The Purse of an Actress

Purse isn’t really the right word. Arsenal is more like it.

When you are a working actor, you have to have everything you could need with you at any given time. This post comes just after I learned this lesson (again). I was going from a job to an audition thinking I would have plenty of time to stop back at home first to do my makeup. But no! We ran late and then there was traffic, so I had to stop in a Safeway and get new makeup. All of which could have been avoided if I had just packed my bag and been prepared. So this is what I have with me:

 

Left to right:

1. My Armani makeup travel bag

2. The contents of the makeup bag: lotion, mascara, red lipstick (you never know when it will come in handy), chapstick, lipgloss, mints, eye shadow, eye drops, hand mirror, and concealer

3. Headshot and resume

4. Script of the moment

5. Wallet

6. Ear buds

7. Day planner and journal

8. Business cards

9. Iphone charger

10. Sunglasses

11. Hand sanitizer

12. Pens and pencils

13. Froyo gift certificate (I’m hooked)

14. Checkbook.

This is why I need a big purse! Being without any one of these things can really mess up your day. So be prepared and bring it with you!

What is one thing you always have with you?

xoxo,

Jess

 

So Many Hats

As an actor in this day and age you have to wear a lot of hats. If you really want to do the work you want to do, you can’t wait around for it. Granted, I have been able to be a part of some ridiculously amazing professional projects, but you have to keep the ball rolling after those projects are over. You constantly have to be working your chops and putting yourself out there.

The most common way to do this is through short films. I wrote and produced a short a few years ago so that I could act in it and it taught me some very valuable lessons. Number one, producing is hard. Number two, it costs money. And the more people that you bring on the team, the more money it’s going to cost. So, like most people, I try to keep the numbers down by wearing more hats myself.

This is where I am starting to struggle. I do one thing really well, and that is acting. I’m not going to be able to do these other jobs as well as my first talent. I know there are so many other talented people that could do it better than me, but I have to do it myself to stay in budget. This is where I get discouraged. I want to do everything well. I don’t like the feeling of only being adequate. But, I’m forced to be a great producer, writer, editor, production assistant, wardrobe mistress, hair and makeup artist, and actor.

I will say that having to do all these jobs myself makes me appreciated SO much when I don’t have to do them. When I can show up and go to the makeup trailer, have someone do my face and dress me, then tell me where to go and how to act the scene. And get paid. That, my friends, is luxurious. However, at this point in my career, I have to fill in the gaps by making my own work.

Some days I feel like I’m wearing all the hats like a boss, and on others, not a one will fit on my head. I don’t have any answers or words of wisdom, I just try to think about you: The people I’m making these movies for. I want them to be something you would like to watch- something that would make you stop and think during your busy day. As I move from “actor” to “filmmaker” I realize this is all bigger then myself, and that gives me the inspiration to keep going.