10.07.2006

Catalog Shoot


Current mood: happy

For someone who is so shy it may almost seem odd that I actually enjoy being in front of a camera. When I'm on set for that moment all eyes are on me and it's all about me. In my everyday life I don't necessarily crave that kind of attention but when I am modeling or acting it's almost as if I have stepped outside of myself and I am someone else even if just for a picture.

I was lucky enough to book an audition I went on a couple weeks ago and the photo shoot was today. When I arrived I was quickly reminded of why it is that I love modeling so much. I was quickly whisked away by the make up artist to have my make up done. Then, it was into my first outfit of the day. I was a bit nervous at first. Sometimes when I start out I really feel the pressure to do well because I know so much depends on my pictures looking good and there are so many people that are counting on it. They chose me for a reason and I do not want to disappoint. I'm tentative at first and I doubt myself a little but then after a couple shots I'm able to get into it and have fun. It was a pretty fast paced shoot. Some shoots involve a whole lot of sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing in between shots but that wasn't the case with this one. There was only one other model scheduled during the same time slot I was so we basically took turns on set with two couple shot and the majority individual shots. it was make up, wardrobe, shoot over and over with not much idle time in between. Almost like clockwork I'd sit in the make up chair after changing and shortly after I'd hear a voice calling "is Cece ready?" or "Where's Cece?" Everytime I turned around there was someone tugging my outfit into place or smoothing down a stray hair. I'd walk away from the make up artist only to find that she is following me with a can of hairspray aimed at my head. I smiled, I posed, I did different "looks" and I enjoyed every minute of it. Before I knew it the shoot was over and I'd made a nice bit of of money for the minimal amount of hours I had to put in and I liked doing it. It doesn't get much better then that.


No, these shots are not slated for Vogue magazine or a billboard suspended above Times square but that doesn't matter so much to me. I wanted to be a model and I got to be one today. I'm glad to say that's enough for me. I was really happy today despite....everything. I felt good about myself and it's days like these that really put it in perspective for me. Life is not always easy and goodness knows I've got my share of worries imagined and real, but despite everything, life can be good. For every bad day a good one might be just around the corner waiting for me to wake up and enjoy. I loose sight of that sometimes but I am always glad to be reminded.


On Set:  Fashion House
I got the call on Saturday.  I'd been booked to work on a new Soap Opera filming locally.  I would play a model.  It's nothing major I know, but still I was immediately filled with excitement.  This is an AFTRA project and while I would have no lines I was still considered a principal which is a major step up from background.  Hey, you take what you can get in this business!!  My call time was 10:30am and I pull up to "base camp" and look for a PA to tell me what to do next.  I am handed my paperwork and told to wait at the wardrobe trailer for the wardrobe person to come.  She arrives and I am handed my "wardrobe" which consists of nothing more then a black lace bra and panties.  I am given a thong to wear under it and a robe to cover up with.  I head off to one of the other trailers, change, and await further instructions.  One of the other models comes into the trailer also wearing a robe and flip flops.  She gets sent off to make up trailer first and then after a period of waiting I am finally next.  As I sit in the makeup chair suddenly I am told that we are needed on set right away.  So, us three models hop in a van and are shuttled over to set robes and all.  We were there just for a short time...apparently the director just needed to get a look at us.  We are sent back to base camp where I finish my makeup and then wait some more.  Base camp is actually a 5 star parking lot that has been commandeered by the production company into headquarters for filming.  There are various trailers situated around the perimeter, and food truck, and later tables are set up under a large canopy for the cast and crew to eat.  There is a lot of waiting.  We are never told what will happen next or when.  Since we do not have lines we are not provided a call sheet and therefore are pretty much left guessing.  When they need us we are never given much notice. 

We are taken back to set for a quick rehearsal after lunch, later we are shuttled back into hair and make up for touch ups and shortly thereafter taken back to the set for filming.  It is hot and there are tons of people milling about.  Hair and makeup people, crew people, stand in's, the lead cast members.  Everyone just tries to stay out of each other's way as best we can.  I am again amazed at what a huge production this is and how many different people it takes to get it together.  The process is painstakingly slow and tedious.  There are rehearsals, last looks, then finally the actual filming.  There are shadows and angles, timing, and marks that all need to be attended to.  I am standing around in my lingerie and periodically hair and makeup people will come up to me and whip out a hair brush or a makeup bag to touch up my hair and makeup.  Others will snap our photos for continuity so they can keep track of our look on each scene.  Amazingly, after a while I forget that aside from the other models I am wearing the least clothes of everyone on the set and am actually thankful because the set is quite warm.  I don't envy the director’s job.  He is back and forth giving instructions to the actors, viewing the monitors, and calling for more takes.  After our scene which is a photo shoot wearing faux diamonds there is more waiting upon waiting.  I lose track of time.  Eventually we are given dresses to wear for another scene.  At one point one of the other actors is told to step aside so that they light can be on me and I feel very self important for a moment and it feels good.  It is a scene where two of us are laughing at the third model and the camera was aimed right at us.

It is chaotic, it is tedious, it is exciting and I am loving it.  I love being on set.  I love watching the whole filming process.  I am all eyes as I observe the lead actors go through their scenes.  I soak up everything I can.  One of the other actors incidentally is Bo Derek...America's perfect 10!!  I thought I recognized her.  One other tall willowy girl who looks like she just stepped off the pages of Vogue looks familiar too...perhaps I remember her from a Guess add?.  On set I overhear that she is with IMG in New York, which is a huge agency.  I look her up later and see that she is from sweden, has been in major add campaigns for adds like Versace and actually has been on the cover of German Vogue.  Only one of us three models were given a line and the make up artist was a bit rude to me in the morning but I won't let it spoil my experience.

All told, I was there for about 10 hours.  This is hard work.  You have to be able to do what you are told when you are told to do it and how you are supposed to.  I didn't even have a lead part, but it is an exhausting process.  I just keep telling myself that even if nothing ever comes of it....I will be ok with that.  I have gotten to experience some things that others may never even if on a very small scale.  I am getting paid to have my image broadcasted and that is an accomplishment in itself.  I am sure I will get down in the dumps over this roller coaster of a business many more times than I care to guess.  I just have to keep getting up....that's all.

8.05.2006

Big Sister


We didnt always get along so well. I have memories of us playing Barbies together and then suddenly becoming the pesky kid who wouldnt leave her alone while she chatted on the phone eagerly adapting to the patterns and behaviors of a typical teenager. I was only five years younger but much too young to understand how she could enjoy talking on the phone so much and why her hair and cloths had become so important. Later, after I got older and turned into the typical teenager myself is when we re connected again and really became friends. She is my best friend who also happens to be my big sister. We talk on the phone like its going out of style, travel together, and we hang out together. Be it clubs, happy hours, bar b q's, errands, or going out to eat. She knows all of my secrets; the good the bad and the ugly tidbits of information that I dont share with anyone else. She puts up with my moodiness and my frugal ways. We may not always agree nor do we like everything about each other but we dont judge and we accept one another for who we are. Sometimes we become irritated with each other but we are family and nothing will ever destroy the bond that we have. She sings a little too loudly in public sometimes, can be as grumpy as a 90 year old lady, and is just a little too dreamy for her own good but at the end of the day she is my sister, I love her and it is all of those things that make her who she is. Dont let all the tattoos fool you!! She definitely has a wild side and loves to get her drink on, but she is a hard worker and handles her business. She is feisty and impulsive. She is a great person and a great friend. My sister is beautiful, fun loving and fun to be with. She is generous and will go out of her way to help others. She has an ease about her that allows her to become swept up in the moment and it is always interesting to hear of her latest dilemma of the moment. We can talk for hours about almost nothing and other times we don't need to talk at all. Through all of my ups and downs in life she has always been there for me whether it be venting my frustrations, sharing good news, or just needing a friend. She is moving out of state in two weeks and the idea of not having her around saddens me. Its been great always knowing that I have someone to count on and that I always have a friend. I have been so lucky to have such a solid relationship with my sister and also lucky that we live close to each other but very soon that will change. I know we will stay in touch, but it wont be the same.

While I may not agree, I understand and respect her decision to move. She wants to build a life for herself and is ready for a change. I am happy that she is having the opportunity to do that, but I am also skeptical. She is a great catch and she always has been; she has just been unlucky in love thus far. There were times when I literally wished I could shake some sense into her time after time when she would allow herself to be mistreated and keep going back for more. After a while, all you can do is be supportive. There is only so much I can say and it is ultimately up to her to make changes. She has been dragged through the dirt by more then one man in her past yet she still manages to maintain such an unwavering belief in true love and living happily ever after. She will make an excellent wife and mother some day and I just hope that the person she is uprooting her life for will realize just what a treasure he has in her and act accordingly. He is a very lucky man even if he doesnt fully realize it just yet. I want her to be happy and finally have a man in her life that will treat her with the respect that she deserves. I sincerely hope that everything works out the way she wants it to. I have watched her struggle with her weight, school, finances, and love life. Through it all she just keeps on going with an attitude and energy that won't quit. I think it's about time she had her turn at getting what she wants out of life.

Our Baja Mexico cruise couldnt have come at a better time. One last trip to enjoy together; I dont know when the next one will be. Three of our trips have been partially funded by timeshare presentations...smart girls!! Weve done Rosarito and we've done Vegas together twice. The first time we walked from the Stratosphere to the Tropicana. Call us crazy but we burned a lot of calories!! We did this same Baja cruise last year and we always have fun together. This trip was no exception. We worked out at the gym, lounged by the pool, indulged at the buffet, went dancing at night and watched the onboard shows. We people watched, took pictures, laughed a lot and just had a good time with each other. Nothing but good times and even greater memories.

This corner of the world will be a lot lonelier without her. She will be dearly missed.

5.23.2006

Film Audition


Current mood: hopeful

I step out of my car with my headshots and sides in hand and begin to walk down the block. I look up and see the famed HOLLYWOOD sign nestled in the hills asserting its presence even through the hazy clouds that have completely blotted out the sun on this gray day. With that sight looming over me I am immediately struck by where I am and what I am doing at that very moment. I am in LA the city of dreams on my way to a film audition. I continue down Santa Monica Ave and pass a theatre with headshots of the starring actors posted in the window. In their eyes I see the dreams and the hopes that they, like every other actor carries inside of them. I can see myself in their faces staring back at me. The glass door where my audition is has signs taped to it announcing auditions for mine and various other projects. I open the door and find myself in a dimly lit foyer with a steep staircase leading to a second floor. I make my way up the creaky stairs and see signs asking for quiet because of ongoing acting classes. I walk down the long dark hall and look for the ever present sign in sheet that will announce my arrival. I catch a glimpse of a kitchen set up in one room with an instructor up front talking about "choices" to be made when doing a scene. I sit in one of the battered chairs and read over my sides. There is another actor pacing in uneven circles down the hallway doing the same and another actress sits in a chair awaiting her turn. A door opens and an actress comes out while the one waiting in the chair goes in. I glance at her curiously without wanting her to know that I am doing so, and I get the feeling she is doing the same to me. I compare myself to her and at the same time, wonder how her audition went. Did the director like her? What edge might she have over me? After all she is my competition.

When it's my turn, the director comes out and shakes my hand and in I go. I am not nervous. I have practiced my lines, I know them by heart, and I feel as prepared as I can be. Inside is a small room with theatre like seating and a small stage at the front. There is a video camera set up on a tri pod facing the stage and so I immediately know where my mark will be. I hand him my headshot and stand on the stage and wait for instructions. I am told to slate my name, age range, and role first and am then given a bit of a background on the scene. There is another actor there that will read with me. After my slate I walk to one side of the room and wait for my cue. Action....and so I begin. I slip into another character and begin to imagine what I think "she" would be thinking at each moment so that this characters emotions will show on my face and project in my tone of voice. There are two scenes, and I am glad that the director has allowed me to do each one twice. After each scene he gives some feedback and we repeat the scene with me hoping that I have made the adjustments in my reading that have been requested. After we are done I thank the other actor and the director thanks me for coming. He says, "I'll be in touch" and I wonder if he really means it.

As I retrace my steps down the dark hall my mind is already replaying every moment of the audition in my head. Second guessing every choice I made in the scene, every tone, every line and just hoping that it was enough. I feel good though. I didn't miss a single line and I know I did the best I could. That is all I can ask for. As I exit the building another hopeful walks in. Whether I am right for the part or not is not my decision, but as long as I did my best I can walk away and feel ok with that. The next day I get a call back. I am still in the running which is good, but I know it's a long shot. I am not the only girl hoping for this role. I will await the next set of sides, rehearse my lines, and when the time comes repeat this process all over again.....and hope for the best.

5.15.2006

Mom






If I think too long about how much I love her and how wonderful she is it can bring tears to my eyes. She carries the problems and burdens of everyone she loves on her small shoulders and makes it look easy. Not only that, but she does it with a smile. She is small in appearance but her spirit and energy is as solid and gleaming as steel. She has been a part of my life before I even existed and I can't imagine a world in which she is not there to encourage me and support me through lifes many trials and tribulations. She is loved by everyone who knows her and her strength radiates even as she smiles. She is as beautiful as she is strong. She is my mother and I am so lucky to have been blessed to have her in my life. I don't know if there is any way I could ever re pay her for what she does so I won't even try. You can't put a price tag on what she's done. All I can do is be thankful and do what I can to show her how grateful I am and how much I love her. I will always remain in awe of her amazing qualities. My mother brought me into this world and has been by my side through all of my ups and downs. I remember her waking up early in the morning to make us breakfast before we went to school in the morning and shuttling us around to all of our various school activities all the while still making sure to have dinner on the table. I have a memory waving back at her as she watched me walk down the block to elementary school. I used to feel so sad for her leaving her all alone every day while I got to go off to school and play. Little did I know she could actually use the break from her little rug rats. I only wish I had half the energy and good will that she does. She is off to work, working out at the gym, having date night with my dad, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, tending the yard, doing laundry, going to church where she sometimes works in the nursery, and sending care packages to my little sister at college. She even remembers to send out birthday cards and gifts for graduations and birthdays. If anyone ever needs a place to stay in a time of need her front door is wide open. Her heart is big enough to embrace not only who she cares about, but also who her family cares about as well. All of this in addition to her own full time job, part time esthetician job and trying to fit in her own life all the while taking care of ours. My mother is an energizer bunny with a heart of gold. She energetically embraces life and takes whatever comes her way without complaint. She cares so much, wants the best for all of us, and has worked hard for a long time to see that we got it. In the middle of everything she undertook the huge task of going to cosmetology school and getting her esthetician license. She became a mother and a wife at the young age of 19 and it is only last year that the youngest turned 18. She has been a mother for 34 years and she shows no signs of slowing down. She continues to nurture and support us even as we become adults ourselves and she is the best wife a husband could ever hope to have. She turns rain into sunshine and tears into laughter and problems into a challenge. When I am sick or upset sometimes the only person that can really reassure me is my mom. She is selfless even when she should be a little selfish and I don't even know if she realizes just how amazing she is. I hope someday I could be even half as wonderful at being a mother, wife, and a human being as she is.

A cooked spaghetti dinner delivered by mom with love. In that way she has of doing things she managed to whip it up between attending a communion and brunch in the morning and getting to my place in the afternoon. In the way that I have, I contributed the "side" items of bread and salad. After dinner it was off to the Ballet to see "Carmen" after which she spent the night at my place. You are never too old for a mother daughter slumber party. After a movie and some munchies it was off to bed. For mother's day it was a champagne brunch by the harbor. All you can eat crab legs, waffles, eggs and other various delicious choices. Needless to say, it was a great weekend with mom and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

My only wish for my mother is peace and happiness; whatever that means for her. I would love to see her relaxing in the sun, not having to work, enjoying the house she has always made into a home. I want her to enjoy friends, family, health, and happiness up until the very last second that she remains on this earth. She deserves all of the joy and pleasure this world has to offer and more.

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