Top Ten Things I’ve Learned From My Mum
As it is the day we all celebrate our Mum’s and take the time to thank them for all they have done and continue to do for us, I have put together a list of the top ten things I’ve learned from mine. Today, I want to share that with her, and all of you of course! (list in no particular order…)
1. Make Mistakes: It is the best, fastest and often the hardest way to learn. However, the mistakes you make teach you about yourself, make you human and help in your future.
2. Fall in Love: No matter how many people hurt you, how scared you are of having your heartbroken, or how many men take you for granted. Don’t build a wall around yourself, don’t push people away and don’t shut yourself down.
3. Be Forgiving: No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and being unforgiving only makes you bitter. You cannot judge anyone for their choices without stepping into their shoes. So if someone seeks forgiveness, forgive. If someone doesn’t seek forgiveness, forgive them anyway, in your heart. That last one is harder to do than to write in a sentence!
4. Don’t be Afraid to be Alone: Don’t settle, bounce around from relationship to relationship or stay with someone who makes you unhappy. Being alone can be liberating, fun and goo for your soul!
5. Be Kind: To those you love, to those who have been unkind to you, to those who least deserve it and to those who deserve it the most. Be kind to yourself and to your family (even when you really want someone to take all the bad stuff out on!)
6. Never Give Up: On yourself, on your dreams or on others. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t/won’t achieve something. If you believe you can and you work hard, you’ll get anywhere you want to go. If you are passionate about anything or anyone, do all you can to make that feature heavily in your life and don’t give up until you succeed!
7. Life is not Fair: I don’t mean by telling me that nothing will get handed to you, opportunities don’t come knocking and money doesn’t grow on trees (although she did say that a lot!)! I mean by preparing me for being kicked back, rejected and missing out, despite all my best efforts. Sometimes, life isn’t fair. You just have to take the rough with the smooth and hope that everything happens for a reason.
8. Travel: There is no better way to broaden your horizons (literally)! It makes you independent, opens you up to different cultures and ways of life, helps you grow as a person and it is amazing fun! Besides, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
9: It’s Good to Talk and it is good to Cry: A problem shared really is a problem halved and you’ll never feel better until you’ve let it all out and had a good cry! You don’t have to feel silly, weak or childish. You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to cry. Asking for help is welcomed and just needing an ear to chew (not literally) is OK too.
10. Respect Yourself: I mean this in every way! Don’t smoke, eat your 5-a-day, don’t sell yourself short (or cheap!), drugs are pointless and protection exists for more than one reason! If you respect yourself, others will respect you too.
My Top Ten Valentine Dresses
Hello All! A rather late, Happy New Year and SORRY for being so terrible at blogging lately. I damaged my hands a while back and was asked to keep my typing and computer usage to a minimum HOWEVER, I am bursting to show you these cute dresses so, here they are…
Valentines day is quickly approaching and regardless of your “relationship status”, it is nice to spend the day with that special someone or the special people you love. I always dress a little bit “valentines themed” and there are some gorgeous dresses out there to chose from this year. I have selected a mix of casual and formal, red and pink dresses that would look suitably adorable whatever you are doing! Also, if any men are looking for gift ideas, these should help give you an idea. Happy Shopping!! X
Top Ten Party Tips…
It is party season once more and many of us have several events to juggle which means we also have several outfits to plan. It can be expensive to keep getting new hot, on trend dresses to dazzle the crowd in so I’ve come up with a few tips to help make an old outfit look fresh, to make the same outfit look different and to generally just rock the party season like a pro!
1. Switch up your Shoes! To give your outfit the edge, team it with some really bright heels. That simple change can make the most casual of ensembles a little more glam. Wearing the same Little Black Dress you wore last year? Bright red heels or cute detailed shoes like these from Kurt Geiger will really make you stand out!
2. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize! Bright, bold, over-sized jewelry can dress up a simple dress and give it some added flare. However, you might rather just accessorize with an embellished bag as it gives the same results.
3. Don’t Crash Diet! Instead make it all about the outfit and find a dress that flatters your body. Crash dieting only makes your first drink go straight to your head and you feel low on energy all day.
4. Dressing for your Body! It is probably the most important factor of them all. If you have legs to die for or a cleavage to make Christina Hentricks envious, make sure you find a dress that shows off your very best feature. This will give you a confidence you’ll radiate all night and you’ll turn heads wherever you go.
6. Remember Facebook! A dress can be see-through or underwear shows through and you don’t notice until it is too late. Snap a picture of yourself before you go out to prevent any regrets later!
7. Always have a Back-up! You can never be too careful. A zip might break, you might feel bloated or a sequin could come loose. Having a plan B is always a good idea and saves a big panic on the day.
8. Pick a drink and stick to it! There is nothing worse than feeling like you made a fool of yourself the night before. Pick a drink at the beginning of the night and keep drinking it. Mixing just gets you more drunk quicker and makes you feel like hell the next day!
9. Hot Hair! There is a saying that your hair is your biggest accessory so make the most of it. Practice before the event so you don’t stress out on the night and play around with different styles. Also pick a hair-do that will best show off your dress. For instance, a strapless number often works best with a chic up-do.
10. Most importantly, have fun! Mingle with friends and strangers alike. Keep conversation light and relaxed. If you look and feel fantastic, your confidence will run through to every aspect of the night!
Do you have any hot tips?? Let me know!
Keeping things Chalet Chic…
I have always found that dressing fashionably and keeping warm, don’t always go hand in hand. I think this is especially true for women because wearing lots of layers and covering up from head to toe can sometimes take away our “edge”. However, this season, the fashion world has decided that bright bold colours are IN and the oversized slouch look is still the way of the future.
In particular, I’m talking jumpers and cardigans, those items that can look bulky and unflattering have been designed to look effortlessly chic and fun too. With the high-street and designer stores alike embracing different textures, daring colours and cutesy animal patterns, your comfortable and practical clothing can now say as much about you as your cute outfit underneath. The fashion world call it “Chalet Chic”, I think of it more as a Classic Winter look. I grew up with my parents wearing this sort of thing, I even used to laugh at them for it, now I think they were just ahead of their time…
Here are my Top Ten Picks for an affordable yet stylish way to bring your winter wardrobe right up to date.
Advice for New Acting Grads…and old ones!
As a fresh wave of graduates joins the flood of Actors already out there competing for roles, I can’t help but think back to last year when I graduated and joined the “real world”. One thing acting school does not (and probably cannot) prepare you for is just how tough it is day in, day out.
Most of us leave with our degrees in hand having trained in our art. We feel hopeful, excited and optimistic that we will be successful and make a career out of it. Most of us have been told how tough it is, warned of just how much competition there really is out there, heard the realities of the ongoing expenses that the business demands. Most of us “think” we are prepared for it. Being told something and experiencing it are incredibly different and no words can really prepare you for the emotions that go hand-in-hand with these harsh truths. None of us would even bother if we thought for one moment we couldn’t overcome all the trials and tribulations. All actors must have absolute belief that we are talented, we are what “they” are looking for and maybe, just maybe, we will get the part!
And I’m not saying that we won’t. But there are thousands and thousands of super talented actors sadly out of work growing frustrated and tired. So, I have put together a list of tips for any recent Grads who might feel a little lost now they are “out” and ultimately, on their own.
- Don’t wait for work to come to you. If you are lucky enough to have an agent – awesome. If you don’t, this is not as “terrible” as you are led to believe. You have hundreds of small theatres, pub theatres and studios willing to let young creatives take over the space and put on a night of theatre for little money or even a share of the ticket price. This can be done fairly cheaply and it’s a good opportunity to invite along industry folk who you want to work with. A perfect example of how successful this can be are Made From Scratch. A theatre company set up in 2009 by two graduates from Rose Bruford who has regularly showcased new writers, directors and actors around the capital. They started out small putting on Scratch Nights – a short play or a collection of short plays and monologues but two years later they are off to Edinburgh Festival with their first full length play.
- Don’t under estimate Social Media. Get out there; join forums, even the most unlikely of websites such as LinkedIn can connect you to hundreds of writers, directors and other actors all looking to collaborate. Working with people on fresh new material is incredibly exciting. Make sure that across the board you are saying the same thing about yourself, all your credits are up to date and your images/showreel are the same. You are a brand; it is part of your job to brand yourself across all forms of social media professionally and consistently. Twitter, Facebook, Ideastap as well as CastingCallPro and Spotlight all connect you to people just like you and tell you industry information!
- Know your Industry. Find out when that musical/TV series you are dying to star in is casting and independently of any agent you might have, write the Director or CD an email or a letter (yes letter!! Think how many emails they get…letters are quite novel!) and express what character you are interested in, enclose your CV and Headshot (and CONTACT info). It will probably produce little reward but…what if that one person reads it and wants to see you. You have nothing to lose so do it! Also as a side note: keep your emails/letters short and to the point. They do not have the time to read your life story. In addition, tailor each letter, express praise for something you know they recently worked on etc.
- Pay Attention and Know what’s going on. You don’t have endless funds but you can get some cracking deals on theatre tickets if you do your research! Go and SEE theatre, watch that independent film, read interviews, reviews, take an interest in those who are casting or about to start working on their next project. We have the internet, The Stage, countless journals and blogs. There is no excuse not to know what is going on.
- Never Stop Learning. Keep your training up; movement, voice, being present. I’m not saying we “forget” but under the pressure of an audition, if these things are no longer like second nature you may just “forget” to perform to your best. There are countless reputable companies offering cheap workshops for actors to get involved in and keep refining their skills. (Social Media sites regularly advertise these)
- Talk to each other. So you’ve heard about a casting of a play…do you know anyone you have worked with or went to school with that could play one of those roles?! Talk to them and send them the details… next time, they might just return the favour. Remember, we are all competing but that’s no reason not to let each other know about things and help each other out. Also as a side note: just because your friend is doing well, doesn’t mean you aren’t. You are on different paths and acting in a turbulent business. Be happy for your friends when they are doing well, they will find it much easier to be happy for you when your turn comes.
- Always Attend Castings. We have all been there when we have received instructions to attend an audition and we look at the breakdown and go…erm…this isn’t my casting. To be honest, that isn’t your job to decide. Do your best with the material you’ve been given, go there with confidence and give it your all. You never know, you may just surprise yourself…and the casting directors.
- Look after yourself. You are going to get stressed. You will have times of immense frustration. Make sure you sleep well, drink lots of water, moisturise your skin, maintain your hair/nails/figure. It sounds so silly but you have no idea when you will be hired, you need to make sure you are always ready to perform, ready to audition and ready to be seen. Keeping control of yourself (your brand) will make you feel more in control of your career. You don’t want the fact that you look shattered to be the reason you don’t get hired. Also, stress and frustration can easily spiral into depression if you lose sight of your goal and feel sorry for yourself for too long.
- Be Realistic and Stop to take Stock. Don’t get upset and frustrated because it hasn’t happened yet. Every achievement, no matter how small is still an achievement. It means you’ve got yourself out there, been proactive and hopefully helped your career. So many times we are thinking about that next show, or the audition we have coming up after closing night or “that’s a wrap” has been shouted we forget to give ourselves a small pat on the back. Of course focus on what is next; but also stop and take notice of what you’ve achieved. If you’ve had a whole day of sending out CVs/Headshots and researching what’s casting, you should still see that as a small achievement. So many actors sit back and wonder why people aren’t knocking on their door for work; at least you’ve been doing something.
- Remember; If you quit today then I guarantee you would have made it tomorrow. Keep with it for as long as your dream is alive. If you realise this career if not for you, that is one thing; but if you’re sat, reading this, unable to imagine a life without performing…remember that phrase. It will pick you up when times get tough.
All that is left to say is…Break a leg! Let me know your thoughts on this blog – you can find me on Twitter @k8hollowood and if you have any questions or queries, I’d love to hear from you.