Just doing my job

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you...

...without a dope blog to read to. (Timbaland/Aaliyah reference). I can't believe it's been so long since I've written. You would think with me being ill and house bound, I would have written a bit. No worries. I am here now with news, pics and lots of warm fuzzies to spread around!

From the last blog you can see that my agency here in the States put out a huge press release. The release includes articles, a fabulous photo and two billbaords in Times Square and Las Vegas. As you can see below, I am in fact, on a billboard. I always wanted to say that, and thanks to my hard working and determined agency, I am. This is only leading to more amazing things on the way.



As far as an update with the international agency I'm with, Brigitte Models in Germany and the UK, I can now be found and booked through their website:

I feel so proud of this accomplishment since it plays so much into my ultimate goal of international travel and exposure. It is such a BIG check off my list, when I think of marking it off, I can't help but jump up and down like a little girl and dance around my kitchen! All smiles over here!

From my Food Network sources, that is, my father and a couple of friends who share his passion for all things cooking, have told me they are running promos for 24 Hour Restaurant Battle - the show I am a part of this summer. Keep in mind I'm in Episode 5. Dvr it, watch it live, play a drinking game to it (any time you see my face, take a shot!). Do what you got to, but don't miss it! It'll be my first national television appearance since America's Next Top Model back in 2007! It's nice to be back on the boob tube.

And lastly, to all my California boys and girls, I will be traveling to Los Angeles pretty soon for work. More details to come, but get ready to show me a good time, Cali-stylie! Big hugs and lots of love to you guys. Thanks for showing interest and keeping up with me on my journey. I am thrilled to pieces you are a part of it. Kisses!

Friday, June 18, 2010

IPM Models Press Release

As you all know, my American agency is IPM Model Management in New York. There are offices in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles as well. I signed with IPM after a month of moving to New York, and my career thus far speaks for itself. Recently five girls from the agency and I were asked to be a part of a huge press release showcasing the agency and the talent. I was thrilled I came to New York in time to be a part of such an incredible experience. I am grateful to work with such inspiring women who want nothing but the best for each other, and have offered so much moral support in the aspirations of each individual. Here is the press release and the photo chosen of the sexy, curvy ladies of IPM Model Management:

Once I receive copies of the photo in high resolution, I will post it here for your viewing pleasure! This can only break down doors and bring in more opportunity for the dream. I am so excited, and look forward to sharing more amazing experiences as they come!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Time to make a change...

Choosing to be in this industry means being flexible with your life. Scheduling, priorities, and meetings ebb and flow like the tides. Sometimes you are so busy you forget what day it is, and other times your days crawl by at an excruciating rate. The past couple of weeks have been a mixture of the two for me. On June 7, myself and Gabby from our agency got a unique opportunity to test with Lane Bryant to possibly become new models for them. They flew us out to their headquarters in Ohio in the early morning. When we arrived, we jumped into hair and make up to start our full day of shooting. It was a blast to say the least. All day we rocked out to classic hits of the eighties, which kept my spirits fun and loose. The office at their headquarters is such a great place. I can't imagine the people who work for Lane Bryant not loving their job. Music is playing everywhere you go, they pride themselves on being green and have signs posted that say "Every day is Earth Day at Lane Bryant", and the organic cafe inside is awesome. Originally we were to do ten outfits, but ended up having so much fun we kept it going to about fifteen or so. No matter the outcome, the experience was unforgettable and I am so grateful I had the chance to meet all those wonderful people and be in such a positive environment. After the shooting was done, Gabby and I hopped back on a plane and headed back to NYC.

When I got home, I honestly didn't think my day could have been any better or more productive, but I was in for a treat! I had received an email from Brigitte Models in Germany with an invitation to join their amazing board of models from Europe and the US. What a thrill!! I immediately responded and have since taken steps to become a Brigitte Model. One of my ultimate goals, as you can tell from this blog, is to go international. This is the first step in achieving that success. Their board is impressive, and I am honored to be part of it.

The more I think about my priorities in this industry, and the pursuit of this career, the more I realize what's truly important to me. It's not so much about the fame and attention as it is the life experience that comes with opportunities like the ones afforded in the entertainment industry. As long as I can remember, I have wanted financial security, world travel and a cultured mind and soul. I want to learn everything, see everything, take it all in and have my mind blown on a daily basis. I am an experience junkie, to put it simply. It doesn't matter how small or great the feat. I just know in my deepest desire, I want to see and be it all. Maybe that's asking a lot, but I think it's possible. There's no limit to what I am capable of. And that thought alone gets me so excited about life. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MP Fresh Face

Hey everyone! I was recently invited to be a Madison Plus Fresh Face, and couldn't be more honored and happy to do it. The ladies over at Madison Plus have their finger on the pulse of all things plus, fashion and in style right now for women everywhere. Check them out here:

And while you are there, check out my Fresh Face article with photos. This blog is going to be short since today is a busy one, but I will be back next week with more! Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A job is a job is a... lesson?

This blog is going to talk about a recent shoot I was on and subject matter the marketing campaign is about. Although I believe it is a topic of extreme importance, and something more people the world over need to know about, I want to issue a warning. This warning is mostly for my younger readers who are inexperienced in the ways of relationships and love, and ask that you first have your parents read this blog before you do as it deals with something they may not have brought up to you yet. I will say this, the research on this topic says girls starting as young as nine should be informed, but I realize that is a parental decision and not mine to make. So let's take a brief pause whilst you youngsters do the right thing and let your 'rents know before you read...

Good? Good.

Yesterday I was part of a marketing campaign (in the works) about the virus HPV. This research company is looking to find new ways of getting the word out about HPV, not just to young women, but to everyone. Considering it is linked to sexual health even though it is a public health concern, it can be difficult finding ways to market the vaccine and get information out in general. I understand it is a sensitive topic, but there is so much more that is involved with the over 100 known strains of HPV than most people know about. I hesitated on taking the job initially because my career is so new, and having my stamp on subject matter as stigmatized as HPV scared me a little. But there is one thing I understand: as scary as it is, it is something that deserves attention in order to help save young women's lives. When I arrived at the office, I didn't really know what to expect. And when I left the office, I didn't really know how I felt.

Since the campaign is still in it's infancy and production phase, I won't discuss much on the ads and approaches they are taking to get the word out. I do want to talk about the severity of the virus, and how important it is to take your life into your own hands and get tested. When you start a new relationship, or are in one for years, stay safe and smart and still get tested with your annual woman's exam. As I watched some of the ads they have already made on this topic, I found it really difficult to not get emotional knowing that so many serious health risks, including DEATH, could have been prevented for these women had they been informed, felt supported in seeking information and done something before it was too late.

At the risk of sounding like I am on a soapbox, which is not my intention, I will not go on and on about this topic. There are just a few quick facts I learned yesterday that stuck with me and I felt the need to share.
1. Over 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year stemming from the virus HPV.
2. Not all strains of HPV are incurable, lead to genital warts or cervical cancer, but with so many strains out there, is it worth the risk in NOT getting tested?
3. Pre-cancerous cells are showing up in women with certain types of HPV as young as 22 years old.

I apologize if this subject matter and this blog upset anyone or made anyone uncomfortable. Trust me, the whole time we filmed yesterday, I was uncomfortable. But sometimes it takes getting out of our comfort zones to really learn something important. Think of it this way: When you or someone you know and love finds out they have pre-cancerous cells or complications stemming from a type of HPV, and they didn't know it could have been prevented because they weren't informed, yet YOU did - how uncomfortable would you feel then?

I wanted to come back and add something very important that I left out earlier, and it's something that gets left out when talking about HPV quite often. If you are diagnosed with any form of it, it is not the end of the world. There are so many resources out there to help you live a healthy life even with HPV. It's not knowing you have it, not getting tested and being uninformed that leads to the most severe consequences of this virus. I just want to be clear on that. You can still lead a healthy, vibrant and happy life even with HPV. But knowing and staying informed is your greatest tool for success.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Always learning...

I think it's safe to say that since I have arrived in NYC in January, I have hit the ground running and done very well in terms of making progress in my quest. I do my best everyday to make new contacts, go on auditions, meet the right people and just put myself out there in general. I have learned a lot about myself in the years prior to coming here, and even more since being here - even if it has been for just a short period as of yet. For the most part, I am what you would call an idealist. I like to think of the perfect situation or outcome to a situation, and focus of that. I work hard to get what I want, and can sometimes be stubborn about it (and really bummed when it doesn't happen). I believe wholeheartedly in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. Whatever you put out in the world is what you will receive back from it. I don't believe in dwelling on negative outcomes or possibilities, and I try to distance myself from people who do.

What's the point of all this, you ask?

Well, I have done so well focusing and working hard on my career dreams of being a professional in the entertainment industry that I have lost sight of being a success in my day to day life of being a self sufficient, independent adult. Sometimes the downside to being an idealist is that you don't realize you are not being a realist. This is not intended to be a negative blog. I am not at all coming down on myself for anything, but I am learning. As much as, like Rihanna, I "want it all - the fame, the money, the cars, the clothes" - I also want to be completely self sufficient and strong within myself emotionally, mentally and financially. Modeling is a great paying job. One of the best. And for that, I am grateful. But it doesn't really matter if I don't make the effort to invest - not only in the stability of my financial future - but also in the care of my soul.

Maybe this blog is just a rant. Maybe its just a selfish, cathartic act. And maybe it's how I see it. A lesson. I read something really inspiring the other day from Rob Brezny. He said our hearts were made to be broken. Each time it breaks, it opens that much more for love to hold space. I like that. It's not just romantic love that causes our hearts to break. We break our own hearts. The important thing here is when it heals, it's more open for love to enter.

This lesson has been tough, but I think it's the best one I have been given in a long time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Coming to a television near you...

Although I haven't watched many shows on the Food Network, I have a lot of friends and family that are fans. This is one of the reasons I am so excited that my first bit part in a television show is for a program on this network.


The set was incredible, and I had a big part in helping design the final product for the show. So when you watch, not only am I in it, but I had a hand in creating the decor! My call time was at 8am, and with the studio being located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I was up and at 'em at 5am to make the commute. I arrived a little early, which is normal for me. I do not like being late. When I got there, I met one of the sound guys, Andy, who showed me in and got me some water. I had never been to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The area the studio was located in was mainly all industrial. I had planned on eating and getting bottled water once I arrived before filming, but there was literally ONE convenient store within a 5 mile radius of the studio, and it wasn't open yet. That was poor planning on my part. Normally I eat breakfast every morning, but I was concentrated on getting there on time, so I skipped it regretfully. One thing I look forward to on shoots in the catering. They always have the BEST food on the sets. When I walked in, that wasn't the case and I immediately started to fear I would go all day without eating.

I filled out all my paperwork in order to get paid, and waited for the rest of the cast to arrive. Since it's a restaurant themed show, I was cast as the part of the "Host". There were servers and sous chefs cast as well. When everyone arrived, we all got mic-ed up and ready to film. I was so excited at this point. I had NO idea what to expect, but I was literally holding myself back from jumping up and down, busting out into a dance and acting a fool from the thought of being on television. It may sound silly to some, but my dream is to be in movies. I want to become different people, portray the intricate lives of others and make an impact on the world through the art of storytelling in film. And since this is just one step closer in the process, I am beyond excited!

We walked out onto the set to meet the rest of the crew and begin filming. It was so cool seeing all the cameras, lights and production people hustling about. It was an exhausting day, but so much fun! Everyone was super nice. They did feed us well for lunch, thank goodness! The audio guys were my favorite. They were super laid back and hilarious. Half the crew was from the Food Network, the other half was from CBS. All in all, it was one of the best experiences ever. And to think, that was just a bit part, just the beginning in a long career of filming to come. HOW COOL IS THAT?! When I am on stage in front of my peers, thanking everyone who helped me along the way and aided in me getting to the point where I attained award winning status, I will remember this first shoot and think, "I always knew it'd be like this". I am truly blessed, and truly grateful. I can't wait to see what's next - it's gonna be HUGE.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New! Fresh!

Hello loverlies!! Last week was fat full of juicy goodness! As usual, it was an up and down emotional roller coaster, but I am starting to find that is a great indicator that progress is being made. Come on growing pains! Stretch me out of my comfort zone and push my boundaries out, up and all around! I can take it, and I want it!

First there was the IBM short I booked. The theme was one that I appreciated and was proud to be a part of. How would you change the world? If you had the power to move the Universe, how would you to make it a better place? When I arrived on the set, the director and producer informed me I got the job for two reasons. The first was my submitted response. I said eye contact. It sounds simplistic, but it makes a world of difference. When you make eye contact with someone, you let them know you are truly listening. ENGAGE. I love that word. Engage. There are few emotions out there that can top the feeling of being engaged with someone. Whether it be a stranger or someone you know, when you are engaged, they feel good knowing you really care about what they are saying, and you feel good because you are learning about this person. Try it. Today for lunch, look at the person taking your order in the eyes, and sincerely ask them how their day is. See what happens. The second reason I got the job, which is not surprising since this is the reason I have gotten previous praise, is because of my mauve pom pom hat. That hat makes me so happy and people LOVE it! Even with all the holes, its tattered appearance and floppy over-sized pom, I get tons of compliments on it. The shoot was fun. It was quick and easy, and a great way to start my week.

Onto the next one: My photo shoot with Kristina V Photography ( In short, this woman is amazing. She is going places, and I feel blessed I got to shoot with her before she blows up and is hard to get ahold of! (I believe that is beginning already). Her studio is located in the beautiful Greenwich/Stamford, CT area. This was my first venture that way, and the scenery and overall vibe was breathtaking. We did almost seven "looks" including beauty, 3 dresses, 2 lingerie and ending on my favorite - Seventeen style pop punk!! Holly Corsano, the hair and make up artist, is a true inspiration. Her talent is so far reaching, yet she is so laid back and easy going. I felt honored to share space with such fierce ladies, and the work we produced speaks for itself:

(Image courtesy of Kristina V Photography)

Stunning. The lighting, shot, make up, hair, expression, feeling, set up, vibe, EVERYTHING. I am so proud of this shoot, and I am incredibly grateful to the talented ladies who made this whole shoot possible.

I have a feeling this roll is good, hard and fast. It is taking me to new places originally unimaginable, and immediately attainable. Big things poppin'. Keep it coming!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Eyes Wide Open

One of my favorite things about going on castings in New York City is getting to see all the studios here. I usually have an idea in my head of what I expect a particular studio to look like, and nine times out of ten, it looks completely different. The two studios I had the pleasure of experiencing last week were BBC Productions and CBS. I understand that I am probably only seeing one office of many when it comes to the bigger companies, but it is still neat to go where the creativity begins, ideas get formed, and then product comes to fruition. And the ironic thing is I get such nerves on my way, but once I step in, I realize they're just people like you and me, doing a job. A fabulous job, of course, but still just a job.

The CBS studio that I had an audition at was in a part of the city I haven't done much exploring in. I took the train to the Columbus Circle area, and the studios themselves were right next to the water. What I found interesting as well as the location was the fact that the area was also home to all the luxury car dealerships. Walking down W. 57th Street, I was surrounded by BMW, Infiniti, Acura and CBS. It was an odd mix, but I liked it all the same. The building that housed the studio where my audition was taped was so cool. It was obvious the building has been kept pretty true to its original design. They had done a fantastic job of upholding the true nostalgia and old school feel, yet was in no way outdated. It is hard for me to describe but it was neat to experience.

The BBC studio, on the other hand, was not at all what I was expecting. It was in a small building, taking up only one floor that I could tell. It looked like a small start up company type of office with low cubicles, about six meeting rooms and the tiniest bathroom I have experienced to date. (And that says something if you've ever been to New York City and used any public restroom). Due to space limitation here, the bathrooms are ridiculously compact, but the BBC studio takes the cake. It was nice, but small. The meeting room my audition was held in was small as well, with an old leather couch across from a long desk where the executive producer and staff member sat. I think I have watched too many films that exploit the entertainment industry, because as soon as I walked into the meeting room and saw the leather couch, I had to stop myself from making a "casting couch" joke.

All in all so far, things are going well. I feel like I am moving in the right direction, and meeting great people in the process. I understand people are here for years, beating the streets and knocking on doors, but I must listen to my heart and my gut and believe that I can make this happen in less than a year. I say dream big. No one can hold me back but me, and I refuse to let myself to that. I want it all, and I want it all now! ♥

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I want my MTV... and any TV for that matter!

I love trying new things. I love the excitement and anxiety that comes from the complete unknown. It is thrilling to walk into a place of which you have never been, to speak of a subject you have a burning curiosity for and to expose your fear - stare it dead in the face and say, "Bring it". I feel like last week was chock full of those experiences, and it took me a couple of days to mentally recover from them. I was vulnerable, open, exposed, and any other word most are afraid to be. Don't get me wrong, I was scared out of my wits on the inside, but refused to let it come through.
I went on an audition for a co-host spot for an upcoming show being prepped for pilot season, and didn't know what to expect. Without saying too much (I did sign a non-disclosure agreement) it is about a subject I have always had a passion for, although not formally trained in and it is being shopped to a network I used to adore but have lost interest in recently due to content (or lack thereof). Callbacks are this week, and I have the best feeling about it. I can't wait for my first national television experience in the spotlight. Yes, I have done America's Next Top Model, but in retrospect, I think that was just to give me a taste of that delicious cherry pie that is television, and to reiterate that feeling of "gimme more!".
I have been doing some hardcore research into acting schools in NYC. I want to see the who's who in various schools alumni, I want to know who's teaching the classes and how exclusive the program is. It's been interesting to see all the different avenues available, the different forms of training and methods of acting. I am overwhelmed by the opportunity in this city. Around every corner there is a chance to grow, to learn, to be EXPOSED. It is amazing. There's no telling how I'll get there, but I am on my way to the top of the world, and throughout this journey, I just can't get enough. Gimme more.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I got a million ways to get it...

I am fantastically ahead of schedule with my goals, and excited about making new ones to replace the ones I have already accomplished! As my former post stated, the aim of my first paid gig was a little off target - in the best way. That goal was to be attained by mid-March, and as of yesterday, it has been CHECKED with a capital C-H-E-C-K-E-D. My first paying gig in NYC was with Riders by Lee jeans. The booking included a two outfit photo shoot as the "straight missy" body type with videos. And to cap it all off, an internet video with the super fun powerhouse that is Stacy London. You may recognize that name from the TLC show "What Not to Wear" with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. I have always adored that show, and was talking about it at a photo shoot just last week and there I was yesterday, standing next to this awesome woman. And to top it all off, she said my name in the video!
I don't know about you, but when someone you admire is right next to you, it's almost unreal. It makes you realize that anything is possible. That person of fancy becomes just that - a person. Just like you or me. At one time, they were standing next to someone they too held in wonder, and have since become awe for another. It's an incredible feeling.
I must back track a bit, mostly because I owe much gratitude to two fabulous men who helped sell my product (myself!) to this client. Keith Oberlin and Adam Maclay. The serendipity in this story makes my heart flutter every time I replay it in my mind.
About three weeks ago, I sent out a mass message to a few people here in NYC in hopes of being hooked up with some impressive photographers to help me update my book. One of those people was my sister Natalie. She has an impressive multitude of artistic people in her immediate circle, and I was hoping to benefit from that. As soon as I sent out that message, she immediately wrote back she had someone in mind. That next week, I was at Keith's apartment in the city, getting my hair and make-up done by Adam and the rest was magic. We produced some amazing shots, and it turned out better than I could have hoped. With almost no notice, Keith got the images to Natalie at work, then to me, and then into my book. Those shots were the ones that the great people at Lee favored and got excited about - and that was that. I was booked!! Here is the shot that really got the job done:


In closing, I must say just how grateful I am to be here, meeting who I am meeting, and creating the brand of my life. Who wants more? I know I do.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Just the beginning

It feels so damn good to be back in New York City. The sounds, the scene and just that overwhelming feeling of purpose that buzzes all around you. People don't come here to take the easy road. They surely don't come here to take their time. They are here to fight for their dreams at any cost. Networking takes on a whole new meaning in this place. If you seek it out, almost anyone you meet can have a significant effect on your future.

I have been back for a little over a month now, and I had some very hard, strict goals set in place for myself upon arrival. I was determined to gain representation from a modeling agency by the passing of my birthday. Check. I had a vision of revamping my portfolio with two to three new photo shoots before March. Check, and check. And I have my first paying gig by mid-March. Although the gig hasn't presented itself in physical form yet, I know this too will be checked by it's due date. It can be difficult at times to wade through the lies, the scams produced by sycophants looking to gain from the desperate and naive. Luckily this isn't my first rodeo, and one thing I bring to the table along with fierce, unwavering determination is the experience of a woman who has seen those soul suckers before. I'm onto the game, and I don't have time to waste. As Jay-Z so succinctly put it, "I'm on to the next one".

Speaking of the shoots to revamp my book, I had the unlikely luck of striking gold on Model Mayhem for the first one. I do hold an appreciation for Model Mayhem. I think they offer a great service to those starting out especially. And for veterans, it's always nice to have a place to meet like minded individuals to share the fruit of our efforts with. It can be very hit or miss on this site in planning a shoot. First off, the obvious: you are planning to combine artistic forces with complete strangers with whom you most likely will only exchange brief emails with before the encounter. Second, and what I think the biggest risk of it can be, is the chance of being stood up completely without warning or consequence. But alas, it is free, and as they say, you get what you pay for sometimes. In this beautiful instance, though, I got more than I could have hoped for. The team, who consisted of photographer Russell Spears, make-up artist Jessica Steinke and hair extraordinaire Lacey Alagia, blew my mind with their abilities, vision and overall warm presence. Here is just one shot from that incredibly fulfilling Sunday:


And in my opinion, this isn't even one of the best shots we got, which makes me feel so blessed and excited to get the rest this weekend! All in all, I am off to an unimaginably strong start, and it's only up from here. All the way to the top. Thanks for joining me. You are in for a real treat.