still love my wigs and weaves and will continue to wear them to auditions but now I'm planning on getting headshots with my hair like this really soon so that I can rock this look to some of my auditions as well. And who knows? Maybe this extra look will help me in my quest to get a commercial agent. We'll see.
OWN Custom Candy Bar by Hollywood Candy Girls 
I was recently given an opportunity to cover the TCA {Television Critics Association} Winter Press Tour held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena last week as a blogger for a website. This event is held twice a year and it's a chance for the television networks to introduce new shows to the press, who knew? I certainly didn't! Basically it's 10 days of one television panel after another. The network president kicks it off, you see a clip of the show, you're introduced to the cast and showrunners and then it's open for questions. Every one from People.com to the LA Times to any other outlet you can think of is there, asking questions and recording everything on their laptops to later turn into articles for their websites. My job was to tweet during some of these panels as well as take notes so that I could write an article covering one or two panels at the end of each day.
The One & Only Oprah Winfrey
The Good
Thankfully this is the longest category in this post. There's so much good for me to talk about. Where do I even begin?
Wearing a Burmese Python courtesy of National Geographic
One of the ridiculously awesome perks of TCA are the cool swag bags you get from each network and the cocktail parties that are thrown. The bonus this year was that Oprah was in the house since she recently launched OWN!
OWN Cocktail Party
Carson Kressley & Nancy O'Dell
Oprah being swarmed by critics as soon as she got inside
Inside the OWN tent
OWN Logo & Me!
Though I didn't get to speak to her it was quite an event to be in the same room with her and see the celebrity power she commands. Gotta say, I loved it! Though I'd never want to work for her, she is certainly an inspiration!

I did get to speak with some other people however.
Cast & Producers of The Game
Cast & Producer of Love That Girl!
I had the opportunity to interview some of the cast from The Game as well as cast and producers of Love That Girl!, both shows I hope to be on one day soon! I also interviewed three independent filmmakers whose documentaries will be shown on PBS. As someone who wants to begin working on a documentary later this year {can't share these details yet} this was extremely educational!
Beautiful party at The Tournament House hosted by Hallmark Channel
I also got to meet some pretty interesting people who are entertainment journalists and was treated to a mini-concert by Harry Connick Jr. which was thoroughly enjoyable! All in all I'd say the good was really REALLY good!
Enjoying a yummy raspberry sorbet dessert

The Bad
Pasadena is far! Last week I logged almost 300 miles on my little trusty Neon and had to pay for child care from my unemployment check in order to even be able to attend. But for this opportunity? Well worth it!

The Ugly {UPDATED}
After long conversations with both my husband and someone who may turn into a mentor I've decided to keep the ugly part of this experience to myself. I never thought when I first started this blog that I'd ever take down anything I've written since my goal is to share all the ups and the downs of my journey. But I'm learning that some things are better left kept to yourself or shared with a spouse and close friends only, no matter how strongly you feel about it.
Day 11: Reached out to a TV producer on Facebook whom I met last week. This year I have to do better at following up with people!
UPDATE: I just realized yesterday was Monday and not Sunday...yeah I'm still catching up on my lack of sleep last week!

Day 10: Didn't do much yesterday besides a few submissions on LA Casting & Actors Access. Hopefully that's what every Sunday will look like- submissions & rest.
Day 9: Scheduled a shoot for this Saturday of a quick 2-person scene I wrote that I can use on my reel.
Day 8: Interviewed three independent filmmakers whose documentaries will be featured on PBS' Independent Lens series.
Jeff Malmberg of Marwencol
Lucy Walker of Waste Land
Tamra Davis of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

Will post some of their quotes on my Unscripted blog in a few days.
Day 7: Chatted it up with a really sweet sports & entertainment journalist who was fascinated by my love of weddings and special events. Started off discussing the table linens and centerpieces at the cocktail party we were attending and eventually talked about my dreams and what I was doing to attain them. We talked about hers too and she's already living her dream! Case in point, next she'll be covering the freakin Golden Globes!
Day 6: Exchanged contact info with a producer while we enjoyed ourselves at a cocktail party hosted by Oprah Winfrey. {No I didn't get to talk to Lady O. Yes I did get to hear her speak and take some quick pics on my phone which I'm saving for a later post with all the details.}
Day 5: Mailed a thank you card to Mark Measures of Abrams Artist Agency for starting the #ConnectionExperiment on Twitter. More about this in a later post but for now just know that it's one big a$$ industry barter system that I'm very glad I've participated in.
Day 4: Downloaded sides to put myself on tape for an industrial {videos that corporations make to show their employees} audition I won't be able to attend. Decided to download a handful of sides from Grey's Anatomy & the upcoming film The Deal to work on. Note: These extra sides are just for practice as the roles as have already been cast.
Day 3: Submitted to 3 projects on Actors Access and 8 projects on LA Casting.
Day 2: Trimmed the DWP budget of episodes 3-5 to the lowest it can possibly go in order to make a January shoot date possible.