Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time to EXFOLIATE your frozen skin!

Why?  Because it's actually starting to feel like Spring.  It's a time of change and renewal.  Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and we're all coming out of some kind of hibernation.  And like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, the skin on your face is screaming to emerge as well.  BUT the old skin has got to go!

Did you know fresh, young, happy skin is just below the surface of your face???

Recently, quite a few actors have asked me what to do about the dry, flaky skin that is practically begging to be removed on their faces...

There is a solution!  It's called EXFOLIATION.

When you exfoliate your skin, you are GENTLY scrubbing the layers of dead skin off the surface of your face allowing new skin to shine through.  Our bodies are constantly renewing tissue, just as our nails and hair keep growing.  You trim your hair and nails because it's waaay obvious when you don't, but with skin, you may not notice it building up.  Well, it is.  And in some cases, it is obvious.  Let this not apply to you...

You should be exfoliating twice a week.

Here is a list of exfoliators:

A very popular product is St. Ives Apricot Scrub

A lot of people swear by this product.  Some use it everyday.  I would not recommend doing that.  Too harsh.  It is also available in a sensitive skin form.

The product I swear by is Methode Physioderme's Bio-Gommage.  SUPER fancy sounding right??  It's from Switzerland and it's FABULOUS.

After I wash my face and pat dry, I smooth this stuff on while my skin is still damp.  I let it chill there for about a minute to create a mask.  Then with my fingers in an "away from the face" motion, I gently rub it off.  What that means is, I put my fingers on the sides of my nose and move them towards my temples.  For my forehead, I start at my eyebrows and move up towards my hair line.  When most of the product has been rubbed away, along with the dead skin, I rinse with warm water.  Then my face feels like a baby's.  I'm not kidding.  I do this process twice a week and I love it!

The mother of all exfoliators is the Clarisonic Sonic Skin Cleansing System... Pictured is the very popular Mia model:

This lady is not playing around.  This electronic method employs a scrubbing pad which gently and effectively removes dead skin and massages your face which loosens up anything a simple face wash could have missed.  It's so gentle; you can use it everyday.

So check these out!  One of them will be right for you.  Dry skin is not a good look.  And on camera, you definitely want to look your best.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A New Year! A New You? HEADSHOTS

So with all those actor resolutions out there such as "I will get an agent!" "I will book a pilot!" "I will update my website!", it's probs time to actually do those things.  You aren't getting any younger!  And the world desperately needs to experience your talent!  So when you walk into that room for your interview/audition, make sure of one thing other than that you wore clothing that day...


The ones on your website, your 8x10, and the one you/agent/manager emailed.

Have less hair?  Get a new picture.
Rocking facial hair that you love?  Update that shot.
Went with that pixie cut?  Make an appointment with a photographer. (Doesn't Anne Hathaway look stunning??? omg)

And it's important to have a few pictures that look like you.  I love actor websites that have the "Gallery" heading.  There's about 5-7 pictures of them in different locations or styles.  So if the facial hair thing applies to you, keep a few pictures, but DEF add some updated ones.

I know a lot of actors who hate their headshot or just strongly dislike.  And they're totally vocal about it.  The makeup artist gave them a look they didn't like or it's waaaaay too photoshopped.  Well, it's a new year, get new ones.  NOW.

I've worked with some kick ass PHOTOGRAPHERS who do great headshot work.

Jessica Leigh:

Ismael Cruz-Cordova:

Jon Mayor:

Alexis J. Vail:

Ashly Covington:

I strongly recommend these artists.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PROP Talk!

I'm talking props today!  The use of these objects can totally add to your audition...

What is a prop?

It's a little extra item that's not necessarily attached to your body like wardrobe.  It gives you business to do during your audition.

Do you need a prop?

Go through your sides.  If you see a physical item that pops out at you that you could really use to enhance the audition, bring it and use it.  WITH INTENTION.

Let's say you refer to your extravagant necklace during the scene... Wear a necklace that is more than a chain.  If it's a comedy, wear a costume jewelry piece.  But don't wear one that may stab you in the eye... It's going to distract from your audition.

Let's say the script calls for your policeman character to show your badge.  How memorable would you be if you quickly flashed a prop badge.  Very.

Let's say you are playing an elderly character.  You could werk the BEEP out that audition if you bring a cane and use it to convey the emotion or feeling or comedy or whatever of that character.

Maybe you don't need a prop...

If during your prep, it feels awkward to hold the prop, scratch it.


Anyway, here are some stores to check out:

Reminiscence on 23rd between 5th and 6th aves
Abracadabra on 21st between 5th and 6th aves
Halloween Adventure on 4th ave between 12th and 13th st
Party City on 14th st between 5th and 6th aves


Friday, November 2, 2012

Artistic Actions During This Time...

Sadly, Halloween is over.  But it didn't really feel like it happened at all cuz of Stupid Sandy Storm over here in NY and NJ... Moment of Silence.

I ask myself... what can artists do?

Because sometimes, it isn't all about getting the part or getting the job right?  I should hope not... Sometimes it's about helping others to understand, feel, or just physically see what they are going through in their own lives, so that they know they're not alone.  Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like artists do.

I don't know too many actors anymore.  I mostly know actor/writer/producer/singer/dancer/director/jewelry maker/yoga instructor people. And if you don't yet put yourself into more than one of those labels, I bet its there in your creative being.  You just haven't taken the time to cultivate it yet.

I am noticing some amazing, well shot pictures on Facebook taken by actor friends.  These pictures help me to stay informed and they really convey what is happening downtown and in parts of NJ that I won't be seeing in person.

Some actor/writer friends are delivering some excellent rants online as well.  They express the sadness and confusion I feel during this time. And they also make me laugh as I can almost see their faces as they seemingly pound on their keyboards.  I appreciate their sentiments.

I have also seen a few videos made by actor/improviser/iphonefilmmaker/producer///////// giving their 2 cents in a way we can all relate to...

I even see actor/writer/////you get it by now, taking their free time to go deliver food, jackets, and other goods to highly affected areas.  Maybe you know someone is going... Maybe you can...

I guess what I'm saying is that there are many ways to give back in a creative way.  A lot of auditions or performances aren't going to happen right now.  And maybe it won't be some big contribution cuz we're all still in shock, but hey... maybe now's the time to see what other artistic talents you have.  And how you can cultivate them and share them in a way that gives back to the community...

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Halloween! Get some Wardrobe Items...

I remember someone told me once that an audition was like a job interview.  Which it is.  But I also took that to mean that actors should wear a suit or some business person outfit.  Well, sure...if you're auditioning for a lawyer role.   But otherwise, you're bringing yourself into a whole new character... so wear something that SUGGESTS this character.

Remember when Sean Young really wanted to be Catwoman?  She took the idea of coming to an audition in wardrobe which SUGGESTS character to a whole new eccentric level.  Only it wasn't an was her pleading on the Warner Bros lot.  And she missed the word SUGGEST and wore an entire catwoman costume instead.  And I wouldn't call this eccentric; I'd call it psycho.  *See end of post for my solution for her*

I'd never let you do that.

Now that Halloween is right around the corner... literally every other corner in NYC has a Halloween store, it is the perfect time to invest in some wardrobe items that SUGGEST character.  What does this mean?  Well, I'm going to tell you!

Ask Yourself (and Google)

What time period does the piece take place in?
What part of the world does the piece take place in?
What social class is this character?
What is this character's job or what does he or she or whomever do with their life?
What energy does the character exude?

Keep it simple.

If you are going to choose a very specific wardrobe item, just wear that.  Let's say you're auditioning for a western.  You find a great cowboy hat that fits well and you don't have to duck to enter the room.  Don't also wear a bandanna AND a western/cowboy shirt.  You'll look silly.  Pick one and rock it.  I love a hot western shirt with pearl buttons though.  nifty.

If you choose not wear a specific piece, keep everything simple.
Stanley: tshirt, workslacks, work shoes
Blanche: simple long dress (a maxi perhaps?), necklace, heels


Footwear makes a difference.  If your character is sexy, wear heels.  Never leaves the house, slippers.  Total mess, crocs.  Dapper dude, dress shoes.  You get it.

Wardrobe Enhances Behavior

When you look in the mirror and see yourself in wardrobe you would not normally wear, you will behave differently.  When you leave the mirror, the behavior will stay.  Your walk and your stance will change from casual to upscale, tough to meek, or vice versa.  How you sit, stand, use your hands, cock your head will change.  So take advantage of getting wardrobe which suggests character.

As for Sean Young, she should have rocked black eye makeup, black nails, red lips, a black vneck, and black leggings.  DONE!  And made an appointment with the director.

Some Stores:
Reminiscence on 23rd st between 5th and 6th aves
Abracadabra on 21st st between 5th and 6th aves
Halloween Adventure on 4th ave between 11th and 12th st


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lights! Camera! Cover Up...

Cuz you have maybe 5 minutes to make a good impression.

Do you see the slight redness around your nose?  Or how about the little bit of darkness under your eyes?  Or even that faint glow on your skin?  These are lovely normal qualities that ALL humans possess.  Unfortunately on camera, that redness is so red, it can look purple and volcanic.  That darkness... The Walking Dead.  And that glow is so shiny and oily and ugh! that I can't even see your features.  It totally distracts from your Oscar worthy audition/performance.  Damn you HD and crazy lights!!!

There is a solution.  MEN!  I am talking to you too. :)

Invest in a Tinted Moisturizer or Foundation.  

If your skin is relatively clear other than discolorations as previous mentioned, check out Tinted Moisturizers.  I really like BB Creams, which are like the Smart Phones of tinted moisturizers.  I recommend Maybelline Dream Fresh.  It comes in 5 tones at an inexpensive price.  Easy to choose.

If you think you need more coverage AND I DON'T MEAN HEAVY MAKEUP LOOK, I just mean you have some blemishes going on, which many of us have, I'd go for a Foundation.  This can be more tricky to choose.  I like Makeup Designory cream foundation.  They are in the West Village, NYC or at  They're super helpful too.  If you prefer a liquid, go to Sephora, Ulta, or a place which allows you to test products.  Check out Makeup Forever, NARS, Smashbox, etc.  To test a foundation color, take a little on a cotton swab and place it under your cheek bone at your jaw (this is the most neutral skin tone on your face) and blend in.  Can you see it? Yes... Wrong color.  No... Buy it.

Invest in Face Powder

Go to any store like Duane Reade or Rite Aid, and buy Translucent Powder.  It works for everyone's tone because it's... translucent.  It removes shine without adding color and cakiness.  Shine is distracting on camera AND on stage.  Banish it!  Remember to apply (or maybe reapply) a few minutes before going in to audition because those pesky oil glands are always at work!