Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Be More Than Just A Pretty Face

Dear Models, Actors, Hosts, Comedians, and Newbies: other words, please do not depend solely on your looks when it comes to trying to book gigs.

You are not respecting your craft if you do not prepare or at least are willing to learn so that you're on your A-Game when presenting yourself. And I get that some are born with natural Talent and looks. But even the talented and beautiful can use some sort of training and structure.

Being THAT Talent who isn't open to try new things or open to constructive criticism is not who we want to work with or hire. If you respect the craft, you have to nurture it. Be open. Be flexible. Research. Watch who is doing what you want to do and do it better or do it in your own way. But don't sit on your ass relying on the hook up or someone to book you directly because you look good.

Making yourself better can actually make you more marketable and more money! Cha-Ching! And sometimes work means working on yourself to get work and more work...and there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Work on those facial expressions, poses, hand gestures, and/or diction. 
  • Work out, try a new hair style or cut. Take new photos. Test the waters! 
  • Follow up on leads. Ask for help. 
  • Practice! 
  • Got a camera? No? Borrow one. Have a friend do a mock interview of you and watch yourself.
  • Interview a friend and watch yourself interviewing them.
  • Go to an actual magazine shop or book store and buy some different magazines and books for inspiration on facial expressions, poses...and learn a little about body language.
  • You have a fave doing what you want to do? Google them! See what has them working and try to implement what they're doing in your strategy.
You have to empower yourself. Invest in yourself...unless you're trying to stay local and known only to your crew of friends....and there's nothing wrong with being local. But don't complain if and when others are doing big and bigger things while you stay unknown.

It's really simple. You want more? Do more!

That's all I've got!

Good luck. Get booked!



Thursday, April 16, 2015


Hey, there...hey!

For those of you who want to be on-camera for anything...Reality TV, Acting, Hosting, Improv, News Anchoring, Public Speaking, Comedy, or Oral Interpretation of Literature in the park...
You rrrrrrrrrrreally must get "umm" out of your vocab.


I don't think you realize you do it or how much you do! Umm in between breaths, in between sentences and random words...umm as a place setting until the next thought.


It's comforting, right? It gives you a minute to catch up to your thoughts. It's a cushion for your brain farts. It's also second nature to a lot of people. 

I get it!

But that damn UMMM is also distracting. It makes you sound unsure and insecure. It makes it difficult for editing. And too many of them sound annoying. It's the devil!


Start to pay attention to your words. Try to see if you can catch some of those umms you let run wildl! Make a deal with yourself to stop them right in their tracks. You'll be surprised how often you say it! I even say it, umm, all the time, umm but umm er umm...I'm not Talent ;)

Practice reading out loud. Practice saying your own words out loud. Ask friends who support your on-camera endeavors to help you catch those filthy Ummms!

Filth! Filth! Filth!

You don't want those umms at your interviews, on your reel, on stage or on screen. 

Umm, nope!

Don't let them to accompany you on auditions or meetings with Casting Directors, Agents, Producers or Directors. No way! You don't want the person who can Book you to meet umm either!


And listen...don't try to psych yourself into just using umm around your friends and fam. 


You want umm gone! BYE! Why? Because once you form that bad habit, it'll be difficult to shake it.

So no umms in 2015 and beyond!

Take some Speech, Diction and Accent Reduction classes while you're at it! 


Classes and workshops can help with umm and other speaking "issues" you've picked up along the years. What you'll learn will help with auditions and delivery once that gig is booked!

Ummm k?  

Now go get booked!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

3 Critical Questions For Choosing Your Best Head shots

3 Critical Questions For Choosing Your Best Headshots

Your head shot is an essential tool for getting work but you should also think of it as an investment. You can’t just ask a friend to take a photo of you sitting on your couch and expect a good response. You will need to hire an experienced photographer who knows how take head shot photos.
Considering how cheap digital photos are, photographers these days typically take hundreds of photos in one sitting.  Out of that, you will need to choose the best 1, 2 or 3. However, the one you like the most might not be the one that attracts talent agents.

So how do you choose the right head shot?  Use these 3 questions to help:

1.  Is the photo technically perfect?
Believe it or not, your favorite photo might not be technically correct.  You might have moved without thinking about it, the lighting is off, or a hair is distractingly out of place. These are things the photographer should catch, but they may not. Make sure the head shot you are considering is technically flawless. 

Areas to play extra close attention to are:
  • Look for the photo to be in focus, especially on your face.
  • Is it free of white, shiny, hot spots from the lighting, like on your forehead or your nose?
  • Are there any stray hairs or lint somewhere that will draw the talent agent’s eyes from your face to the mistake?
Any time you answer “yes” to these questions, you have to reject the photo or get it touched up in Photoshop or at the lab.  Talent agents receive dozens of head shots a day and are looking for reasons to throw them out.  Don’t let poor technical quality be the reason yours is “filed” in the trash.

2.  Does the head shot make you castable by entertainment industry professionals while also representing you at your best?
The headshot must make it clear how to Cast you.  Talent agents need to be able to sell you for specific kinds of roles, so your head shot needs to reflect that type. For example, if you are looking to be cast as a villain or antagonist, don’t pick a photo of you smiling.  No one photo can be all sides of an actor, but if you think about what roles you want to get, that will make it easier to choose.

Ultimately, your head shot has to look like you and capture your essence in the eyes of professionals. Your photographer should help you during the photo shoot to get your best look. Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion on which option expresses you best, as they often have a good sense of what Casting and talent agents are looking for.

3.  Do you feel like it represents “you?”
Since you will be sending out hundreds of these photos, and they will be the first contact for many of the talent agents who receive it, you need to feel good about the head shot.
Don’t choose one that you have concerns about, such as how you just hate your hair fixed that way, or you think it’s a bad angle on your nose. This photo represents you and your talent!  It should have your good thoughts toward it, too.

You need to feel as confident about the head shot as you do about your acting ability. Choose a photo that makes you proud when you send out your cover letter mailing to talent agents and managers. You want the real inner “you” to come through so that it sets you apart in some unexplainable way.  Yes the photo must do the job in what it looks like, but that eternal quality that represents the “you” beyond what we see must also come through. If you don’t like a photo, there’s a good chance it’s not the right one.  Pick one that you like that industry professionals also like.

If you take these three questions into account and can answer them in the positive way, you are well on your way to choosing a great headshot for you!

via Smart Girls Productions. Order their Hollywood Headshot Handbook ebook:

So good luck and get booked!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

When Keeping it Cosby Goes Wrong...

So hey there....hey! 
I went over to Facebook to "like" some posts, check on Birthdays, and see what was generally being discussed when I came across a status update posted by a friend. The following is a series of Tweets I posted afterwards. By the next morning, he deleted his Facebook page.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dating in New York City...a Casting Story.


I'm working on a relationship show and I'm starting to get "the sads."

1st of all, just on a presentation and Casting note...if you're submitting photos while trying to find love, you reeeeeeally shouldn't send in mean mugging pics. Yes, I do realize that NY is THE mean-mugging capitol of the world, but you get more with honey than vinegar! How do you expect someone to be remotely interested if you look like you want to fight?
...but back to my sadness. :(
Seems like many many many women have the same dating woes in NY. I'm talking about fabulous, fly, friendly, successful and ready for love women. But it's the same story! No matter what age...younger and older, these men they encounter do not want relationships. They want sex. JUST sex.

And there are levels to these same sad and common NY dating stories! These men wait until after sex to tell them know that they only want sex or they wait until it feels like a relationship to say they only wanted sex. Seems like the guys don't care if the woman ends up hurt or hating is their only want and need.

Soooo...even when these women are clear, it doesn't end up in a long term committed monogamous relationship. And talking to these women in person and on the phone has me stressed because I'm sure that the problem CAN NOT be all on them. Can it? Then on top of that, these women have been single on an average of 3-5 years! 3 to 5 years SINGLE? 

With so many men and women in NY, I refuse to believe that single life is the only option. However...One observation may support that notion: A lot of NY men don't know how to court or date. Observation #2: A lot of NY men don't know how to talk to women nicely.

Y'all are a little rough around the edges!!!!!
And I'm not just talking about men who may appear rough on the exterior! I'm talking to the Pretty Boy Floyds too. Yeah, you! Be nice!

Not sure what the psychology is behind the behavior but if you want nice, shouldn't you be nice? Where does talking down to women get you? If you want a nice woman that you don't plan on "ruining," shouldn't you be nice to her?

Then there are men who you have to remind that we are women. Ugh! I think some get so comfortable or are so used to the slick talking, fast talking NY hustle and grind mentality that they forget that tone matters.

How you speak to me is a reflection of how you feel about me.
Now back to the women I've been interviewing. Beautiful, some without kids, kind, nurturing, selfless, fun, great backgrounds and upbringings...SINGLE! Sooooo many! And the stories are the same!  

Is NY the roughest hardest place to date? Is it the culture? What about Black women vs White women vs non-American women? Which group is the loneliest in NYC?

As a Haitian woman who is strong and fearless in the field but submissive/nurturing at my opinion, I think NY is a hateful place when it comes to romance. NY is not built for romance! Waaaaaait...let me explain!  Aesthetically, it is the most romantic place ever! Between restaurants, Plays, Museums, novelty shops for the most original gifts, parks, Historic venues, Art, outdoor activities and Groupon...NY is the SHIT! There is too much going on for Romance not to be found or developed. Shit is motivational. You can fall in love with the idea of NY. 


Fundamentally...NY is too rough for romance. Too slick. Too casual. Too nonchalant. Unapologetic. Drama filled. Loud. Rude. Selfish! Even the Homeless are elitists! Dudes won't hold doors, give up seats on trains, move out of a woman's way on side walks, hail you a taxi, or walk with you on the street. Yes...that last one is a Pet Peeve of mine till death! If we are going somewhere together, why are you walking ahead of me? And dudes don't even invite you out in NY. They want to meet up or better yet...Tweet up! Oh.

 So if you are missing the basics, how can NY Romance strive? 

 ...and then there are the women in NY like the ones I'm interviewing who oblige. Oy! And if they're not obliging in that way, they're playing the role of the man. Desperation maybe? Loneliness? Fatigue? Or are you trying to raise men whose father's didn't? Paying for dinners, always the inviter, holding doors open, 1st to call or text, all while still being the nurturing feminine woman?

This project low key has me depressed! Shaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Pardon me, NY, but what happened to: Do you like me? Circle yes or no? What happened to talking, building, learning each other, courting and romance? 

Is this city about that romance life or are you only good enough as a backdrop for romantic films?

Let me find out NY is only good on paper!

Listen...Whether you agree or disagree, hate my metaphors and similes or are clapping along like I'm preaching in church, these stories and experiences are out there and are not unique. I don't have the answers, you feel me? I only can give my opinions based on experience, observations and what's being told to me in these interviews. My only wish is that we can talk about it, be honest about what we want and don't, be a bit flexible, find a happy medium, and take advantage of everything New York City has to offer...together. 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dear John...I mean, Text

Dear Text Message…

Hey, you.  Got a minute?  There are some things on my mind and I don’t know how to say this but it needs to be said.  I realize that this isn’t your preferred method of communicating but I have to do what’s best for me, what’s best for us, what’s best for those who know us both, and honestly...this isn’t working.

I think we should go our separate ways.

I’m not going to lie and say it’s not you, it’s me…because it truly is YOU.  Now it’s not all on you, but those who use you to communicate with me have not done you justice and it’s making me resentful in the process.  I understand that you don’t have total control of how people handle you and sometimes abuse your convenient ways…but something has got to give.  I’m at a point where everything about you annoys me, sometimes angers me and even has me questioning my own sanity and values.  I say all that to say…I can’t do this with you anymore.  

I should have stuck to my guns in the beginning when I never had you.  Remember those days?  People would constantly push you on me, side eye me for not using you, question my carrier service, beg me to try you just once.  I even wrote a blog about dating and you.  “Do you want to date me or Text me?”  That was a good one!  And I stood my ground for the longest.  It was hard explaining to loved ones, friends and colleagues why you and I didn’t make sense, but it wasn’t about all of them…it was about me and you. 

I never fell for your charm and easily accessible ways because I preferred the more personable route.  While you serve quickies and resolutions in a NY Minute, I was looking for more of a commitment…sometimes a paper trail, other times more details in one email or a quick phone call rather than what 30 annoying back-to-back messages in a row would provide.  When folks would get upset about tone, I preferred to call so they could hear me and my words, my inflection, my enthusiasm, happiness or lack thereof. 
But it wasn’t easy avoiding you all this time; and some of the rewards have been great.  However… I’ve gotten the chance to get to know people and get a better understanding of how they feel by just listening vs. reading what they’d have to say.  Even voice mail messages have improved from people who claim they normally did not do that…but once they realized how easy it could be and how quickly I’d respond, they’d oblige and continue that method without much pressure or pain.

I can’t say the same for you though!  I stepped out of my comfort zone, joined the masses, and decided this past Summer to try you out.  I have never been the type to adhere to peer pressure or subscribe to “what’s hot in these streets,” but I also didn’t want to be like that dated and out-of-style person you’d see in the club who doesn’t know the latest and greatest fashion or dances.  
I was so hesitant at first because I knew that once we started, others would follow and I might lose that personal touch I worked so hard to gain. Nevertheless, I decided to take a chance and almost 6 months later…I’m ready to let you go.
Now don’t get me wrong…you most definitely have a use.  I’ve had THE funniest and sometimes heartwarming convos via you. I couldn’t believe it myself!  Me? Miss Anti-Text!?!  I’ve been so Pro-phone call all this time that I didn’t realize I was changing, conforming…turning into those I’ve criticized and avoided because all they do is TEXT. And you’ve come in handy on many occasions when only quick and short communication has been necessary.  Lovely ETA updates,  nice hello and good night messages, phone number/email/address exchanges, smiley faces after a message has gone wrong…only to make it right, XOXOs from my nieces, jokes from friends, and naughty exchanges between me and HIM.  Ahhhh…good times. 
But what about the not-so-good-times?  We already know about the car accidents, deaths, and screen-cap tragedies that end up on Social Media, right? 
And how about when you are in the middle of a text convo, a juicy one, and HIM or HER leave you hanging? By the time they text back, you're just skin and bones...
But there have also been misinterpreted messages, misread tone, unnecessary awkward silences after receiving or sending something to the wrong person, awkward silences while waiting on a response to something personal or deep that we’ve shared and hope isn’t shared with others, and halted movements at the hands of those who have information needed in order for us to make our next move…literally.  You know how crazy it looks to be waiting on you JUST so I can leave or arrive?  And sometimes you don’t come until the next day!  So what happens next is resentment, anger, distrust, saltiness and…the lies.
So many have lied on you so they wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences.  Mind you, these are most likely THE SAME ones who rely on you so heavily that you wouldn’t know what their actual hands look like!  All you see is the phone and heads down. But that doesn’t stop them from using you as a scapegoat, does it?  I didn’t get the Text.  My phone died.  I didn’t have service.  The connection was bad.  I was in a dead spot.  I didn’t see it till this morning.  You sent a Text?  When?  I didn’t know you needed a response.
See…I can only deal with so much.  Not that everyone is lying on you but if there are constant issues with you AND the common denominator is YOU…then YOU have to go.  Sorry.
Maybe we can be friends?  I don’t want to completely lose you…especially since so many people are fond of you.  You’re not all bad!  It’s just that some people don’t know a good thing when they have it and end up spoiling it for the rest of us.  So let’s make a deal.  I won’t ignore you COMPLETELY, dismiss you, or disable you. But I will not be able to use you like I have been for the past few months.  Only for quick exchanges, an occasional hello or check in, and ETA/I’ve arrived updates for sure. Maybe. Cool?
But some of these periodically deep, sometimes critical, ever so often snappy, uncertainly misunderstood, randomly random, impersonally personal, awkwardly silencing Text messages need to end…today and now.
I know you don’t agree with me and I’m sorry if this hurts you.  That certainly is not my intention.  I just wanted to be woman enough to admit that this method really isn’t my thing and I was doing it mostly for everyone else and not for me.  I hope you understand and respect my decision.

Call me…


Monday, December 2, 2013

The Problem with Please and Thank You…

Soooooo....the problem with Please and Thank You is…there is no problem with them!  The problem is YOU!  Okay maybe not you, per se…but it’s the spoiled, the rotten, the selfish, the “too comfortable”, and the elitist. Yup…I said it!  The ELITIST…those who are so used to getting what they want that they forget who, what, when, where, and why they received the blessings in the 1st place.

All uh dem!

For some reason people forgot their manners and decided that, pleasantries are no longer required in business and personal life.  But Please doesn’t suffer as much as Thank you though!  Oh no!  Thank you is almost taboo, non-existent, a “Lockness Monster” or “Bigfoot” that you hear about and read about but only comes out when no witnesses are around.

Now some may say that when it comes to business, the check should be Thank you enough…touché!  However, we don’t always receive monetary compensation when conducting business.  Sometimes we are networking, connecting dots, forwarding helpful articles, bartering, giving advice, or congratulating someone on a job well done.

Guess what’s supposed to come next?  Thank you!  It’s bad enough we rely on smart phones and social media…but do we have to lose common courtesies too?

You mean to tell me that the newest and trendiest thing out right now is to take without acknowledgement?  Receive without appreciating?  Benefit without giving back?  Accept without saying a motherfucking THANK YOU?

So what if we nice people decided to flip it?  A wise person told me TUH DAY, “as soon as a person stops thanking you…that’s when you stop. “  What do you think?  Is this good advice?  But I don’t want to change who I am because you don’t have manners…you feel me?  And as a person who gives and gives and sometimes doesn’t receive the same type of efforts, encouragement, hook-ups, or niceness in return, AT MINIMUM, I'd appreciate and expect a Thank You. 

Yes, you read correctly…I used the word, EXPECT.  People say that you should give without expecting anything but I call, bullshit!  We should definitely give because we want to, because we can and/or out of the kindness of our hearts…but I don’t know many or anyone who wouldn’t want to be acknowledged or thanked.  Now of course I’m not talking the about the Saints who live among us and the good anonymous Samaritans who do good things and vanish without a trace.  I am talking about the average person…those who we communicate with, work with, talk to, like, and love.

You’re making it harrrrrrrrrrd on us who want to do good things because we want to do good things!  And I don’t know if it’s because you’re living in a bubble, too busy or too oblivious to realize it.  But, without a simple thanks, you suck the positive energy out of that gesture that was made just for you. You also can make a person feel like your undeserving of said gesture and any future ones that may have had your name on them.

So listen here!  Next time someone does something nice for you, says something nice to you, or because of you…say, Thank you.  

It should roll off your tongue with ease.  Think of it as dessert after a well-cooked meal or that unexpected check you received after doing a good job.  You thank God, you thank your credit card for working when you get to the register after you've OD'd at Target…you even thank Hollywood writers you’ve never met after something good comes on your TV! So go ahead…thank your friend for that advice, your co-worker for picking up your slack, that person who complimented you on your outfit of the day, your Follower for leaving a comment on your blog,  your homie who just wanted to check on you, your family for putting up with you, your colleague for those tickets, that associate for the referral, and him or her for being that shoulder to cry on or ear to vent to when things may not go your way.  Don’t forget those you pray for you and the ones who cheer for you.

Thank them.  Now thank me.

...and Thanks for reading.