Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Madison Rose.

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. -Marion C. Garretty

Worst Older Sister!
She couldn't have been more en pointe with my younger sister, Madison Rose. Yeah, she has a prettier name than I do and yeah, she'll always weigh less than I do even if she were carrying septuplets and yeah, even though she was lucky enough to start following her passions at such an early age. Yeah, Madison Rose is just fantastic that way. To those who have met her, they see -- feel -- her kindness and generosity. To those who haven't met her, I only hope that you have someone in your life who reminds you what true kindness and generosity feels like. 
I could fill this blog with humorous stories with Madison as the central character. Stories about family road trips where Madison HAD to have all zillion of her stuffed animals buckled in. Or when she was about 7 and my mom found a small goldfish in her breast pocket...first of all, the fact that she wore a shirt that had a breast pocket. Speaking of Madison's style, she wore hiking boots (she called them her "haking boooooots") and carried a tomahawk she got in Colorado, until she was about 13. 

Or I could fill this blog with poignant stories with Madison as the central character. Stories about family road trips where fights ruled the day and Maddie practically calmed WWIII with her sweetness. Or all the times that she comforted me after I'd had a teenage fight with my parents even though she hadn't a clue as to what was the matter.
See Maddie has always been like that. Willing to wipe away tears or just put her arm around ya when you're feeling down. No matter the matter. Whether she agrees with you or not, she hates it when people feel anguish. 

SO. A happy happy birthday the most genuine, cartoon-face, kind, supports-me-'til-the-end-of-the-day friend. My sister. Madison Rose. You manage everyday to remind me of what a wonderful childhood we shared together. We'll always have that. And don't ever forget it. We were incredibly lucky, but I was the lucky one to have you. 

peace. love. and haking boots. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This Is Signature Pink and Signaturely Hard

It's happened. I'm literally reading one of the most well-known plays turned movie (yes that direction and not the other) and reading it for darn good reason. If my wording gets a little bit of a Southern draw here pretty quickly...well please kindly forgive me. I've been practicing dropping my g's and y's and dragg'in out my rrrrrrrrrrr's.

I'll be honest, up until college I got 2 movies mixed up on numerous an occasion: Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias. I can't exactly explain why either. I'll blame it on the similar movie posters: A gaggle of talented women of all ages posing mid-laugh at about the same time period. You have to admit...

(did they photoshop darryl hannah into this poster?)
And since I hadn't seen either but knew there was a reference to tomatoes in both, you can see my confusion. So in a way, until I read the script for Steel Magnolias as a freshman in college, I thought Julia Roberts was Mary-Louise Parker. Shameful I know. I KNOW. However. That beautifully-crafted, quick-witted, heart-breaking, strong-women script made it's way into my mind and since then, I've been itching for a crack at it. 

Cut to this month post-random-show-up-more-for-fun-and-practice-than-anything-at-an-audition-at-The-Texas-Theatre and I've somehow managed to snag the part of Mary-Louise Parker...I mean Pretty Woman...I mean Shelby. The script I had been itching for was back. And I'm here to tell ya. It's not an easy thing to sit through without bawl'in. Or cackl'in. 

Here's what I realized. I haven't done a real real real stage show since Spring 2010. That's 2 years of nothing but learning 4 pages of changed dialog the night before you shoot a car chase scene where an alien bites you. Don't read me wrong, I love film. Being on a film set is where I have felt the most calm over the last 2 years. But I've missed the element of live theater. There is nothing like it...and we're still a month away from an audience. As a character who goes through 4 entirely different, long acts basically, of ENTIRELY different relations with someone as close as her mother, all in the confines of a beauty salon, this is proving to be a tough one. Each black out of Steel Magnolias represents more than just a shift in the seasons, it symbolizes a huge change in the lives of these women. That's what I want an audience to take away. That that which is pulled off on-screen in blockbuster hit after blockbuster hit after indie film after indie film, can be pulled off on a stage. Practically a community theatre stage at that. 

It's a challenge. But the first challenge is mastering this conversational dialog where you don't want to miss or even drop half a line. So onto learning the entire script as Ken first taught me! Then let's get down and dirty and tackle the meaty stuff. Like kidney failures and dialysis-es-icity and saying "Owen Jenkins" and not "Owen Wilson." (Or hope that you're in the audience when I do make that slip will happen.) Show runs the last 2 weekends of October at The Texas Theatre. These ladies are breaking my heart left and right every night at rehearsals...and we're still carry'in our scripts around. 

Also worth noting that I'm not the typical ingenue type. I get called in for those commercial roles where you get to create a silly voice or be the pretty girl's sidekick best friend. And I'm COMPLETELY okay with that. I prefer it in fact. However, the last 2 big projects I've worked on, including tackling the beloved Shelby, ingenue-ity is something I've had to embrace. It's a difficult shift in thinking when preparing for a role as well as being on set (or in rehearsals). Things are more on your shoulders. Less improv and goofiness is acceptable. But ya get more meat. Or cabbage depending on your dietary preference.

Check out the fun project that just received some love from!! What?? Comic Con here we come! Watch it here. 

peace. love. and 30 minutes of wonderful.

Grab your tickets to see these other ladies just kill it on stage by calling 830.372.6168. Do not miss them!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Actor Ladder

This year I decided that if I really want to make it as an actor, I needed to step it up in numerous facets of the industry. I started with a vision board. Cutting out articles, quotes, pictures, symbols, and anything else that inspired me/encouraged me/or created a goal I want to reach.

Next I wrote out a list of things I wanted to do within the year. I've struggled with whether to put these "things" out there because well, feeling sheepish about those "things" once their public knowledge seems far worse than struggling with the thought of making them public knowledge or not. However, the wise person who instructed -- nay requested -- I create a vision board, told me "Getting your goals out into the universe is the first step to seeing them through."

So here we are. "Things for 2012"
1. Get back on stage. Any stage. And don't fall off it. Evah.
2. Do a web series. Yes, it's typical. Just do one.
3. Write something. Cast it. Create it.
4. Work as a production assistant.
5. Say yes to everything (within reason Koehler).
6. Make sure everyone you work with remembers you for the right reasons.
7. See an outreach program all the way through.
8. Get more videos online. Ellen isn't going anywhere but up.
9. Get on the path to becoming okay with marketing yourself. 'Cause that's your job silly.
10. Book another feature....that is legitimate another to actually be completed.

Finally, I've decided I'm at a point in my life where I need to be doing more things that scare me. I've had conversations on this topic with actors, non actors, family members, and strangers. It has been surprising that it's a rarity to find people who don't just want to challenge themselves...they want to do things that scare them. I'm not saying:
Priscillla: Hey what are we gunnna do today?
Bartholomew:'s Saturday. I have a Groupon for sky-diving if you're game?
Priscilla: Sure. I've been wanting to do more things that scare me.

I mean that's great if that's for you. But since this posting is entitled Actor Ladder and not Live Dangerously (same meaning in some senses?), I've been wanting to get back in front of an audience. Get back into improv. Get back into legitimate classes. And make myself uncomfortable....publicly. Not many people outside of the entertainment world understand why I want to. Partly because I do a terrible job of explaining, but mostly because it's a hard concept to grasp, but an all too familiar and ironically enthralling place to be in for actors.

When I started to doing my Ellen videos the concept was clear to all: I'm making 50 videos in 50 days leading up to college graduation explaining why I think I could work on her show. Simply put: people thought I was working towards a job. That was just a public excuse so I didn't feel like I was making myself feel uncomfortable...publicly. I would argue that 4 years after those first videos, I am in Austin in the film industry because of them. I would argue I have grown as a performer and actor because I put myself out there to the cruel universe to tell me my face is fat, I look like a boy, my glasses are too small, my hair is thin, my voice is annoying, and I'm not funny.

Recently, I also realized that competitive golf and acting are quite similar. When I played golf every day...I mean for hours and hours everyday trying to make myself and my team better...I'd have days where I didn't know why I was given a golf scholarship. Like throw-your-clubs-in-that-lake-over-there-and-just-do-eat-a-hamburger-why-don't-you kind of days. I stunk sometimes. So I'd throw my clubs in the lake, go eat a hamburger, and come back the next practice to a magical swing that made me fall in love with the game. Not that Meryl Streep or Laura Linney have hamburger days but they have their versions of hamburger days. I mean we've all seen Mamma Mia...

Point being. Every employee has bad days and good days. What I've had to tell myself is each project I book is an opportunity to work hard towards a goal and develop relationships based not solely on performance, but on personal interaction. Nobody wants to be a part of something that fails. But the entertainment industry is full of flops and while that's depressing to the point of a Blue Bell gallon of ice cream, it doesn't mean it's all over. Or I shouldn't be doing this. Or I shouldn't be auditioning. 

In the meantime, one of my wonderful Godmothers continues to keep up to date and looking prettttty fresh and I'd appreciate it if you'd check it out, share it, or head to my basically blank IMDB page, ignore it's pillaged and leave a comment at the bottom of the page Message Board..that'd be a huge start friends (let's go directors and producers of stuff that's been completed!! Throw that stuff on already!!).

As always...

peace. love. and let's bring this bloggy blog back to life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How I respond after Aurora?

Saturday 6:43 - Austin, TX
I thought about starting this off with: where to begin? I looked at that banality question turned patronizing statement typed on my screen and realized I knew exactly where to begin: with where I am....then work my way out.
Please do take note that the First Act, as it were, to this posting feels very insignificant and self-seeking to me at least. But I think it's needed to allow for the thorny Act 2 and the finale of Act 3 that will circle back to Act 1's purpose and ultimately answer the question that this post is titled. Hopefully. SO. "To begin"..I'm siting on set of a wonderful web series I'm quite thankful for. 2 weeks ago, as I stood on the side of a downtown Austin road, starring at my car in the middle of a 5 car pile up where 2 cars - including the one who hit me - fled the scene (middle of run-on sentence....see the bottom of this post), I was visibly upset about my first wreck, invisibly struggling to help the other people involved in the accident, all the while attempting to hide how sick I was about having to miss the audition I was en route to. See I don't like to be late. I don't like to opt out. I don't like to say no thank you and I really don't like missing auditions. Case and point: When I lived in New York a few years ago, I attended an open call for a Broadway show. Now, let's be clear here. There's no way I would have booked the show. And don't feel the need to console me about that. I wasn't GOING to the audition to book. I was going to do my absolute best in front of NYC casting directors. That's it. I knew/know I wasn't half as talented in those departments as the people in line with me. I remember glancing at their roughed-up-crumpled-rain-stained-is-that-applesauce? copies of On My Own and Forget About the Boy and then looking at my freshly-printed-hole-punched-in-a-binder copies of On My Own and Forget About the Boy...and suddenly my lack of experience was more daunting than the subway construction detours I'd just overcome. 

Saturday 10:49 - Austin, TX
I had gotten up at 4AM that morning to hold a spot and I simply walked out of line. I pretended to get a phone call..and walked away. I made myself work out for 4 hours that Saturday at a gym I was "auditing for a week" as an act of self-punishment because the anger I had towards myself for leaving an audition, liked in comparison to the anger I had towards MTA. So, when I made this career move I said: Never again Koehler. Never ever again will you walk away from an audition. 

Sometime between my wreck 2 weeks ago and sitting on set today, I recalled a story I heard back when GLEE first got picked up, about Lea Michele getting into a wreck near the FOX lot on her way to her studio test. She exchanged information, left her car to be towed and totaled, walked into the audition room literally picking glass from her hair, and apparently gave an audition that was Rachel Berry worthy. She wanted it (who wouldn't....?) and she fought for it. As my car was towed off of that downtown Austin street, and I was towed away by my guy, I started writing a note to the creative team I was suppose to be giving a Rachel Berry worthy audition, begging (hopefully not annoyingly) forgiveness and asking if I could submit a video audition. Anything to avoid "walking away from the line." Later that evening -- err rather quickly after I sent the email -- I was given a bit of direction on the sides and told that a submission would be fine. 
Audition video. Check
Callback. Check
Book the role the same night. Check
Fighting for something I truly love. Check

Saturday 13:04 - Austin, TX
Rewind to the beginning where I struggled to begin. Friday I had CNN, Fox News, ESPNews, any news channel on while I worked. Trying to find out stories of the victims involved in the Colorado theater shooting. I was of course troubled by the entire scene and what rubbed me the wrong way initially was how these innocent lives were taken in a place and watching something, that was suppose to send them out of reality for 2plus hours...and yet the senseless act of violence tainted movie theaters forever and brought a harsh, disturbing reality to the world. Someone I care very much about and who's opinion means a great deal to me stated the entire situation was too sad and cripplingly depressing. I agreed. I will say that the following contains a sad story of a victim, so I understand and respect you if your reading time with me ends here. No hard feelings. But I'll also say that this posting ends in a tale of passion and fire-in-a-belly, not NOT NOT a sad story.  

I kept seeing a young girls picture on the screen. She looked so familiar and I felt this growing anxiety billowing deep within, sputtering to place her. What were the odds that I'd know the one victim the police had been able to identify in a random shooting in a town I had never been to? I checked an article on CNN about this victim's blog and read her account of the shooting in Toronto in June where she narrowly missed a senseless act of violence in a mall food court when she suddenly "felt funny" and walked outside to get some fresh air. It wasn't indegestion from the burger she had just bought in the mall food court, it wasn't lightheadedness from being on the 2nd story of the mall. Jessica herself writes: "It was almost a panicky feeling that left my chest feeling like something was missing." 

Saturday 18:38 - Austin, TX

Sadly...incredibly sadly, Jessica's family knows, Jessica's friends know, heck the entire country knows the exact feeling she felt on that day she considers a day that changed her forever. She and 11 other victims are missing from our crazy world and a similar panicky feeling is in millions of people's chests. Physically they are missing. But in no other way are they missing. Their stories are ringing out. Their lives are being told. Their vibrance is being felt. Their stories are changing how our country's media covers horrific events like this one. Focusing on victims -- not suspects. 

Sunday 19:02 - Austin, TX

After seeing Jessica's picture all day and reading tons of articles, my heart breaking with each amazing story of her passion for sports and positive-no-nonsense attitude, I realized the connection. A friend of mine posted pictures on Facebook last year of a trip to Michigan University with a friend who was an avid Wolverine fan and had eyes full of vibrance. I recalled the pictures when they were posted because of those vibrant eyes, but had seen them incongruously recently. The avid Wolverine fan? Jessica Redfield (Ghawi). I checked and double checked seeing if this was in fact the connection only to my discontent levels rising and rising. Jessica's brother is a firefighter in my hometown of 25,000 people. Jordan appeared with Anderson Cooper the evening after the shootings and has kept his blog updated sometimes hourly with encouraging news about Jessica's movie-going-buddy that night who is expected to recover...or comments about asking a Secret Service Agent 'how President Obama was doing on time' while he sat with each victim's family in Colorado. The agent responded "Time is not an issue here..."  

I didn't know Jessica.  I never had the chance to meet Jessica. But reading through months of her Twitter handle, reading countless articles by her colleagues literally across state and sport lines....I feel like I know her. I feel like we'd have hit it off or at least awkwardly fallen or tripped together. Jessica and I shared a love of the Oxford comma which alone, is worthy of a secret handshake in my opinion. 

She wrote and lived the idea of chasing -- fighting -- for what you were passionate about. Her desire for knowledge about the sportscasting business seemed second to none if not utterly admirable. She wrote on her blog after the Toronto shootings "I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breath our last breath." I can't answer why senseless violence happened. I can't begin to understand the pain that families are going through. I can't help but get emotional thinking about how Jessica survived one shooting, only to be lost in another shooting a short month later. Was it so the world could read her words and learn about the fight in Jessica's belly? I can't tell you why this particular victim's story has rocked my core while there are thousands of stories needing to be told from thousands of other senseless acts of violence. 

Sunday 23:56 - Austin, TX 
I can say that her blog posting is out there. People are paying attention to her drive and applying her mentality and work ethic to their own lives. We all have probably said we live by the idea that today could be our last day, but are we really living it in such a way? What does that even mean? 

What better way to honor someone than to live as they strived to? 

I know I know. That was many many words. Some redundant, some misplaced, some rhetorical. But thank you for trucking through my ramblings over the course of 2 days on a set that I chased to get to. It may be insignificant to fight for something like an acting career. But after the events in Colorado last week...I would argue that nothing is insignificant. And if you need reminding of that. Call me. I'll convince you of the idea. There is no peanut-size when it comes to passions and talents. Jessica's talent and passions did not pass on with her last Friday morning. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ghawi family as well as the other victim's surrounding families as they continue to lead the charge with the theme of: Victim's stories are important; not the suspect's name.

***FOOTNOTE: Jessica's blog was titled "A Run On of Thoughts," so a collection of run on sentences in my post seems....fitting.***

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2 Auditions In 1 Day Kind Of Day

Just finished an audition that I'd been looking forward to for over a week. Maybe that was the problem today. A case of "Too Much Time."

Typically, whether you pick up an audish through your agent or on your own, a week's worth of preparation is like having 7 practice rounds for the US Open. Okay, that wasn't the most accessible analogy. How 'bout, a week's worth of preparation is like buying your Christmas presents in February and then literally carrying them around with you for 11 months before wrapping them in December for your gift-giving activity.

**Disclaimer: By no means was I implying any of my 
auditions were equivalent to the act of giving a gift...**

While I digress, I do hope I've illustrated how rare it is for actors to have more than even 3 days to prepare for an audition. SO for a week I've been able to think about this character, really get the story down, and have gone over the slice-of-life (otherwise known as audition sides, otherwise known as scenes). That much time allowed me to think about the greatness of the role. Subsequently I think I had time to put the role into perspective. Luckily I had a different feature audition/callback in between the 7 weeks to keep me a little preoccupied. 

Now I don't want to make it seem like this most recent audition was a do or die deal or the biggest film I've read for, but it did make me say, much to my chagrin, "This role is you."So that being said, I reeeally want it. I think we actors fall into the trap of becoming numb to auditioning. I honestly enjoy it. Each time I tell myself: "This could be your only time to play this girl, so enjoy that audition room." If I'm being optimistic I think it has the reason why I haven't been too stunned by a job that I haven't booked but really wanted. That being said with all positivity, I'm writing this to remind myself that just because a role or a film seem like the perfect fit in my life whether it be subject matter, timing, content, people involved, character challenge, or role might not be the path I'm suppose to go down. And that can't bum me out or make me second guess the life of an actor. That wouldn't be fair to the 7 available days of preparation now would it?

I can say that creative teams can be verrrry kind and warm and welcoming. But that's a characteristic of most of Austin-filmaking. And a special shout out for the beautiful flowers from Dan today. He comes home tomorrow! 

peace. love. and home runs with question marks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Alyssa & Kevin's Wedding Video Sneak Peek

Last weekend I had the privilege of being videographer at a wedding in San Antonio, for a couple that met in San Marcos, now lives in San Antonio, and I know the groom's side of the family who are also from Seguin. You follow that? Sweet.

As with any wedding, I reeled in TONS and TONS of footage...two-times what I've collected in previous weddings actually! In fact at this wedding, the photographer (also a friend from Seguin, who lives in Austin, and came to San Antonio for the wedding) mentioned that he tends to overshoot at weddings. I contemplated this idea and see how easy that could be for a wedding photographer. I mean let's face it, there's only so many interesting ways to get a picture of people doing the wobble on a lit dance floor or snaps of a beautiful cake.

However, I've found when filming at weddings the thinking is a little different. You never know if you're manual focus did as you envisioned because you had to swoop over from recording the bride's cousins doing cartwheels to an uncle pulling off the splits in the middle of a circle of clapping reception guests. PS this kind of thing only happens after about the 10PM hour...unless you're at a wedding that Jeff Koehler is at, in which case, "someone" dropping to the ground legs sprawled is fair game once the procession starts....

Above is a sneak-peek at their work-in-progess final product. Check out both of the photographers previews blogs of the wedding as well; Josh Baker with AzulOx and Andrew Fritz.

Stay tuned for I'm working on a blog talking about the logistics that go into shooting a wedding....I know I know...sooooper interesting. I'll try to throw in some stories like how I cry WHILE FILMING during ceremonies (cue shaky camera shots) or how mistakes happen all the time like not hitting the record button hard enough as the bridesmaids come down the isle.

peace. love. and still have a crick in my neck from this shoot.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Letter to My Younger Self (Part 1)

"Sometimes the most clich'ed ideas turn out to be the most important if you tackle them at the right time." -raisedamongstcatalogs

Instead of lecturing myself about how this idea is incongruous, I will say this cathartic exercise is not over nor overly important. However, because in this recollection, I undoubtedly feel the urge to write a "Letter to My Future Self." Which could be more important!?

Dear Younger Ivy/Ive/Ivooka/,

Emphatically, you just came in from a 3-hour shooting session on the carport basketball court your dad spray painted. Your hands are a dusty shade of black from the asphalt and you've got a few of those soot marks on your forehead from wiping away sweat. You don't even wash them before sitting down at the dinner table. One day very soon your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder will prevent this from happening so it's okay for now. You'll also come in second as a freshman in HS in a 3-point contest so uhh...keep shooting out there on that carport court until dark.

You've purposely skipped piano lessons recently. Stop that! You could be really good at this and it doesn't get any easier as you get older. And pick up a guitar before you graduate for pete's sake.

You're going to move to a big city while you are in college and not take full advantage of it. You'll be sad about that later in life, so know this, and DO take full advantage of the nightlife, secrets, food, risks, hazards, and unexpected taxi cab rides.

You'll meet a blonde girl through your love of softball and share many many things with each other. She'll teach you lots. One April Sunday you and her will be playing golf in her backyard and don't walk too closely to her back swing. Just trust me. You'll also vow to each other that you will both be each other's bridesmaids in each other's wedding no matter if you were still friends or not. Keep that promise.

Stop being so anxious ya worry-wart.

Don't give your complete trust to strangers. Be free and open, but not naive. Be strong. And for heaven's sake: learn how to take a compliment. And learn the meaning of the word cathartic.

One day you will meet a kind-eyed, tattooed athlete who you will end up hurting unless you do something about it prior. Do something prior. Even though you'll only end up friends who have the same sense of humor, you'll regret it if you don't do something prior.

Apropos, make a social networking site called Facebook.

You're going to wait a long time to truly believe you can't control everything. Don't spend so much time trying to. Once you release this, you will be able to live without that monkey on your shoulders.

Buy a monkey.

When you are a junior in high school, after the first day of Regional Golf, your team will share an onion blossom thing at a Chili's in Austin, Texas (Fun Fact: you will end up living less than a mile from this Chili's) DON'T EAT IT. You might end up having a gallbladder attack the next morning anyway, but I can tell you now that that Awesome Blossom didn't help matters.

You'll make a bunch of videos trying to vie for Ellen Degneres's attention. Nothing bad will come of these!

Be kinder to your family, especially your sister. Yes, I know she doesn't think like you do. But that's a ridiculous reason to get frustrated. Nobody thinks or acts like you. And you don't think or act like anybody either. I know you just want to protect her from screw ups, downers, and bad people in the world, but one day you're going to realize that she has to live her own life and you can't worry about it every waking moment. This will free things up between the two of you. It's awesome. Learn now that there's a thin line in being an overbearing sister and a supportive sister. Let her know now that you've got her back and just want her to have a great life.

You'll look back and smile one day about the fact that you beg Mom and Dad to take you to Oshmans ALL THE TIME, not to buy anything, just so you can shoot baskets on the indoor court.

Stop being so embarrassed by your parents! They are endearing souls and you're going to be a lot like them so get used to being silly for no reason, dressing up in costumes for no reason, talking in really bad but crazy accents for no reason, recording your height on the inside of a pantry door, and awkwardly dancing (take dance lessons and enjoy grow up to be an even more awkward dancer so go to those tap lessons).

You're going to have 4 roommates that are amazing. Simply amazing girls.

Be careful when you buy your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd iPhones. They are these super cool phones that blow your current non-phone period, Nokia phone period, and Nextel phone period out of the water. Ehhh go ahead and invent a phone that has a touch screen, stores music/videos/pictures, and can download applications for things like repelling mosquitoes, throwing angry birds at unsuspecting pigs, and creating a picture that adds 40 pounds to your face. So the 1st one you own ends up being dropped in the movie theater parking lot...shattered screen. That 2nd iPhone you have, some dude will run into you causing you to drop said phone subsequently shattering the screen. And the 3rd one will just poop out on you.

Continue to save save save money. And keep toning people out who talk about how important money is to them. Matter of fact, when you meet a boy who likes expensive things and making/spending money, even if it's on you: RUN. There are other characteristics about this charmer that will put you in therapy later in life. But that's the first red flag. He'll end up being happy, since I know that's what you'll worry about post-relationship...

Continuing that thought though, although not always the most pleasant, that time in your life when you think you are in love is real. So before you run, take it all in. You'll laugh and cry and have experiences that will shape future relationships for the better. You'll hurt and feel like the world is caving in around you, but stop being dramatic because that's not suppose to happen until 2012. Take that pain and put it to good in the world. Other people hurt too and can relate. And stop blaming yourself for everything. Time passes too quickly.

It'll take you to your first year of college to pick up a friend that has been under your nose all along and will be there for you till the end. She is loud and hilarious, is a part of your family, and shares your love of funny/beautiful/horribly bad lines and riffs from musicals and musical movies. When you spend time apart from one another, it won't feel like it. She gets you and loves you for you. Take her to Constantinople.

Take more risks. When and where you ask? I'll leave that up to you, you've got a good head on your shoulders.

Oh and stop throwing pills behind your parent's piano. It was a stupid idea to begin with because it's like you thought that damn piano would never move. You are an idiot sometimes. Plus this is the exact and only reason why you don't learn how to swallow pills until you graduate college.

Speaking of college, stop writing draft after draft of "The Pros and Cons of going to: Northwood University or Teas A&M University." You know where you need to go, so quit prolonging the inevitable. You do that all the time. Prolonging the inevitable. Things happen for reasons out of your control most of the time. The sooner you learn this the more the world will open up to you.

Finally, smile more.

Your's TRULY,
Older Self

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maybelline Baby Lips Repairing Lip Balm with SPF 20 and Great Lash Lots of Lashes

I've posted here before about different campaigns that may sound like my poor attempt at advertising...fear not I can explain. A few years ago I signed up for BzzAgent. It's a middleman site that provides campaigns to their "agents" to test out new products. It's a fabulous site and if you like getting free stuff, access to great products, or spouting off about the things you use..this is the site for you!! It's free!!

So the latest BzzAgent campaign product I'm a part of is one I've actually used daily. It's Maybelline's latest lip repairing balm and a newly packaged/designed mascara. I was sent a box full of different flavors of the Baby Lips Balm (WITH SPF 20) and quite a few Great Lash Mascara.

Needless to say, I ripped into the lip balm hoping to repair a Winter-induced chapped skin. Next I put each flavor throughout my life. Sounds silly, I know. But I put one next to my bed. One in my car (thankfully it IS Winter), one in my purse, work bag, bathroom, etc..

I love the consistency of the balm. It's a little more oily than the store-brand chap sticks, which this BzzAgent likes. The packaging is wayy better also. Feels sturdy enough to withstand a dropped purse and I think the outer clear plastic part will protect said purse if the balm decides Texas Winter's aren't cool enough.

That day passed without me trying the mascara (lazy day...), but I did open up a few packages to try to figure out the brush! Let's face it, there's not much better than a CLEAN mascara brush. And that clean brush literally lasts until you dip it in the magical black liquid. So after a few seconds of admiring the clean brush, I realized this wasn't like any other mascara brush I had ever bought. Hard to explain in words but the teeth were more separated and the entire brush was angled. Maybelline created an angle that would help put on mascara without getting that magic black liquid all over your eyelid and nose (always happens to me). Needless to say, the next chance I had to throw some mascara on, I used Maybelline's. LOVED IT. I don't have many eyelashes it seems but this mascara found all of them and somehow made them longer and more full. Fabulous.

Normally I lose chapsticks....working on about 2 weeks with these and still have them waiting my pursed lips all over my life!

Visit to become a BzzAgent AND Maybelline's Facebook page for more information on these great NEW products!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Creative Shoot: Mystical Weekend

I'm a bit behind with this post, but it leads me into my
"I always include a cliche on Blogspot" casualty.

Better late than never.

Two weekends ago a crew took over Baker Lake in Kingsbury, Texas. Make-up artists, hair peeps, fierce models, cooks, fantabulously creative and talented photographers, and yes, even the stunt double for Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman in Batman Returns rocked each other's faces off with feathers, seaweed, body tattoos, fly systems, and fire (technically LED lights...thanks burn ban).

I could fill this post with quips and stories from the shoot officially dubbed: "Mystical Weekend" due to the Sirens, Warlocks, and Winged Fairy characters hunting after one another. Stories like how Josh Baker pulled a bicep muscle attempting a poorly executed-unrehearsed double lutz backhand spring cannonball on the aerial apparatus. Or how the LED lights turned out looking super more mystical than fire could have ever appeared (take that you 5 month drought you). Or how I drove an hour from my early AM make-up session with Lecia and Amy in Austin to our shoot location, with a bird fastened on my head and well, words simply don't do this justice:

Instead, here are a few of the final products along with a verrrry
short behind-the-scenes look at our Mystical Weekend of utter
madness and fake eyelash extravaganza. Click on the photos for a larger version.

Our valient photogs and leaders/designers/cohorts/
eyes and ears/planners/go getters/gut wrenchers for
Mystical Weekend were Geoff Hammond with
Hammondovi Photography and Josh Baker with Azul Ox.
Book them yo.

If you ever get any wild and crazy or just wild or just crazy ideas for photoshoots, send them our way. We'll probably do them and give you credit for them. Then I'll have another reason to post cliches on Blogspot...and I'll probably mention you there as well. So send your material along!

peace. love. and craziest idea wins a prize.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Only Blog Ever in the Entire World About The Sandlot & a Wedding

This Fall has been one of those Falls where I've had a zillion weddings, each being special, unique, perfect for each couple, and tons of fun.

On September 3rd just outside of Austin, Texas at a beautiful venue called Villa Antonia, I had the chance to not only see 2 childhood friends get married (Kristina & Derek), but I also was asked to act as a fly-on-the-wall videographer. Could not have been more honored.
Now here's a bit about Kristina. Her younger sister and I were inseparable growing up so I vividly remember Kris's walk-in closet floor being covered from front to back with shoes of all colors and shapes and types. I remember a drawer she dedicated to the most random stuff you could put in a drawer and how she would let my younger sister pick something out of this junk drawer every weekend.
I remember waking up Saturday mornings at the their house to the sound of Kristina typing super, super, super fast (I'm talking like 230 WPM here), messaging her friends on AIM. I remember plotting and preparing for weeks prior to some 90s Halloween weekend how she, her best friend, her sister, and I would be Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, Hamilton "Ham" Porter, Yeah Yeah, and Michael "Squints" Palledoros respectively from The Sandlot (pictured above but not in costume; this was in the Grand Cayman). I remember how Kristina always wore knee-high baseball socks and how she would sit in her bathroom sink to do her make-up.

Now I'm pretty sure she didn't start her wedding day off by IM'ing people about Friday night football game gossip or by parking her gorgeous wedding dress in the bathroom sink to get a touch-up. And I'm almost positive she didn't walk down the isle with those white baseball socks with a turquoise stripe. But everything about their wedding was Kristina! She and her husband (eeeek!) Derek looked so happy and I wish them years upon years of continued happiness.

I've included a few stills of the footage I picked up just in case you don't have time to watch the final product because you've got something better to do than watch these two lovebirds share their love!

peace. love. and white tuxedos.