Mark Lee is a blast from way back in the past. I left Atlanta in 2009 and we worked together before then.
Mark was in my area and we decided to shoot near the Philadelphia Museum on Art. After that I found out that the bridal show I was doing the same day was also near the art museum. We ended up shooting around the back of the art museum and taking a couple steps over to the Fairmount Water Works. We only had a little time together and I only brought one outfit to shoot. I think it turned out great, especially considering we stopped shooting before we warmed up.
Hope you like it.
Mark Lee, @MarkLeePhoto on Instagram, was in Washington DC and so was I. He came up with the theme of a cinematic look because it is far from what I usually shoot. He sent me a list of shots and I choose a few to target. We started at The Chinatown Metro station. Then we went upstairs to Chinatown and looked for the right lights. It was a fun time and I love the way the shots turned out.
Fun stuff first, I am on billboards in Times Square! Scroll to the end to read more and see the video I recorded. Read all the stuff in the middle too because this was an exciting week!
Last week I was in DC again and also NYC. Mark Lee was in DC too and we we got together to shoot. He said he wanted to shoot something that looked cinematic and I loved the idea! We had fun exploring Chinatown in Washington DC as we made our way through a shot list. It was so much fun and perhaps worth the parking ticket.
Later in the week I picked up my computer from the shop. I have a 2012 MacBook Pro with a CD player(that I use ALL the time) and I did not want to get a new one. It was taking 10mins to boot up and sometimes it would need a rebook after that, before I could use it. Of course it was slow to actually use too. My friend Ify gave me a great tip recently. We have the same computer and she said she upgraded her SSD card/processor/hard drive and got more memory, and her computer was fast and easy to use again. Damien at DJM Computer Repair hooked me up with a new hard drive and 1 Terabyte of memory. Now I can respond to your blog comments from my computer and store photos and videos without worrying about runing out of space. Damien is in Wilmington DE and has a 5- star google rating. Call before you go, to make sure he is in the shop.
Other than responding to your comments I am excited to use my computer for: writing, making a new demo, redesigning my website, and getting back to Hip Hop Abs(DVD)! And speaking of, I switched cable packages and now I have Netflix included in my bundle. I will be watching all these great Netflix original movies friends have been talking about.
Saturday was magical! I went to NYC for Actors Pro Expo. My fiend Ivy told me about it. I had never heard of it and did not know what to expect. Since there were free sessions I decided to check it out. It far exceeded my low expectations! I attended 3 free sessions and visited the exhibit hall. Although the subject was acting the conference was about business. In all three of the sessions I attended, the speakers said “acting is a business”. If you are reading this and you are an actor “acting is a business” and financial success does not correlate with talent. Tom Lapke talked headshot, resume, reel, and website; Ryan Walker talked social media; and Tom Bellezza talked success. I got some books, see album below for photos.
I got some great finds from the show. One of my favorite was discovering TDF. Listen up thespians and retired folks. For about $40/ year you can see theater shows in NYC for up to $49. Unlike TKTS you can book shows weeks in advance. As an example of availability, some of the shows available last week were Phantom of the Opera, Beetlejuice, NY Philharmonic, and Beaufiful! Check out the website to see if you are eligible for membership.
I am so excited to start seeing shows. I follow someone on Instagram who goes to shows all the time, every week it seems. That is going to be me now too!
Now the moment you have all been waiting for...I am on a billboard in Times Square! Being on a billboard was one of my goals. God one upped me because He is cool like that. Just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reuniting with my friend Daniel and some new young friends to shoot for Nuna. Nuna sells high end baby gear and wanted to make a big splash in NYC. After the actor’s expo I walked a few blocks over to the billboard section of Times Square. 1540 Broadway, New York, NY- for GPS directions. If you get a chance to stop by, the Nuna promo video plays until November 17th, around 15 minutes and 45 minutes after each hour on 6 screens. There are 4 or 5 segments in the video and I am in the last one. My favorite scene is Layla and Daniel leaving the flower shop! Mila and Hilkiah are so cute too. Premise Studio did a great job on the project!
Last week I was released from holds on 2 big jobs. I live a charmed life and it is good, although not good feeling, to be knocked down to the ground every now and then.
In happier news I worked with all my friends and I wore are the wedding dresses, working for 2 long time clients. The week started at NYBFW(New York Bridal Fashion Week) with Eddy K. It ended representing The Wedding Shoppe at the Fairmount Water Works for Cescaphe and Modern Luxury Weddings Philadelphia. Official pics are on the way. For now I will post some cell photos snaps below, until official pics are back.
In between that fun I had a day of shooting in Brooklyn with Danny C. Lora and Kristopher Dobbins. I mostly shoot commercial and do live fashion gigs. It was a fun change to be shooting fashion again. Then I connected with Mark Lee, from my Atlanta days, in another fashion shoot in Philly. I raided the costume shop to make that look happen and shot in a new pair of shoes I am very excited about! My good friend Sue was there and we had a great time.
This last week I worked with Sue, Sharaun, Alex, Adrianna, Aluad, Sally, Jessie, Marissa, Leonella, Karon, Natalie, Valerie, and Emily. My heart is full! My favorite part of modeling is the great people. They inspire me with their creativity and generosity. I thank God for them and this week with them.
Last week was fun and I mostly can’t talk about those projects yet.
Here is a commercial from Crossroads Hospice that many of you have seen on TV already. They have a wonderful approach to end of life care and this commercial tells the story. It was a blesssing to work for a company who is so dedicated to the joy of their customers.
This was the best chocolate cake I ever had. If you are near the Philadelphia area stop by The Bakery House, 604 W Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Grandma: Annette Arnold
Mom: Valerie Logan
Production: Neue Agency- Jon Wise
It’s been a busy time and I have been enjoying each project. We skipped a week so let’s pick up where we left off. I visited NYC for a workshop on the topic of finance for actors. Saudia joined me too! We heard about survival jobs, stock trading and contract negotiations. I am very passionate about general financial education and making the dollars work as an entertainer. Coach Melrob heads it up so look her up if you want in on the next one. FYI, it is offered as a digital recording too if you are booked that day or if you are too far away from the city.
Fast forward a few days and my friend Ivy invited me to a networking event in the DMW. Since I was in the area working anyway I decided to check it out with her. We had an exit strategy and were prepared to kidnap Tyrone Bas, who invited us, if the event was wack. The event was so great that not only did Tyrone live to see another day, but we thanked him for the invite. We made new friends, saw old friends, and heard rumors of new productions coming to town. It was good to see Paul Wallis and Lamont Easter from House of Cards. Paul gave me a great tip and I was so grateful for the conversation we had. One of the coolest parts of the evening was hearing the story of how the Harriet Tubman movie ended up being shot in Virginia instead of the original plan to shoot it in New York state. The story was a great illustration of the power of alliance, networking, and connections. I recommend checking out the Virginia Production Alliance’s events, especially if you work in Maryland, Washington DC of Virginia. Special thanks to Redstar for lighting us up and creating an informal photo op.
As much as I love my on-screen children for making me a young hot mom, I am glad to reprise my role as the hot single aunt! This was the most fun project I have worked on recently. In the cast there was a couple, a group of friends, and a family. Everyone was so cool and the camaraderie came across on camera! I was cast as part of a couple and my counterpart Keith Villones was a dream to work with. The 3 friends(Bree Malzow, Angie, and Jessica Haley) looked and acted so much like real friends hanging out. The family was a real family and I was glad to meet Monica Scott Haynes(mom) after seeing her work online with a few of my friends. It was a joy to watch the all the talented actors work.
For day 2 of the shoot, the local police in Alexandria blocked off the streets where we were filming. It drew many curious eyes in the 4 locations and I felt a little extra special the whole day. Did you know Alexandria is a dog town? We had many 4 legged visitors. Halfway through the day I got confirmation for another commercial that will shoot mid-October! The last shot was a magical cornucopia of sunlight filtering though the trees and cobblestones. We had so much fun filming it and I hope you like it when you see it. Stay tuned!
Dear Aunt Dee,
I am interested in modeling during college and I know you did the same thing. Do you have any advice about finding a reputable agency that will be flexible with my school schedule? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Dear Bring it On,
Know where you fit into the industry and in your market. Each market has certain types of jobs common to that area. Your look and body type will determine the type of work that best suits your look and abilities. When people spin you lies or tell you things you want to hear- you can spot the scam. Scams sell you a dream and cost you more than they pay you. Also, knowing your brand will give you a more narrow focus, which is often the key to success. For example, don’t market yourself as a runway model- being 5’7 and a size 6 in the Philadelphia region. Philadelphia does very little high fashion work so you would be limiting yourself by targeting that area, and 5’7 and a size 6 are both off spec for high fashion gigs. It does not mean you will never do runway; it means you should not choose runway as your focus. Now that you know this, if you go to an agency and they ask you for $1,000 for a new portfolio, suggesting it will set you up to work on the runways of Paris- you will know they are playing an expensive game at your expense and wasting your time. Scammers are professional liars who succeed by praying on your dreams. Be one step ahead of them by doing your research and knowing the type of work that suits your look and characteristics.
Agencies are not known for being accommodating to anyone’s schedule. In their defense, they are a slave to their demanding clients. In your defense, it is their job to advocate for what you want and your best interests. Agents go to bat for those who they know will make them look good, consistently. They hate submitting you to a client then having to go back to that client to say you are not available. I would frame the conversation this way, “I am here for college and I want to start modeling while I am here.” or “I am interested in modeling and moving here for college is giving me the chance to pursue that dream”. Use school as the reason for the opportunity to pursue modeling. Your school schedule is implied, and agents are used to working with talent who are in school. Agents may be discouraged from working with you when you approach them saying in so many words: I am not available because...
They may ask how you will handle a situation where they book you for a job when you have class. Prepare an answer to that question now, write it down, memorize it. Come up with something that shows their hard work is important to you, while staying true to your needs. When a booking conflict comes you can:
Use online searches to find agencies and to do research about them. Doing an online search of “(Agency name) scam” is simple yet so effective.
Example: “Dummy’s Models International” scam
(For this example I chose an fake Agency name not likely to also be a real agency name, to avoid associatig any reputable agencies with the term “scam” in Google search results)
Also check the BBB(Better Business Bureau for any complaints. The forums of ModelMayhem.com may be helpful too when you search using the names of specific agencies.
Here is some additional advice. Traditional modeling agencies are not necessary to work as a model. In my opinion, models are disappointed when they look to agencies to get them work. Instead they provide a service: negotiating rates, securing payment and getting you access to clients who are too big to handle hiring models directly. You can find modeling gigs using online databases and once you have networked a little, people will refer you for gigs. Many agency models, even those from big name agencies, complain that their agent does not get them enough work. Do some free work when you start. Use meetup.com to find modeling or photography meet-ups, set up some TFP shoots through Model Mayhem, do free fashion shows. Fashion shows are a great way to network with other models, who can tell you where they get paid gigs and which agencies are worth your time.
Also consider promotional modeling- paid gigs only. Brands want someone young and beautiful to draw attention to an event or to their new product. College students are the perfect attraction! You can work with your friends too, bring them on-board with you and you can make money to hang out. You will get swag to take home, and get to attend events(like hot concerts) for free.
My friend Dustin had a different experience finding an agent. He recommends using a resource like Backstage/ Call Sheet: https://www.backstage.com/mailing-labels/. As an alternative to subscribing online, some bookstores sell the magazine. Dustin says if you live in a bigger market like NY you should start there and then branch out to smaller markets because the transition would be easier. Dustin came from the NYC market into a smaller market, when he went to college. I started in a smaller market then into NYC.
What a wonderfully busy month this has been so far! First gig of the year was to MC a presentation for Honda at CES. The video is posted above! We trained in LA a couple weeks before CES and that was very helpful. In Vegas I was not expecting packed house for every single presentation. It was incredible! Honda is developing some really cool technology and many people from all over the world wanted to hear about it. It was an honor to be able to present to the world, on behalf of Honda! Check out the video above to see what Honda has cooking and the technology we were presenting. YES, riding a unicub was so fun!
Are you a soup lover? Not getting enough nutrients from food when you travel? Do you order burgers and fries when you eat out and not salads?
In this edition of Healthy Hotel Room Recipes you can eat well and for cheaper than usual. This week at Whole Foods single serve dry soups are 2 for $3! Dr. McDougall's brand has some great high fiber flavors and is one of my favorite brands. All you need is hot water or a microwave and the soup is ready in about 5 minutes. All the varieties I have seen are vegetarian or vegan. And they are so good!
My biggest problem eating on the road is eating vegetables! Making your own meals allows you to add whatever you want. Organic spinach is my go-to. It is typically only $1.99/bag at Whole Foods. Lay a bed of spinach in a cup or bowl to give your soup a healthy boost. A bed of spinach on a plate turns quinoa or brown rice pilaf into a colorful, delicious, and nutritious** meal; you won't even need salad dressing.
You can either travel with meal ingredients or visit a grocery store when you get to your destination. When traveling to less metropolitan cities (i.e. those in upstate NY) I tend to take whatever I will need to cook because grocery stores tend to be far from the hotel, I usually don't have a rental car, the selection at stores in these areas is smaller, and there are typically few organic or preservative free options. When traveling with food I put heavy durable items (apples and oranges) and my checked luggage and lightweight fragile items (dry soup in paper cups) in my carryon luggage.
**If sodium is a concern for you, consider adding more water or getting a soup labeled "low sodium". Some dry soups or rice dishes in a cup contain a flavor packet; in that case you can add less flavoring to reduce the sodium content.
If you try this leave a comment below about your experience. Did you like it? Would you do it again?
Early last week I was invited to a lecture at the Swiss Ambassador's residence put on by Harvard Business School. The speaker was a professor of Harvard named Francesca Gino who wrote a book called Sidetracked. The book focuses on decision making. This is very relevant to those of us who work in entertainment because we work gigs not jobs. That means we have to decide wether or not to take a gig more often than the average person considers a job offer. To illustrate a scenario the professor showed a video that made the crowd roar with laughter. Here it is:
Photoshoot in NYC
Just a few short weeks ago I set a goal to finally do a photoshoot in NYC by January 2014. Remember how I was going back to Georgia to get new shots taken. How silly to travel across the country to a smaller market when the best of the best are in my backyard in the City That Never Sleeps! My good buddy Nikiya hooked me up with a student named Fabiana at Makeup Forever Academy. She is as Fabulous as her name and looks like she should be in front of the camera instead of behind it. Shooting with her was a great experience and I look forward to seeing her again! XOXO
Also last week I was part of a videoshoot outside of Philadelphia. The drive through the mountains with show in the valleys was gloriously picturesque. The job ended up being something that I never would have participated in if I had known the focus of the projects. People often ask about certain jobs I am doing in the future. I usually tell them that I will not know until getting on set.
From the video project I have a new relationship with an agency in PA. This is the first time I have even talked to an agency in that state, despite being in that area for 5 years. PA is a smaller market but they seem to get some king of showroom, feature films are regularly made there and QVC is there.
For the new year I am working on putting together a big photoshoot. It will involve a horse, a male model, plus me. We have wardrobe and hair locked in already. Now we need a photographer and a makeup artist. The project will shoot in GA. I made a document that shows places at the chosen location that will shoot well; then another document that has the collection of looks. Now a storyboard needs to be created.
It's been a while! I have been to Birmingham and San Francisco. Photos from San Francisco are below. I went to Alcatraz on Thanksgiving morning. Then in the evening a few of us went to Fisherman's Warf for dinner. Seals are agressive with each other and they abrk like dogs. Check out the video!
The last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride! I look a couple of introductory seminars; my agent invited me to a big audition; I reestablished a Facebook fan page! Those are only the new developments. The pre-existing elements are still there: other work, school, family, auto show preparation. It is hard to chose between getting things done and sleeping at night...
Since January I have been working on a long term promotion for a major brand. It comes with a time obligation and direct deposit. Steady work spoils me! This program is ending soon and I will be back on the market. Seeing the end has me in preparation mode.
Operation Keep the Work Coming:
rejoined Facebook (Facebook.com/DiamandiD)
getting new headshots taken
added a detailed resume to my website
taking a real estate seminar
joined a communications seminar series
November is going to be a big month for me! More real estate, more communications, new photos, auto shows, trips to 4 cities.
Other than preparatory activities I have been trying new things! At Five guys I tried the cajun seasoned fries and I liked it! This weekend I am going dancing...you can laugh...I will be! I have been recording noteworthy moments in life as they happen also. A few experiences have been scripted for a skit. I plan to record then post them for your entertainment.
That's all for now! Please like my Facebook Page if you have not already.
After landing in LA yesterday I drove straight to San Diego. On the way I was so hungry that I stopped in Long Beach at In-N-Out Burger. The traffic was bad but the scenery was nice and it was nice for the speed limit to be 65 mph!
Choosing a hotel was tricky because there were so many options! I ended up at a very nice Courtyard Marriott.
This morning I planned to head to the beach to watch the sunrise. Siri said the sun would rise around 6:30am. I hope to make it tomorrow! Being on the west coast means you can watch the sun set into the ocean but it will rise behind? I will have to adjust to this. Although I was looking for the sun in the wrong place it was so overcast that I did not see the sun at all!
I did accomplish something today, I not only made it to the beach but I went for a run! Trying to move on sand is extra resistance. I enjoyed the walking more than the running, but it was a fun morning at the beach.
San Diego is so much fun that I decided to stay an extra night before heading back to LA. Tomorrow I am going to try to chase the sunrise again, take a ferry ride, and check out the sunset too!
This has been such a busy time that I have not blogged in months! Here's some photos to catch you up! Enjoy :)
The Makeup Show in NYC was great! I was rolling 5 deep, haha. I invited my mom; my mom invited 3 people and she sponsored Lenore to come too. It is nice to have family; thanks mom! Lenore LOVES make up, if you did not know. We all had a great time. I spent too much money but that is to be expected. Soon I will be posting about my purchases. The Makeup Show is doing a pop shop later this year in NYC. I hope to make it to that too!
Then last weekend I was in Newark, NJ representing Toyota at a few Alvin Ailey performances. It was convenient to be in that area, near my mom and grandma, for Mother's Day. A couple of my friends were in Newark working, Richard and Ubong, then you know I made new friends too! The venue had a great restaurant called Nico Kitchen and Bar. They really took care of me! The peach souffle and the spinach and beet salad, with what liked like albino beets, were my favorites! The manager's name is Sherif. If you go tell him I sent you! Look for Arian, one of the bartenders, too. He deliveres service with a smile...will keep you laughing too.
It looks like I will be working in Baltimore through the end of the month. Which is great because being home means I get to use my new NutriBullet! Allison was raving about juicing and it is something I have been thinking about for a while. Hopefully it is feasable to travel with it; since a traveling case it an available accessory I am hopeful!
After an early appointment on Friday I spent the morning exploring Philadelphia. Then a client unexpectedly called and asked me to take care of something for an event in Philly! Remember that I live in Baltimore now, which made the phone call so ironic. I spent the entire afternoon taking care of business for the client.
Here is my dish on Scranton: It is a slice of AmericaI It is full of history and rich architecture. The Electric City is clean too! It is obvious that there was a strong industrial presence at one time. There are many old factory buildings and the Radisson Hotel is in a former train station. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to go inside.
This week I begin taking 1 summer class. Also in addition to the long term promotion that ends in December, I picked up another that will start this week and end at the end of June. Sound like fun? That's because it will be!
...even if I have to talk myself into it, it is going to be fun!
Have you ever gotten a glimpse of someone that you thought looked like you? That happened to me this recently! I got an email from Phillips and after scanning it I saw a flash of someone who looked just like me! It was not me this time but it was funny. See for yourself and let me know what you think!
Above are some outakes from the Miami beach shoot, hehe. This is the second blog post this week but if you know what is good for you, you won't get used to it!
Soon this website will get a complete overhaul! Until then there are already a few changes. If you get a chance please look at the new Friends and Behind the Scenes pages. There is a Resume section in the works too.
The weather is getting warmer in the Northeast! Yay for dresses and tans! Tanned skin just makes you look more toned and healthy. The last week of April, then going into May, I have the week off. If I take a vacation- it looks like it will either be to Montgomery, AL to see my cousins or back to Miami (it was hard to leave!). Stay tuned ;)
Thanks for peaking in! Catch you later!
It's been a while since I posted an update. My schedule has become a little hectic...which is a GREAT thing!
In the last two and a half weeks I have been to Baltimore twice, for tradeshows. For the first show I actually had to commute to Baltimore from my home in NJ. A prior commitment at home meant I had to return each night. After making that drive for 3 days I needed a few days to recuperate! Fortunately my schedule allowed for it.
Then last week I worked another show in Baltimore. The client treated us very well. They were definitely the coolest bosses ever. They gave me an equally cool partner in crime, Meghan. She was the best! One thing the client did that I really appreciated was letting us use the gym in their hotel. The gym was set up in a corner of the hotel with windowed walls that gave a great view of the Orioles Stadium and a really cool balcony.
Getting those workouts in the gym really jump started my workout routine. Since then I have been doing 50 minutes of more of Pilates or cardio almost everyday. Combining that with the changes to my diet, I have noticed a significant change in my body. I feel and look great!
After getting back from Baltimore the second time I did a one day event in my home state of New Jersey. You know how rare it is for me to work close it home. There I met a great new work friend and somehow received a mysterious stamp on my ankle. Everyone said they did not stamp the star on my ankle but I did not put it there either. It was strange, haha.
Now I am in NYC for a few days. Lenore and I have teamed up, once again. When this trip is over I will share the exciting happenings. Speaking of which, Lenore and finally decided to officially take our act on the road. We have started a joint venture: Tradeshowtwins.com
We are so excited about it! While in Atlanta next month we will try to do a photoshoot together to get the marketing started.
That was a great lead in to the next big thing going on. Lenore and I will both be traveling to Atlanta next month. I will be there most of the month working and visiting friends and family. There are some really cool projects I am negotiating. One was finalized yesterday and there are a few others in limbo.
Stay tuned to hear about all the trouble I get into in NYC :)
Today is the 4th of July. Special thank you to all the service men and women who allow us in the country to know freedon. Earlier this month I adopted a soilder. He is stationed in Afghanastan. I send him emails and post cards. Soon I would like to send him a care package but I am not sure what to put in it. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below. If anyone is interested in adopting a solider the organization I used is called Adopt A US Solider http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/
I hope everyone has a great and safe holiday.
In the last post I forgot to update you on my healthy eating and loss of inches. It's been 3 weeks since I began accumulating a contraband list. On Sunday I added caloried drinks(excluding fruit juice), to cake and ice cream. With this 100 degree heat it has been so hard to stay away from ice cream!
I have not started recording my measurments so any progress is pure speculation. Exercising is still a challenge. Working 6 days last week did not leave much time for exercise but I do not have that same excuse this week. I am going to take a trip to my Grandma's house for the weekend and will be sure to pack at least 1 workout DVD.
This weekend was a whirlwind! I had the pleasure of representing KIA as part of NBA Nation at the Taste of Philadelphia. In addition to Lou Williams and Evan Turner visiting the KIA display to sign autographs and pose for pictures, Darryl Dawkins made appearances.
When I was first introduced to Mr. Dawkins this weekend he said to call him “Chocolate” because all his friends do. Not knowing who he was at the time it seemed silly to call a grown man such a name. He started calling me 'slim' but then settled on 'juicy fruit'. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.
He are some of the facts I learned about Darryl Dawkins:
Not knowing about his legacy before the weekend ended I knew a lot more about 'Chocolate Thunder' by the last day of the event. I have no interest in sports and celebrity does not impress me but I was astounded by Darryl Dawkins as a man. He has many fans in Philadelphia from his legacy with the 76ers. He is immensely grateful to his fans and he shows special attention to children. Through all 3 days of the 100 degree temperatures he graciously interacted with fans, never denying an autograph or photo.
Someday I hope to be as gracious and appreciative of my situation. Although I love people they often annoy me by not being grateful or by complaining, often when I am trying to serve them. Extreme temperatures only exacerbate any situation. Mr. Dawkins only allowed the heat and fan complaints to show his good character further. Mr. Dawkins you are a Prince among men and a true inspiration in graciousness and gratitude. It was an honor to be in your presence.
Friday night we suffered terrible storms. I woke for work early Saturday to find down tree limbs everywhere. Unfortunately many in southern New Jersey are still without power and will be until the end of the week. A friend even told me that she knows of a family who lost their home because a tree fell on their house then flooded as the rain fell. By the grace of God my home never lost power and suffered no structural damage.
This week I would like to leave you with 2 thoughts:
1. Who do you most admire? Do you have traits that someone could admire?
2. As bad as you feel about your situation there is always someone who is worse off so be grateful for what you DO have.
Last week my faux-twin Lenore came to Philly to work with me. We had a great time. Counting how many people per day asked if we were twins or sisters became a running joke. We do not think we look alike, which makes it even funnier.
This week I was in Baltimore, just getting back this afternoon. It was my first truly technical show. From doing mostly medical and auto shows recently something so industry specific presented a lot to learn. Despite the newness of the subject matter the most interesting part of the show was talking to attendees and other exhibitors.
A nearby booth even features a celebrity look alike. Do you think he resembles John Kerry? Mr. John Kerry look alike said he really had problems with the resemblance when he lived in Washington DC during a time when Kerry was running for public office.
Then there were the men in the coats. I salute you gentleman for taking the plunge and bringing back a Tommy Hilfiger signature. Oh and thanks for the entertainment :)
For some unknown reason I agreed to work outside for the rest of the weekend. Ok, here's the truth. I did not know the job was outside. If I had known it was outside I would have agreed anyway. My strategy for making it through the blazing hot weekend(especially the 12-hr day) is a chia seed drink concoction, sunblock, sunglasses...and many prayers!
Had a great time working in Washington DC two weeks ago. While there I even picked up an extra booking. That is always good! Last week I only worked 1 day, which means I am very well rested. This week I am back in one of my favorite cities working with one of my favorite people. You will have to wait for the next post to hear about it!
In all this downtime I have been catching up on paperwork and trying to trick myself into getting back on track with workouts and healthy eating. My latest trick is to workout at home in a new pretty bikini. It is a great compliment to the Julianne Hough DWTS workout I have been doing most recently. In addition to a silly wardrobe change I have changed my eating habits slightly. I will be giving up foods I have trouble consuming in moderation. First up is ice cream...and in just in time for summer. Lucky me! On Sunday, cake might be next to be added to the list. I have also started eating on saucers to encourage eating smaller portions more often. Two weeks ago I had a tooth pulled. Between learning how to chew again getting sick from the antibiotics it had been easy to keep the portions small.
It's about that time again. Time to get ready to go back to Atlanta. YAY! I am so glad that the Bronner Brothers Hair Show does not conflict with the Apparel Mart's market dates this year. When one ends the other begins. The timing is impeccable!
Enough of the boring stuff. Check out what showed up in my inbox today. Special thank you to Steve Greer Photography for inviting me to participate in this project. Thank you to Paul and Matthew, the male models. They were so patient with me and my hair, that kept blowing all over the place. Thanks guys! Enjoy!
Finishing up some computer work then headed out to swim but wanted to drop a line. Got back from Washington DC yesterday for a medical show at the Gaylord National Harbor. To be such a fancy establishment parking is only $10! Shhhhh...don't tell them I said that :)
Before that I was in Englishtown for an NHRA race. It may also be my last. Then I was in Wildwood the weekend before that. I had never been to Wildwood before. In addition to being Memorial Day weekend Wildwood was hosting an international kite festival. They were the biggest and best kites I have ever seen! For your viewing pleasure I will post some pictures below. The best part of working outside was finally getting a tan on my legs. Now it needs to catch up to my bronzed arms :)
Before any of the above I went to the Makeup SHow in NYC. The Cosmetology Network let me take over their twitter while I was there. I will try to post a video soon from that show. It was a great time!
I am back in NJ as of yesterday afternoon and at this moment I have the whole week off. Can you believe it? it probably will not last. Chat with you later!
-School is out
-Not taking summer classes
-Made list of new goals
-New 6 week Samsung program
Since getting back from NYC I took 2 weeks off to finish school for the semester. This second Monday in May marked my 3rd week back to work. The transition has been hard! Room needs to be cleaned, mounds of clean laundry need to be folded, invoices and contracts need to be sent to clients and agencies, need to follow up with some business contacts, and need to pack for NYC this weekend. Some of those are good problems :)
A couple weeks ago I went back to NYC for an audition for an auto maker. I found out today that I did not get the job. That's the way this business works; other opportunities will come. For the next 4 weeks I will be working on a marketing program for Samsung. This weekend I get to take a break from that to attend the The Makeup Show NYC 2012 on behalf of the Cosmetology Network. The chance to do something new is exciting, and it is always great to have an excuse to go back to NYC. Stay tuned for pictures and maybe a little video or two.
After school ended I had all this free time and no idea what to do with it. That lead to making a new list of goals. I won't share all my secrets but a few of the items from the list are:
-continuing to learn Spanish
-read 1 book every week this summer
-exercise for 1 hour every day
-contact or visit one friend or family member every day to say 'hi'
Pandora and Spotify are helping me with the Spanish. Friends and family are happy to hear from me. My first book to read is Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Dr Daniel Amen. Reading it has already carried into week 2 and exercising is a real struggle but this is going to be a productive summer! I have PLANS and STRATEGIES!
I have been working in NYC for a few weeks. Being in the city has been a blast! One night my trusty sidekick Lenore and I embarked on an adventure. What would I do without her! The moment when I had to change in a cab when leaving one job to go to another, made me feel like I was getting the real New York experience. It reminded me of the scene from the movie Friends with Benefits when Mila Kunis changes in the cab, accept my driver did not peak and it was dark outside.
At this point I have no other confirmed bookings. That is fine with me! After working 13 days straight, sometimes double duty, I am taking 2 weeks off. In that time I am going to finish an accounting class, tie up some loose ends, reorganize my life, and hit the workouts.
Before going back home I am going to hang around NYC for a few more days. We went to Union Square but I still want to go to Ground Zero, Central Park, and the Garment District. Lenore and I may even see a Broadway play.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll) They are rolling too! Playing ping-pong between Baltimore and Philly has been fun! Throwing Atlanta into the mix next week is going to be even more fun. Below are some photos from this month so far.
In addition to the BB Hair Show next weekend there is a new event called the Icon Awards. My mentor got me a ticket to go with him and his team. I went dress shopping already. You can see an honorable mention below. Stay tuned for the final selection.
It has been snowing a little in Baltimore for the last couple of days. Since the temperature is above freezing, business has been carrying on as usual. That is a great relief because for the Baltimore Boat Show a few weeks ago I had to miss a day due to icy weather.
Remember that Mizani project from a few months ago? The pics are back but can't be posted yet. I can't wait to show them to you!
It's day 7 of the Philly Auto Show. Actually day 7 or 6:
1 training day + 1 press day + 5 public show days = 7
The job is not hard but it is difficult getting into a routine, on top of standing all day. The Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta, especially the August show, is the single most difficult tradeshow I work every year. The days are 8-10 hours long for 3 consecutive days. The show is extremely, consistently busy and loud. Then one night during the show the company I represent has a semi-mandatory team dinner that goes into the night. The 1st show day is the hardest. The 2nd is hard but not as much as the first. By the 3rd day it feels like you can do it forever.
Getting back to the Philly Auto show, it's day 7 and I feel like I can do it forever. This is the first time I had the energy to come home then get on the computer. This is a real milestone for that reason alone! These next 4 days are going to breeze by!
February 17-28 I am excited to say that I will be traveling back to Atlanta for the Bronner Brothers Hair Show plus one other smaller show. My poor agent probably forgot how I look in person. In addition to business I will be enjoying some time with family and friends. Can't wait!
First I was pinning about the pretty dresses at the Golden Globes, then the pretty hair, then other pretty hair...you get the idea. By the end of the night 0 boards turned into 6! Now the count is up to 10. Check out Pinterest when you get a chance! It's a great way to organize images you se online and like. It's like an inspiration station!
Be inspired ;)
Facebook brought the video above to my attention today. Print and film make it seem like women have to walk around scantily clad to be desirable. It is no wonder men, especially in this country, wield most of the power. We allow me strip us down then make us feel as if we are not smart, capapable, or experienced enough to do their jobs.
Know that when you see performers and celebrities in magazines and in movies they are heavily made up. In many cases they are digitally altered. Soemtimes images can be distorted by simple lighting techniques. Please know that if you admire any work I have done it is full of heavy makeup, lighting tricks, and photoshop! Art is fun and it can be a creative form of self-expression but it is important to remember that what you are seeing is art.
This showed up on my Facebook news feed a few weeks ago. My first thought: Wow, is this what we are teaching our children. What do you think?
Climbing off my soap box now...
Here are some of my favorite stay slim tips. Enjoy!
bobby pins (I only used 4)
an elastic hair tie
water(if your hair is not already wet or damp)
My time in Baltimore is coming to an end. I began a marketing program here in September. The client is Marriott and the program activates at BWI airport. It is fun to be in a new city. Baltimore is a great place to be for the proximity to Washington, DC and Virginia. Before getting here someone told me about a place they called shopper's paradise. This whole area is a shopper's paradise!
Airports are always cool because everyone is going somewhere, literally, and those people are all from different places. The combination makes for lots of interesting storytelling! As the idea of moving back to Atlanta becomes more feasible I am reminded of the city's lack of culture. In New Jersey there is New York to the North and Philadelphia to the west. Baltimore has DC and Virginia. Atlanta has plantations...just kidding. Chattanooga is only a couple hours away, Birmingham too; but they are not cities you want to visit over and over.
The Marriott exhibit is great too. It presents the opportunity to meet people from many different walks of life. Last week I met this cool dude named Bobby. He created an app that let's you read multiple blogs in one place. The app is called Flud. I plan to use it to help me keep up with Lenore and my other blogging friends.
Lastly, last week I got a completely unexpected email about and audition for print work. The client was Mizani. It was funny because their booth is always right next to the FHI Heat booth at Bronner Brothers in Atlanta. I finally got a chance to meet the neighbors! The photos should be unveiled in February. Stay tuned!
If you read the previous post you know that I recently had some bad circumstances surround my car and cell phone. This morning I went to pick up the car. It still needs to go back to the shore for a minor repair but it is back in business. Then tonight I went to one of my favorite places, the Apple Store. I walked out with a brand new white iPhone 4. My mom said I was dumb for getting a white phone because it is ugly. That was a mean thing to say. I replied that is is not dumb if I wanted a white phone because I liked it. Points: Mom-0 Diamandi-1
Getting a new phone is so exciting! Since the smashed one was an iPhone 3, this new phone is very similar. It will be exciting to multi-task with the apps though. It used to be very sad, deciding whether to continue listening to Pandora radio or to check my email. Now I will be able to listen to Pandora while checking my email. VICTORY!
Hey God, I know you're listening. Thank you for this new phone! Please give me the wisdom to use it responsibly and to keep it in working order for a long time to come!
Recently I got a new computer and a new phone. My next big purchases will be a new car, Dragon Dictate, and a home recording studio.
They say "When it rains it pours". Right now it's pouring bad news. Tomorrow I hope to get my car out of the shop. It will be the 5th time in 2 weeks. I broke down last week, the day after getting it out of the shop the 2nd time, while leaving a gig. It was sad but it could have been so much worse! The job was completed, it was daylight, and I was in a safe place. I am getting a new car soon and that will be an exciting day!
Then tonight I walked into the house then realized that I left my phone in the car. When I go back tot the car to get it the screen is shattered into many little pieces. It fell into the door jam and got smashed when I closed the door. Well Lord you knew I wanted a new phone! This week I will be the proud owner of an iPhone 4. My plan was to upgrade from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4 but the plan did not include breaking anything. God has a sense of humor and so do I.
In happier news I have been woking a lot! Summer is a busy time for promotional events. There are more mall programs and summer tours and everything else! As I told you in the last post July and August are already filling up as well. I am starting to turn down jobs due to schedule conflicts. That is a very good problem to have!
Thanks for reading about my problems and their positive outcomes! There is good to be found in all things you just have to look for it :)
Today I shot with Jon and Renee in the backwoods on New Jersey. Although Jon Stars was the official photographer we shot in his friend Jon's studio. Both were there along with Renee and me. It was confusing being in the presence of 2 Jon's who both spell their name the same way! The studio was on a farm right behind the main house. The setting was so beautiful but unfortunately we only shot in the actual studio. In the building that held the studio there was a room full of the antiques that Jon's dad collects. It was a very interesting shooting location!
Renee does airbrush which gives fantastic, flawless results. It is so strange when the sprayer is near your nose. It feels like you can't breathe. But in my opinion airbrush gives the best makeup application, second being MAC. While Renee sprayed and painted me I kept falling asleep in the chair. Beauty shots was the theme. We had great fun!
July is looking great so far. I will be doing some work in Baltimore for a few weekends toward the end of the month. Earlier than that I will be in my second home, Philly, working on some projects. First Philly, then Baltimore then Atlanta in August. Atlanta, I know you are missing me like I am missing you!!!
This is the second part of Spelling Isn't Everything But...
Classified ads are my favorite way to find jobs on my own. Looking for gigs puts you in control of how much you work. Taking an active role in your career helps to determine how far you will go.
It can be difficult to tell the legitimate jobs from the fluff here are some tips:
Even models who are with an agency may need to or want to find jobs on their own. Freelance models need to find their own work because they have no (or limited) representation. Agency models may want also look for their own work. It is typical for an agent or agency to represent many models. While agents are looking for work for you they are also looking for work for their other talent. There may be times when they are not booking you for the type of work you want or you may just be getting skipped over. Finding your own work will also keep you on top of what is going on in the industry. It may also help you to see if your agent is doing what he or she should be doing.
A couple ways to find out about jobs are:
The first may come in the form of a phone call or an email from another model or actor. This a good way to find out about reliable jobs. This means a job probably actually exists and it is probably paid. Be careful going to a casting that someone's agency sent them to and this is why. I once went to a casting for a major department store's fashion show. I saw a few models at the casting that I knew. They told me they came because their friends told them about it. When my agent sent me to this casting she told me that all the female models for this show would be chosen from our agency. Later I found out that all the male models were promised to another agency. That was not the last time that happened. Know that if you are getting a casting notice from someone who got it from their agency you may be waisting your time.
Social networking sits may be a good place to make reliable connections. There may also be a section for job postings. Making connections this way has a high reliability factor. Here is an example of a scenario that would happen all the time. Jack would send me a public or private message on a ModelsModes.com about working on a project. If I was not interested I would say 'Thanks but no thanks', in a professional way. If I was interested I would start cross-referencing. I would go to Jack's profile to view their public correspondences. There I see that me friend Stacy has posted to Jack's profile a couple times. Then I would contact Stacy to say that Jack has invited me to work on this new project. Stacy person would either tell me that Jack was weird and unprofessional or she would sing his praises. Jack might offer his own references but it is better to find a reference that you know and trust. If a project is posted in a forum or a job board you can follow the same steps. Some of my favorite social sites for models are Model Mayhem and Lodel Launch
This post is getting a little long so let's continue later!
To Be Continued...
Everytime I go to a casting I am inspired to pass on the knowledge. Yesterday I went to a casting for a local agency. This agency was not particularily bad they just seem to do business in an interesting way. In order to join their agency you have to use thier photographer ($300+), they give you 24hrs to make a decision (although they say they really want you to think about it), and they do the type of work I am not interested in doing anymore. When you put all those things together that agency was not a good fit for me. Below are some things I have learned along the way.
There is a reason casting calls are also caled cattle calls...
TIPS when agency shoping or attending castings and open calls:
1. Beware of agencies who INSIST that you use their agency photographer. A good and reputable agency will suggest a photographer they work with but should tell you that you can get high quality photos on youir own. If you are not shure which photographer to chose you can send the agent/agency a list of photographers you like and they will tell you who, from the list, will take the types of photos you need.
2. Beware of agencies who pressure you to make a decision. Forcing people to make a decision that is time sensitive is a tactic that scammers use. You need time to make a wise decision. If someone is pressuring you to make a decision in 24 hours, for instance, you do not have time to think it through. It makes you think that you may be passing by the chance of a lifetime. Time to think about a big decision allows a clear head
3. Beware of photographers who call themselves celebrity photographers. Many times a photographer will call themselves a celebrity photographer if they take a picture of a celebrity at an event or if they pay that celebrity to work with them. I talk about this trap in a video. YOU or I can see a celebrity at an event or pay a celebrity to work with us. That does not make US a celebrity photographer.
4. Usually when you purchase something from an agency you are paying a premium price. The agency is a middleman. That means if you buy a portfolio, compcards, or photography services through an agency you are paying the fee for the product or service plus the markup or service fee that the agency has added.
5. Sometimes reputable agencies will offer photoshoots at a cheaper rate than you could get on your own. But you should also be wary of this offer. Photographers may give agencies a bulk discount if they book many models for a shoot at one time. This may be called a powershoot. Powershoots are a great war to work with a good photographer at a discounted price but since so many other people are scheduled to shoot with the same photographer in a short amount of time, the process may be rushed. You may not have as much time with the photographer as you would normally.
6. Sometimes agents/ agencies will boast that their talent has been in high profile publication or projects (ie. Vogue, Elle, feature films). Here is a scenario: Annie has been in Vogue Magazine. B Modeling Agency currently represents Annie. If you go to B Modeling Agency they may tell you that one of their models was in Vogue. They will not tell you that B Modeling Agency did not book Annie for the Vogue job. They will also not tell you that Annie got the job on her own or from another agency.
You may have already read earlier posts about the awful experience I had at a casting recently. When I got home I make a video about it but the video ended up being a 10 minute rant. After 3 days of editing I finally decided to break the video into parts. This is the first installment about what I took to the casting.
These are busy times! Last week I went to Hershey, PA for a hair show. Amish country (Lancaster, PA) is beautiful, rolling green hills and old world charm! I even saw a horse and buggy! The rain was so bad that I had to pullover on the drive home. Fortunately an outlet mall helped me pass the time :) Although my suitcase is unpacked it is time to repack it because I go to Orlando next week. Thanks to the the torrential downpours in Pennsylvania I have 2 new bathing suits and can't wait to use them in sunny Florida!
Other than traveling I have been keeping busy locally. Last week I had my first speaking role in a video for a medical textbook publisher. It was a fun learning experience! Most of the team worked together before so it was also reunion. You can see the last video I did for that company here.
This week I will be working on mailing out comp cards and maybe making another video and making some updates to this website. Until next time...
Getting packages is always great! I got a cd of images in the mail today from Elements of Photography in Montgomery, AL. It was a throwback from last summer when I visited my cousins. It is funny because you can tell that my hair was longer then. That's ok because it is healthier now... I hope :)
Sunday is Mother's Day. My mom does not celebrate, instead says it is just another day. My grandma, however, celebrates everything so we are going to hang out tomorrow. I am going to wear a pair of earrings that Mishka gave me at last week's shoot. Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.
Next week I travel for another hair show =)
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of shooting with a great team! Peter and his Polish glam squad hooked up 4 looks! Mishka, designed the jewelry and masterminded the project. Goshia hooked up the hair. Agnes and her sister and assistant Eva are the makeup queens, we even did a couple of looks with airbrush makeup. You can see us in the photos below. We started around 5pm and kept going until almost 10pm. It was great fun! Everyone was helpful, nice, and laid back. That kind of environments spoils a model because all situations are not so pleasant! It was every bit worth the 2 hour drive to Northern New Jersey. It was so late when I drove home but I had to stop for gas and a snack. With hair and makeup still done, people must have thought I was one of those people who celebrates Halloween all year round.
In other news I got some encouraging words from my agent about potential bookings. There is a casting today that I am really interested in attending. It is in Atlanta and I am in New Jersey right now so I am going to have to get creative. Stay tuned for a video about a casting I went to in Philadelphia. Now I have to go wash all this hairspray out of my hair!
I was reading my friend Lenore's blog and it inspired me to blog again!
A couple days ago I got a Mac. God is so good! Big thanks to Chris at the Apple Store for answering all my questions! Coming from a PC is a big adjustment but conflict yields growth, right? The built in camera is really cool. I have been trying to Skype but no one is ever up at 2am, go figure. My next goal is to get a usb keyboard so I can play with GarageBand.
Next week I have the privilege of traveling to St. Louis for a hair show. This will be my first trip there. Thinking about it makes me want to watch "Meet Me in St. Louis" again. What a great movie!