I'm pretty boring when it comes to Halloween. I'd rather be working, and if I'm not, you may find me (sort of) getting into the fall holiday spirit by throwing on hair extensions and calling myself, "the girl with long hair." This year, I put on a black dress and red boots and called myself "the assassin in disguise" (Creative yes I know). And at least I impressed the handsome guy who asked if he could borrow my dress to wear to a local lesbian bar. At which I laughed awkwardly saying that I couldn't because, well, I'd be naked and besides... you're not a lesbian. To his reply, "Girl, I am WORKING on it!!"
I heart NYC.
And if you live in NYC, you're bombarded with at least a full week of celebration for any holiday. Which is annoying to me to say the least because I hate parades and streets full of drunken idiots (especially drunken idiots in costume... that's the worst!) But this year, I happened to partake in three days of celebration for a holiday I feel pretty impartial about. Go figure!
A nice dinner with friends and a small Halloween party at someone's apartment was one night (which is totally my style). Another night was a party with a bunch of improvisers that lasted until the sun had risen (is it 7 am?! Really?!!!)
And then there was a night with Patrick Walsh.
Patrick is my friend who I always somehow end up in bizarre situations with. He is also the creator of the podcast ScreamQueenz.
So we venture out to a Haunted House- a Haunted House put on by a theatre company, that made me sign a waiver warning me in writing that I will be touched and may encounter violent and sexual situations (Okay? Maybe this isn't a good idea?).
Well, let me summarize how it was by what I screamed right after the bizarre experience.
"PATRICK!!!!!! That was NOT scary at all. That was just plain CREEPY!!! There were NAKED (and I mean completely naked) zombie like people trying to have a THREESOME with me. They were FIGHTING over me and RUBBING UP against me and some freak girl licked my boot and was caressing my neck and those actors better be getting paid a WHOLE LOT!! I thought I'd see projections of sexual and violent situations NOT BE A PART OF IT!!!!"
And if you're interested in hearing a very detailed account, go to episode 14 where I guest star and help him remember the night I'm trying to forget ;)
And speaking of "bizarre" situations, here's a photo of Patrick and I posing with an actor after a hilarious play that took a shockingly unexpected turn (actors dancing around in dildos). What you can't see is that the actor is still wearing a 4 foot dildo (thanks to the apparently conservative foreign man who didn't think I'd want that in my photo... seriously? Why else would we take a picture?!)
But is it any surprise that my time with Patrick is always a little bizarre? I mean, after all, he is the creator of ScreamQueenz. And that's a pretty interesting genre of podcasts to say the least ;) Don't you think?
Hope everyone else had a wonderful and eventful Halloween!!
If you don't know Darryl Jagga, you will. And you should! Aside from the fact that I will continue talking about him (and shamelessly promoting myself in his beautiful dresses on this blog), his talent has been recently spotted on celebrities and the fashion world is taking note.
And its no wonder. His dresses are designed for everyday wear, but with a chic and sophisticated style. I wear his dresses on the streets of New York and never have I once spent a day or evening without receiving several compliments about how gorgeous my dress is and how wonderfully it fits me. Thank you Darryl Jagga...
Here is a behind the scenes compilation of a recent photo shoot I did with another lovely model for his 43.46 Aggaj line:
Later that day on my way home, I stopped to browse at a popular store in Manhattan and spotted one of his dresses. I was SO excited to see them on the rack that I texted him a photo (as if he didn't already know!)
And here's a flashback of me wearing his dresses in his fall 2010 runway show:
And just the other night I went to see my friend and fashionista Lauren Reeves, hostess of the popular Chic.tv, perform at an improv show at the Magnet Theater. She was wearing Darryl Jagga. She had no idea she was wearing the dress of the designer I always tell her about. She simply discovered the dress at the same popular store where I had seen it displayed earlier that week. And this makes me happy! And doesn't she look lovely in that fantastic purple dress?
Its awesome to see a designer you admire, not only as a talent, but as a truly good-hearted human being, start to rise to the top. And its especially awesome when you are one of his models :)
I had the most amazing time in China. And maybe I'll write about my trip more later... or maybe I won't. But you know when you finally feel as though everything is falling into place? As if "that thing" you've been wanting or wanting to do... you know, the "thing" you sometimes can't figure out, and "it" makes you anxious and you keep searching for "it" and you work to find "it" and then suddenly you do"it" and you don't question "it" anymore?
(I apologize for this rumble jumble mess. I'm too lazy to put my thoughts into concrete sentences that actually make logical sense) But I hope you do understand....
Well, for those two months in China, I was doing "that thing." The "thing" that settled my "it." (Okay I promise I'll seriously stop....) In plain terms, I finally got to do the work that I love, while traveling and experiencing culture shock and forming wonderful friendships with amazing people all around the world.
I had been thinking of all the possible countries I wanted to go to in November. You know, a market fitting for me and where its not too cold and perhaps with no snow... good idea, right? I met some agents and bookers and one in particular who offered to help place me somewhere with a 3-6 month contract. All was good and going as planned and my spirit was high.
And then I returned from my altered reality to my home in NYC, and to the one I missed the most... my kitty!
And here she is helping me blog. (Or rather wondering what on earth would possess me to pay more attention to a computer than to her pretty little face)
And yet I returned to a kitty who suddenly was throwing up at least twice a day. And after two weeks or so of praying that it was nothing, just the stress of me being gone, I took her to the vet where I was informed she has mast cell tumors aggressively destroying her body.
And so now my kitty who I love, (and my God do I love her dearly... in a really annoying "I talk about my cat and to my cat and sing pop songs to my cat constantly" kind of way), who I thought I would have for at least another 8 years or so, now only has less than a year or perhaps less than 6 months to live.
And so my plans have changed.
I am disheartened because of the obvious, and also the worry of me aging out of the modeling industry before I fully get what I want from it is always in the back of my mind. Its like I got a taste of what I finally wanted and now I can't pursue it. And yes, I know there's no stopping me from traveling again once my cat is gone... but that thought right now just makes me so sad.
And so what have my plans changed to?
Well I still say... screw the snow and the 14 degrees (feels like 8 degrees with wind chill I need more Vitamin D and I don't want to leave my apartment ever and wearing all these layers is so freaking annoying) kind of weather.
Kitty and I are coming home to California!!
I'm not particularly happy about it, but it will be a nice change to be home for a little while. And if any of you by chance have a place where kitty and I can rent for a few months in LA please let me know....
And just an update, kitty is getting both conventional and holistic treatment and throwing up has stopped and she is as active and affectionate as ever. I know things can change suddenly overnight, and most likely will, but for now all is good.
Have any of you ever had to change your plans and it worked out for the better? Please tell. I'm hoping that will be the case!
Where there are toilets instead of holes in the ground and driving laws to follow. Where I can order my vegetarian meal without wondering if it will come mixed with ground beef. A place where clients don’t gasp in horror when they see I have short hair and where I can walk down the runway and not hear the Star Wars theme song (this happened in 2 different shows!!)
But this isn’t a post about the oddities of China. I’ll leave that for later. As I return to NYC on Sept 11th, I want to take this time to tell you why I heart NYC.
1. When life overwhelms me I can get lost in the midst of the crowd and the noise and the lights and the hustle and bustle of city life and feel completely at peace.
2. It’s a place where I have gotten yelled at by the person at the take-out counter for taking too long to order a sandwich (and there was no one waiting behind me!) only to finish our transaction with laughter. No lingering decisions. Gotta make’em snappy!
3. Its a city where I can get decked out in my sexy black dress and heels at any time of the day and not look out of place.
4. Its a life where there is always something fun and interesting going on, a VIP event to go to and free drinks and dinners to be had.
5. This city screams success. I’ve never met more amazing people anywhere else that go after what they want with such determination, And then get it.
6. It’s the race. It’s the adrenaline. It’s the fear of being left behind that keeps me determined to not give up.
7. Its so easy to meet people and have amazing conversations with just about anyone
8. I run into people that I know constantly. It makes Manhattan feel small. So don't go burning any bridges here. You'll more than likely find yourself suddenly sitting right next to someone you know on the subway.
9. It’s a rollercoaster. I’ll be on such a high one day and have everything crashing down on me the next. It makes me want to keep coming back for more. (Wow now that sounds like a dysfunctional, codependent relationship... )
10. Because my dreams here really are, slowly but surely, coming true. And the possibilities seem endless.
And if you love NYC as much as I do, make sure you check out these following blog entries from some of my favorite bloggers.
Who needs a professional photographer when I have an extremely all around talented roommate/fellow model, Pedja Stojanovic, who is excited to style and shoot me on a whim with my inexpensive, Sony camera I bought for sight seeing?
We somehow made it through the shoot with the gawking people on the street without getting arrested for prostitution or getting run over by a cab. (Do you even know how big of an accomplishment that is with the way they drive in China?!)
If you've been wondering what I've been up to on the other side of the world....
Well, its official. I moved to China, met the man of my dreams and got hitched.
Ha! As if there is a man that exists at the moment who can actually hold my attention for longer than 10 minutes. If so, can you send him my way? So no worries, boys. Compose yourselves. This hot commodity is still on the market.
In other news....
I shot an editorial for a Chinese bridal magazine. After asking my agency a few times to push me for some type of magazine job, I was surprised to hear they actually did.
Oh but can we say a bit frustrating? The thing about some Chinese clients (and I was warned) is that they have little imagination. I was given a sheet of poses they wanted me to copy. And I mean EXACTLY.
I was allowed to smile only one way (see above), and my individual poses consisted of hands at my side or one hand on my hip. No matter that I know what poses look good with my body and face and I know how to make the dresses look best on me. Nope. Stick to the sheet! All I could think was, "Omg this going to be the most boring editorial ever!"I slipped in a few sensual hand positions to my face because I'm a rebel like that, but for the most part I had to focus on remaining still while not feeling completely stiff.
At one point, they were getting frustrated at me for not getting my hand positioned correctly. Umm... hello? You want me to position my right hand to show off the wedding ring even though the model on the sheet is modeling her left hand. First of all, that's why its not working. Second, you guys wear the wedding band on the right hand? This is what I was trying to explain and inquire from the clients who couldn't speak English.
But then again these moments are what make all this an adventure and like all us models say, "Its China. Whatever!"
But enough about my fake marriage.
My little sister is getting married!!! (For real I promise). Aren't they adorable? (And yes I know they look like they are fresh out of high school.... but I assure you they are not.)
And he's amazing. He'll make a good addition to our family!
I was warned about shooting fashion photos in Beijing. The photographers, as talented as they are, tend to shoot photos that aren't taken seriously in the major markets like New York and Europe; photos that tend to be "magical" or "whimsical" with too much makeup and crazy wigs and way too much photoshop.
And its true. Most of the photos from the shoot, as interesting as they are, I cannot use for my portfolio. For example, at one point during the photo shoot I was in a sexy cave woman like outfit holding a stake in one hand in a pig's heart in the other.
Yes people. A PIG'S HEART. This was after some protest on my part and somehow it still ended up in my hand. And like I find myself recently saying often in instances like this... Only in China.
Yet, as with many test shoots, you shoot enough and you tend to get at least a few usable photos. And actually I think these turned out quite amazing and I'm happy that I'll be leaving China with these in my book. My current book is so commercial and these will give it a fresh fashionable turn.
And can I just say this dog was awesome?! She was so goofy and kept trying to upstage me in every photo. As you can see.... she almost succeeded!
Ni Hao! I can't believe it has almost been a month since I arrived in Beijing. Here are some of my favorite photos so far to help showcase my experience.
The first two nights I stayed at an adorable guest house along a Hutong, a traditional Chinese alley. The family, who was very helpful and generous to this newbie in China, was super excited to have a model living in one of their rooms. They wanted me to stay longer and offered me a very discounted price which I had to turn down. I do, however, get to go back soon and be their guest for a family dinner!
The third day I met with my agency Fusion Models and signed a two month contract. I moved from the guest house to a model apartment close to my agency. This little guy insisted he help me carry my luggage to the taxi.
A few hours after the contract was signed, I jumped in a van and joined the rest of the models for 6 castings that day with the last one ending at 10pm. I realized quickly that its not going to be easy to fit in all the things a tourist gets to do. But it will be done! And I am thankful to be going on so many castings every day.
And at least I get to go see beautiful places on photo shoots, like this one below. I'm not sure where this was, but it was breathtaking and my camera did not do this landscape justice.
I sure lucked out and have some really great roommates from Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. We walked around the outside of Forbidden City . The Chinese often times approach us and want to take photos with us. This particular session lasted for 20 minutes. We couldn't get away from the crowd!
At Jingshan Park we relaxed outside this temple and enjoyed the view.
Walking back and catching the border of Forbidden City at night gave this destination a completely different feel.
Beihai Park was peaceful and I loved the all the lily pads floating on the river.
Summer Palace was amazing. I spent hours walking around the entire park until the sun set on the lake.
After I had my afternoon tea of course :)
And this bridge was just so lovely....
I'm not going to lie. The first few days I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay. Beijing is not an English speaking city at all. I was having difficulty navigating the city by myself. Where I was staying initially was very dirty and a lot of the food grosses me out. I didn't really eat the first week. However, once I was settled in my new apartment with the other models I began to enjoy Beijing a little more each day. Now I am loving it and I know that the next month will go by way too fast.
Which of course means I have a lot more things to fit in because the clock is now ticking!
So I will be standing only miles away from this in a few short days
You don't understand. I've been wanting to go to Asia FOREVER. And now I get to live there for two months!!
It all happened so fast. I was having dinner with two of my good friends on June 1. I mentioned how I wanted to leave New York for a little while and that maybe I should just book a ticket to somewhere in Asia and try to model.
My first friend tells me her modeling scout would help place me somewhere with an agency and my second friend offered to watch my cat. And then my first friend again tells me she knows a girl who needs a room in New York for two months.
So it just goes to show that when the timing is right, sometimes all you need to do is say what you want out loud and everything will fall into place.
Not to imply that the past several weeks has been an easy ride. I've been STRESSING. And I'm generally a person who can handle stressful situations pretty well. I gave up my apartment right away and the scout was having a hard time placing me because, as I have discovered, Chinese clients don't prefer models with red or short hair (so now my hair is changed again!)
I finally get word that an agency in Beijing would help me out. Now, this was the last place I wanted to model. And at first I wasn't pleased at all with the news. And so a week shy of July 1, I'm packing up my room for my sublet moving in, and in tears freaking out because I do not know where I am going to live the next week. I was having second thoughts and wondering if I should move to Europe instead or move out of Queens to Manhattan. Well, a move to Europe in 7 days would be a little much and I just couldn't stand the thought of being in New York for another two months and giving up something I wanted so badly.
I honestly think I was trying to talk myself out of doing what I've dreamed of doing for so long.
And after hearing some people's good experiences with Beijing and looking up the modeling agency that seems really great, the idea was starting to grow on me. And finally one night a few days later, friends from out of town who travel a lot took me out to a lovely dinner in the West Village. At dinner they announced that they had decided they were going to coerce me into buying a ticket to Beijing by getting a bottle of wine, taking it with us to the Hudson River and getting me drunk.
Yes people. I bought my ticket to China when I was drunk. I hope my mom isn't reading this! Are you proud? ;) But honestly, it needed to be done and if red wine was the only thing that was going to help me make that final decision then so be it!
And I'm SCARED!! But not so much scared of being in China. I'm scared that I will totally fail. I'm scared I won't book one job.
But I figure the worst case scenario would be that I don't book anything. And I come back home to New York with an empty bank account and have to (gasp) resort to cocktail serving or bartending.
And if all else fails at least I can say I SAW THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!!!!!!!!
When spring first arrived, I had a quick afternoon shoot with photographer Magdalena Olek in a Cherry Blossom filled park in Brooklyn. These photos were used in an art gallery presentation back in her home town in Poland.
The beautiful hats were lent to us by designer Velvet Antler and the garments by the lovelyKaytee Papusza, whose art show I am grateful to have been a part of as well.
Improv, specifically long form improv, is so freakin’ difficult!!! For me, anyway.
I’ve been taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for the past year. And each class higher doesn’t get a little more challenging…. its like the difficulty level goes from A to Z with no alphabet in between! In my last class in particular, we were introduced to a lot of specific new rules and taught more advanced scenic structure. And then without fully understanding everything, we are told to jump in the scene and clear our heads and not think! So I do that. The problem is I clear my head but instead of a brilliant idea popping up to introduce to my scene partner, my mind stays blank to the point of having difficulty forming sentences. And I’m struggling for words and suddenly my vocabulary is about as extensive as a third grader. So I spend a lot of time glued against the back wall.
And I’m glued to this back wall with my arms crossed and struggling to pay attention to my classmates performing their scenes because I’m too busy telling myself how everyone is better than me and how I suck and I’m a little embarrassed to be there.
Now I’m also a bit embarrassed to admit this to you guys but I figure everyone can relate to some extent.
So I ask myself, why do I continue to do it?
Its not like I’m passionate about improv like some people are. Sure I definitely enjoy it when I’m able to commit myself to a scene, feeling fully present in the moment and making snappy and witty choices that move the story along in an interesting way. But for the time being its like I'm stuck in a rut and its taking my self confidence and burying it under the ground.
So I’m thinking about why I’m determined to not give up. Is it because my favorite shows on tv are sitcoms like 30 Rock, The Office and Modern Family? Is it because I have people in my classes and at UCB in general that are currently on these sitcoms or working on other tv shows and theatre productions sometimes because they are associated with UCB? Could it be because I find improvisation a fascinating and beautiful form created and structured from nothing but a single idea ? Or because comedy is what I love the most and if being involved with a community of improvisers is going to make me a better actor then so be it?
Yes all of the above. But maybe the number one reason I’m determined to stick with it is because it’s a challenge. If I can get over this pile of self doubt and introvertness I tend to slide back into every so often, how freeing would that be? And then I could be one of those people on stage I admire and who make improv look way too easy.
And here is my most recent, extremely talented class backstage after our performance:
I want to give a brief thank you for all of you who take the time to read my blog and for the comments. I thouroughy enjoy reading up on all of yours. If you have yet to introduce yourself and/or have a blog to share by all means say hello!
I got a personal email awhile back from Modelina Michelle, a lovely girl from the Bay Area in California who is a petite model. Not only did her email and kind support make my day (Thank you Michelle! :) but she also asked if I had any advice to give to those pursuing modeling/acting.
So it got me thinking... who am I to give advice? Who am I not to give advice? Well, its nothing you haven't heard before but now you get the Kristin version (I know you can hardly contain the overwhelming excitement you feel at this very moment). So embrace yourself....
It will give me a chance to post something in between my ever changing hairstyle, which I'm sure can become repetitive and boring... (ok let's get real here... it will be nice to fill in the gaps when I don't book anything for two weeks. No one will be the wiser ;)
So here goes nothing:
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!!
Overused? Yes, but I still love this passage from Hamlet:
"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!"
If you listen to what everyone else tells you and try to conform to their sometimes well-meaning sometimes malicious "advice," you will be one sad and lost soul. Know who you are and OWN it. And be proud. This makes the hugest difference in the casting process. And in life, well its just that much more fulfilling to think you are really that phenomenal! The doors of opportunity seem to open a lot more swiftly when I'm always checking myself to make sure I am working at, committing to and presenting my best and true self.
I have been told my ears are too big, my teeth are too small, I need to shave my arms, I'm not a true model unless I get naked, I'm too tall and skinny for this modeling job, I'm too tall to be an actor, my freckles are too random on my face, I'm too nice, I'm too good, I'm not outgoing enough, I'll never make it in the business unless I'm a backstabbing bitch. I've also been giving countless "opportunities" to meet with certain people who can "give me success" if I suck their dick.
And ironically enough, the people who criticize the most and act like you should feel SO BLESSED to be getting their opinion, are the one's who have little to no credibility to their name. Its almost funny. And here's what I say to all that....
"I find nothing wrong with my ears or teeth and my freckles are cute. I'm not shaving my arms because that's lame. I'm too tall and skinny? Is this not a modeling job? I'm too tall to be an actress? Then get me a taller actor! Idiots. I'm more of a model than those naked, cross-eyed girls in your portfolio and by the way you're a bad photographer. It pays to be nice and I am awesome. And some of the best actors are introverts. And above all, I would like to keep my integrity and morale, thank you very much. So, in actuality, YOU can suck it!!!!
So here is my little tribute to the 2010 New York Fall Fashion Week. I was going to choose two or three looks that I need to somehow recreate with Forever 21 or H&M clothing (or buy from the designer if I do in fact reach my New Years Goal of 5 million $$. Hey you never know!) But, I of course would have to narrow my choices down which would take me all night, so I decided instead to pull every photo off the Mercedes-Benz website that caught my eye. So bear with me....
Cute clothes, more stockings and thigh-high socks. Oh I'm SO excited. Even more excited than when it suddenly became okay to mix brown and black and then gold and silver. Seriously though.... it used to be so annoying when those "rules" were in existence. My former roommate (you know who you are!! ;) Would say to me, "Seriously Kristin. You cannot wear those brown boots with that sweater." Well, now I can. HA! And now I can wear thigh-high socks with heels so THERE!
I spent some time at the tents at Bryant Park this year, which I'm so thankful I did since it was the last year Fashion Week will be held there. (Now that's just weird). Tommy Hilfiger was the very last to show his collection. I also got to see Tibi. It was so inspiring just to be around the craze of Fashion Week, and watching these shows live put a permanent smile on my face the entire week. I'm SO grateful to be a part of this industry. I may not be at the status of these models, but every designer I work with and every photo I take exhilarates me to no end. I LOVE being a model in NYC. And I enjoy and admire the people I work with, and who I aspire to work with. Amazing and talented and beautiful people!! Standing there absorbing everything around me confirmed this even more.
I can't wait to post the photos from the shows I worked. I walked for some really awesome designers. Next post!
Ok now I have to give credit to the designers whose clothing I'm showcasing :).....