Saturday, March 6, 2010

You are money. Spend wisely.




"In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential.. it's no different in the financial realm."
-Suze Orman



My blades, I was thinking of what to write tonight... This morning, I sat at Downbeat Cafe in Echo Park and I thought, what am I going to write about tonight? And what came to me was $$$. I thought about some key financial moves I have made lately that have been making ALL the difference in my career and thus life -- and I wanted to share them with you. I hope you all find this inspiring because I have honestly been seeing huge changes in my life as a result of giving more, paying more (attention) and money for/towards what I want in my life. 

There was a time when I thought, I am done with buying new headshots, or I am SO not doing another class, or coaching are you f-ing kidding me? Or new clothes specifically for auditions -- well, maybe I'd do that. But, basically, I felt like I was in a sense "over" these things.

And the truth is, we HAVE to know our WORTH. That we are STARS. We have to. But think about it -- the greatest  athletes and the greatest thinkers, they all surround themselves with coaches. With great writers or mentors or trainers or managers or coaches. Nutritionists or lawyers, accountants. They pick the creme de la creme.

And they invest in themselves. Which means they put their money where their dreams are.

1. Put your money where your dream is. 
I was thinking the other day of what differentiated my experience in LA with my experience in NYC. As an artist. And I thought -- in NYC, I spent $ on the best head shots possible. I'd gotten referrals to The Hoberman Studio. And they took great shots. They cost money, good money, for the kid that I was when I was studying in NYC. But I made it happen. Make it work. Because I have always believed in quality. My parents may have been teachers, so we weren't exactly flowing in the millions, but they knew quality in their souls. And they instilled this appreciation in us. Thy tended to our instincts. And my sister and I grew up with a keen sense of quality.

My mom would literally turn the clothes that I bought our mall, this was Jersey after all :) inside out and check the hems for quality. If the garment in question did not fit her liking, she would absolutely have me return it.

And so I would trek to the mall again and sheepishly return said item. Probably some slinky Macy's brand shirt. Never to be seen again...

Needless to say, I took this instinct with to my acting class in NYC as well. And I studied with Freddy Kareman. One of the absolute best. He has trained some amazing actors... Maria Bello, Marisa Tomei amongst the stars... And every month, I made it work. Babysitting and coat checking and personally assisting Joel Siegel at GMA. I always paid up. And the quality was high.

And lately, I have re-committed to this belief. This age-old knowledge. 

I got the new headshots, which have received fantastic reviews. I met with a GREAT CASTING Thursday and the first thing she said when I passed it across the table to her was, "This is a fantastic head shot."

Guys, I have not heard that since NYC. I have Paul Smith the great photographer to thank. And his talented make-up artist, Sarai Fiszel. And the amazing Whitney Rosen -- my friend who came to my house the morning of my second shoot and she did my make-up and hair perfectly!!!

I also want to apologize to her because in a bleary blog, I called her Whitney Rose by accident -- probably because she is such a rose :) But alas, her name os Rosen. And she f'in rooooocks!!! I SO recommend her to all of you if you are looking for a hair and make-up artist. 

p.s. -- The headshot the CD loved was from the shoot I insisted in doing -- my own instinct that I needed another look with great hair and make-up and this headshot is now my TV/Film headshot and it is getting raves!!! Listen to your instincts. 

And the thing is, Paul is the most expensive headshot photography I have ever worked with in LA and he is hands down the best in my experience. And you know what, he was worth every single penny. And then some. One job -- I book one movie or one TV show and suddenly, I've got $50,000.00 versus like grand when all hair and make-up and copies are made. It is beyond worth it.

It is an investment in you.

2. Focus.
I was realizing the other night as I prepared for a super sexy juicy fun audition on Friday at noon that I can SO easily let myself get distracted and text an emoticon on my IPhone or I'll facebook chat with someone or obsessively check my gmail. And why? Because these distractions feel like they are temporarily from getting into the juice -- into what it is we really want. And sometimes what we want most is also a little scary. And so doing little things to avoid our dreams is like a little game we play with ourselves. 

But working on my memoir and today, I actually spent over an hour on the role that I read for on Friday because I was like, wait a second -- I did not spend enough time personalizing this to make this extraordinary. It was good. And fun. And she liked it. But -- if they call me back -- I am going to KILL IT. I know what I am going to wear. I know who I am talking to and where I am and why I am saying it. I found the sugar tonight.

And this all takes the focus of, once again, an athlete. We have to have killer instincts. And follow them. Time and time again, I hear stories of the most successful people and regardless of their field of work, they are the ones who stay later, arrive earlier and put all of their passions into what they love.

And this takes focus. And this past week editing and writing my memoir reminded me of the girl I was in college who was doggedly focused. And I wasn't cell phone-y and email-y and certainly not text-y. And so, I'd put on some music that put me in a vibe and I'd write away. 

And the same thing with prepping for a role -- focus. Let my thoughts fall around me and make choices that fit best and feel the best. Sound them out. Specify each line. Felt good tonight... And this is planting seeds for a rich (metaphorically and literally) garden of life.

3. Do your homework. When I met with the great Entourage casting director, I had gone on IMDB and researched her. I knew what movies she had in the pipes, who was set to direct, who was writing them, what they were about -- were they true, had they been books, and I knew what awards she had won and how many. And it felt great. It felt great to have a sense of her. And to respect her. To pay homage to her craft. And to honor her skill.

The same thing goes for auditions -- and I constantly remind myself of this -- down to my socks an bracelets, to my personal choices, to my knowledge of the show or the film director. Doing our homework ALWAYS pays off. 

Always.

I did a reading of Loose Ends in NYC a few years ago, and I worked super hard on my lines. Little did I know there would be a critic from Playbill.com But sure enough, he was there. And he wrote a glowing review about me! It paid off. I shone.

I am reminding myself of this. I will never regret working hard. Letting my mind spin and imagine and settle only on the best idea. And this is what happened today when I went over my lines again -- I found them today. 

So... we shall see. If I get the call-back, I will be SUPER stoked. Because I will blow them away. I know what I am doing now. Really know. The above and beyond know. And this is what I am up for. Isn't this what we are all up for in our lives? Th above and beyond? Whether we are stay at home moms or college students or directors or coaches or actors or writers or editors or producers or entrepreneurs or small business owners... We strive for the above and beyond.

Let us see... Perhaps HBO hears my words in this nine o'clock hour and they'll call me back in next week -- Something about that girl. As I go over my lines Saturday night... Always working on my craft, always getting better. More specific. More sparkling. 

I hope this finds you all inspired. Sending you all great vibes full of LOVE.

And let us all remember these 3 juicy lessons tonight. Because we are all of us planting seeds today -- Put your money where your dream is, Focus, Do your Homework -- that shall become the garden of our souls tomorrow. Plant wisely and lovingly and with every molecule in your body. After all, we are lucky to be here. Let's make this trip as extraordinary as humanly possible. And then some.

Love... always.







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