"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
I'm proud to say today we premiere the pilot episode of Millie's 101 Things! Created and starring high school classmate Desiree Abeyta, this is the first thing I've helped produce that I'm not actually in and I must say I want to do more! If you like romantic comedies or have ever been dumped unexpectedly and had to bounce back then this show is for you...



Happy birthday to Desiree! And congrats to the entire Millie Team!

Email subscribers can watch by going to Millie's 101 Things Pilot Episode.
Day 88: Hired Michael with Retouching For Less to give my headshots a custom setup that will show the versatility of my looks in one print. Since I don't know what type of response these photos will get I ordered the minimum of 25 prints of each one from The Actors Photo Lab. Certainly can't use them online but hopefully they will be well-received when I bring them into auditions and when I mail them to casting directors, managers and theatrical agents. 
 

Day 87: Wrote more pages of the short I'm working on. I'm 2/3 of the way done!

P.S.- No word yet from the Louisiana agency. I couldn't get a hold of them on Monday when I called so I'll probably check back in later in the week.
Day 86: Used IMDb Pro to research managers. When I saw the names of friends & colleagues who were repped by the managers on my list I then emailed them for their insight. Some gave glowing recommendations, others warned me to stay away and find someone better. In the end I now have a list of 36 managers who I am interested in learning more about.

8 of them are my top choices since they not only have a client list that seems to be working but they also have a production arm which is very important to me since I want to do more producing in the future.

13 of them don't produce but are still legit managers {at least on paper} with a working client list that isn't too large.

Finally 15 of them have a larger client list than I'd prefer or they already have 1 person who is my type but are still managers I've taken an interest in. These are the ones who I will simply keep an eye on to see how things change over time. Though I am making 1 exception and will be submitting to one person in this category based on both a CD and a colleague's recommendation of her work ethic, attitude and reputation.

Obviously I was looking at multiple manager & actor IMDb Pro profiles in order to research thoroughly and apparently that's monitored because I got this email a few hours later...


We've noticed that your IMDbPro.com account has recently been used to

retrieve a large number of pages from our site within a short period of
time, which is normally incompatible with the usage pattern of a single
person.



Usually this means that the account is being used for some kind of
automated data retrieval, which puts undue strain on our servers and is
prohibited by our subscriber agreement 
being used by more than one person simultaneously, which may indicate a
lost/stolen password.



Please remember that only you are entitled to access IMDbPro.com using
your password and IMDb ID and that you may not permit anyone else to
access IMDbPro.com using your password and IMDb ID.  Please be aware that
we limit automated requests to a maximum of one per minute.  Furthermore,
data gathered is limited to personal, non-commercial, use.  Should you
wish to license a segment of our database for commercial use, we can make
that available to you for a separate fee.



Regards,
The IMDb Pro Help Desk



Day 85: For awhile now I've been toying with the idea of making a documentary. Not because it seems like fun {it doesn't} or because it'll make me loads of money {it won't} but because there's a story about a young girl that I really want to share with others and that would be the best medium to do so.

This idea has been in my head for about 8 months now, since the moment I first heard about her story. I've shared it with very few people, one of whom is my friend DSLR Girl, who immediately agreed to work with me on it if I decide to move forward. Since I'm not done with DWP yet, it's been in the back of my mind, waiting patiently for me to bring it to the forefront. Well, thanks to the Hollywood Happy Hour newsletter I've learned that the Producers Guild of America (PGA) is currently accepting applications for their Diversity Workshop. This workshop is, according to their website, "designed to foster the creative development of diverse voices in Television Comedy, Drama, & Reality; Motion Pictures, Documentaries and Web series" and best of all it's FREE! {Yeah the F word is practically unheard of in this city!} After looking over their website and what this program has to offer I knew immediately that the project I want to submit in order to apply is my idea for this documentary. The only problem is that I'll need permission to make this film from her family since the young lady has passed away. So today I emailed her parents telling them my intentions and requesting to speak with them on the phone. I don't think it's ever taken me so long to construct one email but I wanted to make sure I was as respectful as I could possibly be. I hope they'll get back to me but I can understand if they don't so it feels like I'm in the middle of a coin toss right now. In the meantime I have to decide whether or not to write a 4-5 page treatment for this film as that's a requirement of the PGA application. On one hand I could be writing it for nothing if the parents say no. On the other hand, I could already have it ready to go by the time they say yes.

Can I make this film without their participation? Probably.
Do I plan to? Absolutely not.

The deadline to apply is April 4th so we'll see.
Day 84: Emailed 9 regional agents who are based in Louisiana, Austin and Houston for theatrical rep. I'm not sure how much work Texas is getting lately but I know that film production in Louisiana is booming and with HBO's Treme in their second season, they have television production as well.

Now I know emailing an agent on a Friday afternoon isn't typically a good idea {especially when they are 2-3 hours ahead of you} but despite this, I had the following email exchange with one of the Louisiana agents:

Agent: We will have an answer for you Monday. Are you able to come out for producer sessions as pre-reads are taped submissions for our Los Angeles talent?


Me: Yes m'am. I've put myself on tape before so I'm very comfortable with that and if it's a great project and the producers really want to see me in person I am definitely willing to fly out there. I know there's a lot of film and even some TV work in Louisiana so I'm willing to go where the work is. Thank you for considering me.


Agent: Sounds great. Mondays are hectic so please check back in.


We'll see what happens come Monday.

Day 83: Wrote the first 2 pages of my short film about natural hair and I'm liking how easily it's flowing already. If I keep it up I should be finished with it in about a week.
Day 82: Met with another agency for commercial representation. This was one of the agencies I emailed 2 weeks ago so there was no referral with this one. I met with both of the agents who run their adult commercial department and we hit it off! The male agent said I reminded him of a former client of his who books all the time who he wishes he still repped but she's still at the agency he used to work at, so that was a good sign. The female agent and I discovered we share a strong love of cupcakes after she asked me what I like to do when I go home to Vegas and I said it's a must that I visit my favorite cupcake shop Retro Bakery every time I go. {We seriously discussed cupcakes for 5 minutes after that. I felt a tad bit guilty afterwards as if talking about them obsessively brings along the calories that eating them does.}

Like the first agent I met with last week, they liked the fact that I took Killian's Commercial Workshop as they've had clients who've had success from it before and like the first agent they also want me to take an improv class at UCB or Groundlings because of the emphasis commercial casting directors place on it. They asked who else I was meeting with and I told them about the first agent who offered me rep {yep, I got an offer!} and that I was planning to make a decision by the end of the month so that I have time to really think about it. At the end of our conversation they said they liked me, they felt like they can use me both commercially & in print, they liked my headshot and they think I'll be great "in the room" with cd's so they offered me rep as well! YAAAAAAAAAY!! And before I walked out they said they were pleasantly surprised with the outcome since I wasn't a referral because they never know what they're gonna get when they meet actors who self-submit. Moral of the story: Sometimes emailing an agent works!
Day 81: Came up with an outline for a super short film about natural hair that I want to produce sometime in the next 3 months. Like DWP it will be cute and comedic but unlike DWP it'll be shot in only 2 simple locations with only 3 actors so the budget will be miniscule - yay for that alone! It'll be no longer than 10 minutes {if that} and though I may decide to enter it into festivals the main reason for writing it is just to put something out there that I hope other newly natural gals can relate to. I plan to start writing over the weekend.
Day 80: Took a trip to the post office to send out my headshots to 8 commercial agents. Would've been a lot easier to leave in my mailbox but my mailwoman isn't always reliable. Didn't want to take the chance that they'd still be sitting there on Wednesday. Had lunch with Rayshell at a sushi bar on the westside once the rain died down. We caught each other up on the projects we're working on as well as what's going on in our personal lives over yummy steamed shrimp dumplings. Afterwards, and what I'm very excited about is that I finished reading Bitch Is The New Black. I'm not gonna review the book since I'm not a critic but I will say that it was both hilarious and real and the chapters "Bridge to Nowhere" and "The New B Word" had me cosigning more than once. I know the author is just beginning to write the screenplay so it could be quite a while before it ever reaches the casting stage but I will definitely be keeping an eye on it. #OperationGetOnTheirRadar is in full effect.
Day 79: Assembled 8 commercial mailing packets= Stapled resumes to headshots. Added cover letters. Addressed each envelope. Added $1.05 in stamps to each one - yes those 10 cent, 5 cent and 1 cent stamps get used around here!



Aisha Tyler
Nia Long
Day 78: Described myself as a "hybrid" of two known actresses in a cover letter I wrote for my commercial agent mailings. Since I've never met any of these agents and know more about the overall agencies rather than the individual agents I'm submitting to, there wasn't much personalization I could do here. I did however, include where I've been studying and the fact that I was recently on avail for a commercial. I also included the following:
"I've been described as a young Aisha Tyler meets Nia Long with the sweetness of Valerie Bertinelli and am constantly called in for the Young Mom, Girl Next Door and Sassy Best Friend roles." 
Anika Noni Rose
Describing yourself as being similar to one celebrity meets another celebrity is called a hybrid and the above hybrid is the one I've received {from classmates & colleagues} the most. The thinking behind it is that I can fit in with the Ivy League crowd just as easily as with the homegirls from around the way. Which reminds me of when I was in high school and decided to have a house party for my birthday. I invited all my black friends who were in my step group {stepping as in Stomp the Yard type stepping for those who don't know} and my mostly white friends from my performing arts high school and the result was a segregated hilarious experiment gone wrong. Me and my black friends partied it up dancing in the garage (Ha! It was a hot mess but we had fun!) while my white friends and I drank soda in the living room and told jokes. There was no conflict or anything just a clear divide with me going back and forth between the two groups, which really makes me laugh when I look back on it. But I digress...
Audra McDonald

Other hybrids I've been given include Aisha Tyler meets Anika Noni Rose and Aisha Tyler meets Audra McDonald, either way Aisha Tyler has definitely been the common denominator. Hey, she's beautiful and funny, probably a lot funnier than me, so I'll take it! What do you think though? Anyone else I resemble either physically or essence-wise that would help producers/directors/cd's instantly know how to cast me?
Day 77: Submissions on Actors Access. Today was hectic so I forced myself to submit to a few things via my smartphone. I don't have the Actors Access app {too pricey in my opinion} and I don't really need it since the internet on my phone works just fine.
Day 76: *Sigh* I had such high hopes for today. After all, I had an audition for a really cute short film playing a girl next door role. Too bad after taking Stevie for a checkup and doing a little bit of car shopping I decided to take a quick catnap that turned into me sleeping right through my audition. I mean I completely missed it! Ugh. I rarely miss auditions, mainly because I'm pretty selective with what I submit on so if I get an audition I want to be there! And the premise of this film was so cute! But no, instead of grabbing some coffee or taking a nap afterwards I decided to lay my heavy head on my pillow and it was all over. Total flake factor. And the crazy thing is, since I set my alarm and hit the snooze button when I should have gotten up, I ended up dreaming that I was missing an audition for Grey's Anatomy. For some crazy reason in my dream Chandra Wilson who plays Bailey was the session runner and was telling me how they wanted to see me do the role. It was a quick two-line co-star and she gave me the sides and sent me on my way to look it over for a few minutes. Well instead of going back in the room I decided to chat it up with 2 other actresses who had already finished their audition and in the process I completely missed mine. Once I realized I blew an opportunity to meet Shonda Rhimes I was devastated but could only be mad at myself. And then... I woke up mad at myself in real life for still laying in my bed instead of being at CAZT where I was supposed to be.

On a positive note though, I did add my reel to IMDb and discovered my starmeter has dropped to a much lower number so yay for that! And as always, I submitted for a few roles on Actors Access so the day wasn't a total loss. Still though, gotta do better.

Day 75: Spoke with a local wedding planner who has agreed to help us produce a fundraising party for Diary of a Wedding Planner. Can't tell you much more than that just yet because we have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to make this happen but with her help it should be an awesome event!
Day 74: Met with Tiffany Black to discuss an exciting project she's developing in the New Media arena. We've been tweeting each other for over a year now so it's always nice to meet the real people behind the virtual personas when they line up. Thankfully I haven't met anyone who is one way online and another in person and hopefully I won't. Anyhow, we met at the ever popular Hollywood & Highland center and lo and behold Omarosa was on the scene. I don't know why but I still get very starstruck when I see famous, or in this case infamous people. I don't want to get an autograph or take pictures or anything but it always makes me pause. I guess I'm just not used to seeing them all the time just yet but one day when I get to be on set 5 or more days out of the week I will be!
And voila! Finally I can replace the words "Reel Coming Soon" on my website with this. As Lex, my lovely editor put it, say hello to "Girl Next Door"...


Yes I still need a reel showing my dramatic work but until I have that kind of footage I will be more than happy to show this to casting directors {and you all get a sneak peek into episode 3 of DWP}. Plus I just learned about Google Voice {thank you Ben Whitehair!} so now I don't feel nervous about putting my phone number out on the internet for anyone and everyone to see. 

And with that, Goal #2 can be crossed off my list!
"I'm so happy, I can dance!"- song from Yo Gabba Gabba
Forgive the poor lighting and focus on the cute clips instead!
All I see is Jayden when I look at this picture.

Funky Black Girl Hair is what my supervisor and friend Daryl calls it. He likes the new 'do and so do most of the people in my circle. However it's pretty funny to me how a lot of white people seem to love my hair but with black folks it's hit or miss and unfortunately many times it's a miss. I mean I've only been wearing my natural hair out for a minute and I've already had a handful of people try to talk me into wearing the wig or weave more often, mainly black men. Oh well, can't please everybody. I love it! And Stephen's happy that I'm happy so in the end that's what counts.
Day 73: Had a great meeting with a commercial agent. We discussed the state of SAG & AFTRA and the possibilities of a merger, how you can have the greatest acting coach ever but if they're unknown it won't matter since CD's want to see "name brand" training on your resume, my family life and whether or not the kids want to be in the business {NOT- at least definitely not now}, my night job that leaves my days open and free to audition, how she saw me versus how I see myself and so on and so forth. One thing that stuck out in my mind was my lack of useful special skills that can "set me apart" from the crowd though she did get a kick out of my real world experience as a wedding & event planner. She *liked* my headshot but didn't love it, it was a little too smiley for her taste so I'll be sending her a link of a few of my other favorites from the shoot. She also asked if I was taking any other meetings and I told her I would be contacting a few other agencies and she encouraged me to take as many meetings as possible. If she decides she'd like to work with me her offer won't "expire" so her only request was that I keep her posted as I'm making my decision. And as I left she told me that yellow is a great color for me! All in all I'd say it went well.

Afterwards I intended to do a drop-off at one commercial agency nearby but happily discovered that there were 4 more agents in the same building who I had either already e-mailed or who were on my list to mail in my submission so I dropped off my headshot with them as well. Wilshire Blvd is apparently a mini mecca for agents.
What do the Olympics, USC and puking all have in common?

Me! And my rollercoaster of a week...

Day 66: I woke up this morning sicker than I've been in years. Achy, dizzy and violently reminded of the fact that vomiting is one of the worst feelings ever so needless to say I did absolutely nothing but lay in bed all day and all night.

Day 67: Still under the weather but able to sit up long enough to use the computer once again, I emailed 23 commercial agents and 1 manager requesting a meeting.

Day 68: Actors Access submissions. I must say, it's much funner choosing which headshot to use when submitting with these new photos.

Day 69: Industrial Audition at Craig Colvin Casting. This was a group audition which can sometimes be confusing but this one was pretty clear cut. We went in in groups of 4 and pretended to enjoy watching a tight Olympic race where the US ultimately wins. I felt very patriotic afterwards.

Day 70: Took notes on the rough cut of DWP's Episode 3. I really love this episode already! It made me smile and I had to resist the urge to show it to friends because it still has some changes to undergo. I also found two potential songs that might fit somewhere in either this episode or one of the other 2 we just shot.

Day 71: Beautiful day for an audition at USC. Though they dashed my undergrad hopes many moons ago, if they cast me in their films we'll call it even.

Day 72: Worked on my first reel! Thanks to dropbox I was able to upload my footage to my editor instead of going to her home in Silverlake. Since she's also my editor for DWP there was only one clip I had to give her that she didn't already have. I would've loved to have added a few seconds of two other projects I worked on but I still don't have copy for one of them and I couldn't figure out how to upload the correct file from the dvd of the other one so I just said forget it. The cool thing is, a reel is an ever-changing thing that will constantly be tweaked and updated as more and better footage becomes available. Eventually when I get me a MAC I'll learn how to add new clips myself with iMovie. Till then, THANKS LEX!!!
Day 64 - 65: Used Hulu to catch up on multiple episodes of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. Didn't have time to catch up on Glee so that's on the agenda for this week. Though I'm thankful for my job I definitely miss watching TV shows that I love as they air.
Day 63: Today was a good day! First of all in non-career related news, it was my 4th anniversary with my husband Stephen so yay us! :-)

Ok on to the daily task... today was filled with lots of errand running. I picked up my headshots from Argentum and was pleased, as always, with the quality of the photos. While out and about I received some WONDERFUL news: Diary of a Wedding Planner is now on IMDb!!! How had this happened all of a sudden? I mean I had submitted it months ago and it was rejected so I went the Withoutabox route and submitted it as a pilot to an online film festival but that was weeks ago. Well, turns out Allison Vanore, the director of eps 3-5, apparently has some IMDb clout because she submitted it and up it went within 3 freakin days. Thank you Allison!!! So before the night was over I submitted updates to IMDb with all the cast and crew information from episodes 1 and 2 {and forwarded it to Allison the next day as well to help speed up the process} so hopefully everyone who was a part of it will have it listed on their personal IMDb page by next week.

P.S.- This means Goal #5 can be crossed off my list!
Day 62: Met with Killebrew Mason and Daniele Carrol for some SAG New Media talk at Starbucks. I was able to share with them some of the things I've learned as a self-producer over the last year and they were able to share some tips with me regarding meeting with commercial reps. Oh, did I tell ya'll I have a meeting next week? Yep, got a referral from a friend and I'm meeting with her agency next Monday. *Happy Dance*
Day 61: Created a target list of commercial agencies to submit to next week. My top 7 choices will be dropped off at their offices, 17 will be submitted via email, 10 will be mailed and if I get absolutely no response from any of these then I have a list of 12 agencies that I will mail to in a second round after 3 weeks or so.
Day 60: Updated my website, my IMDb page and my Actors Access page with the new pics. I still have to get them up on LA Casting but I'm dreading it. The price gauging that company does is ridiculous and yet no matter how badly I want to rage against the machine I know {and they know} I have to fork over the cash if I want to play in the commercial sandbox. Guess I'll get them up by Friday... but I'm not happy about it.
Day 59: Had my retoucher do one of my photos at rush speed in order to get Argentum's 2 for 1 deal before time ran out and she came through! I ordered 50 of this headshot and will be getting 50 free when I pick them up on Friday.

Day 58: Oscar Party! Enjoyed an entertaining evening watching the Oscars with fellow Class Rules folks. In case you can't read it the cake says "May your speech be short and sweet." And speaking of speeches, my favorite for the night goes to the young man who thanked his mom for providing craft services for his film, that was touching and all indie filmmakers can understand! For those of you who aren't on Twitter, here were some of the best #Oscar tweets in my timeline for the night...

On the Oscar producers trying so very hard to appeal to a younger demographic...
@slackmistress Next year a fetus will be presenting to appeal to the still-gestating crowd. #Oscars

On having a clip using auto-tune...
@UncompletedWork HIDE YO WIFE HIDE YO OSCARS! {If you still don't get it please see this video right now and watch the entire thing!! You will thank me.}


On Jennifer Hudson...
@Awesomeosity: OH: it's a wig. Pound sign black girl secrets. {Ha! Love it because this was written by a man who ain't black!}

@VeniceRiley Jennifer Hudson is announcing and Gwenyth Paltrow is singin songs of the south? I am in opposite land #oscars



On the lack of minority nominees...
@Michaeljai: We need more young black actors in Hollywood and I mean Actors.. Not rappers turned Actors!! {Amen!}


@girlactor Hold the presses... we got color on the #Oscars! Thank you Oprah!

@billmaher No African American nominees? If you're black and want to make it on Hollywood this year, you better be a swan

The Oscars were entertaining to me so I enjoyed it. Best part about it? It was held in Playa Vista only 5 minutes from my apartment. No drive to the valley for the win! I just wish The Social Network had won Best Picture but then again I still need to see The Kings Speech before forming a true opinion. Hope you all enjoyed the Oscars as much as I did!