do shit that makes you happy

Tuesday was one of those days…I was having a sliiight pity party for one and going down a social media rabbit hole didn’t make matters better. Instead of reflecting on my accomplishments, I went straight to comparison and the ugly thoughts of:

“sh*t it’s almost the end of the year, WTF have I done?!” 

“damn she’s so young and killing it, FML”

“andddd another role I couldn’t get into the room for”

“I really haven’t gotten in many rooms [casting director’s offices] this year, so I suck” 

“I’m not going to make it in LA” 

etc. etc. etc.

Yep. Those nasty fuckers (aka thoughts) crept in real hard. With the end of the year coming in full speed ahead, it’s pretty easy to feel those WTF did I do this year thoughts? Admittedly, I’m still hung up on the fact that I don’t have a TV credit to my name. I’m SAG eligible, and my auditions this episodic season have been lackluster.

But I know it’s dumb to hold on to the negative.

I mean I was a lead in a movie this year! Number 2 on the call sheet baby. I filmed another fun role later in the summer and managed to pass my level one somm exam. Can’t take that away from me.

Admittedly my fall quarter I slowed down on the social media game and didn’t post much to my blog. But hey, like nature, we all have cycles and shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it.

So, friendly reminder if you’re feeling down or beating yourself up in the comparison game- just tell those bad thoughts to SHUT IT OFF.

Pour yourself a glass (or 2 of wine) and throw on your favorite show, go on a run, read the book that’s been on your nightstand for months (is that just me?!), make some cookies, whatever makes you happy and tell yourself life is marathon and not a sprint. Best to enjoy yourself along the way, because if you can’t learn to do that on your ride to your top- then how can you expect to appreciate your life when you success comes your way?! Biggie wasn’t lying when he said “more money, more problems”. There’s always going to be something “more”, so enjoy the now.

Kick ASS today. Keep dreaming BIG. And do something for yourself that’ll make you smile. Even if it’s just for a few moments. Soak it in, and repeat on the reg.

xo NP

P.S. I followed this recipe and drank a chilled Pinot Noir. A+ combo (just sub dark chocolate chips for milk when making the cookies!)

bridging the gap

A few months ago, Catherine McCormick of CatherineGraceO asked me to be a part of a nationwide campaign to “bridge the gap” between millennial and midlife bloggers across the country. The aim was to break boundaries between age groups and bond over our similarities–which hint, there are lots!

I was fortunate enough to speak with Cynthia Lawson. And man she’s a beautiful soul! Incredibly positive, a loving mother and a handbag designer, she is a self-taught creative. Although it wasn’t until she brought her daughter to a modeling audition that she got the bug. Casting asked Cynthia to audition too, and thus began her modeling career. Being on sets helped shape her style which translated to growth her other career in pharmaceutical sales. Her regular offices noticed a shift in Cynthia; she was chic, confident and beaming! In her words:

Along the way I noticed how my job industry was obsessed with youth culture
and appearances. Not to mention if you were outdated or looked old you became invisible. My
mission over the last fifteen years has been to overcome this stereotype. Armed with fashion
magazines and the E network, I consistently noticed that woman like me were not represented.
It wasn't until 2009, that I discovered a hidden world of fashion blogs written by stylish women
of all ages. These soon became the fuel that I needed to bring out my true self. I started from
the top down and updated my look with a sleek new hairstyle. Girls a good hair style can
immediately update your look and take years away. I looked for the right style of clothing that
complimented my body type, and tried to become adventurous with my color palette. As I
looked at myself in the mirror I realized, I look younger now than I did fifteen years ago. The
style formula I created and continue to add to, has been the guiding light in my life and really
gave me a purpose.

Through her career shift, things began to blossom and she realized that people respond to how you dress. She’s not lying. As humans, we take stock of how people present themselves- are they laid-back, confident, polished etc. and in turn we make adjustments to how we introduce ourselves to said new face.

Through her time modeling, she came into her own and started to “dress for success”. I’m out here in LA doing the same thing! Playing into that game so to speak. Sure would I love to roll out of bed and arrive to an audition? Yes. But does an athlete just walk on the field without warming up? Appearance is the entree to acceptance Cynthia told me. I couldn’t agree more. You could have the best audition out there, but if there’s no effort for appearance there will be chatter. Dress for the role people! Go into that room and own it. Casting wants you to be the answer to their problem!

This conversation reinforced my belief that at the end of the day, regardless of the age gap and career choices, we all share a lot more in common with one another than differences. Both of us want to uplift and empower those around us while realizing that we first need to keep our mental game strong. By leading with openness (and a kick ass outfit to reflect that) we can encourage those around us to do the same.
So, I’m daring you again to chat with a stranger, acquaintance or colleague who is at least 20 years older than you- hopefully you’ll find that bridging the gap isn’t such a hard thing to do.
Cheers!

food for thought: self promotion

Here’s the thing, self promotion is a necessity. And this expands past creatives too, no matter what you are pursing in life, you’re not going to further yourself without a good dose of humble bragging. Humble being the key because no one likes a douche-y “I DGAF about you, but my life is LIIIIIT” brag. Just don’t.

Now I classify myself as an extrovert- I love meeting new people, socializing, etc. so talking about myself usually comes easily. Usually. There are days when I’d rather not and listening to others is my cup of tea. So for the sake of honest conversation, I have my days.

I also have friends who fall on the introverted side. Self promotion can feel like a task and a half. It feel so opposite of their being and yucky. Which I see too, talking about yourself in front of new people, people who you might admire can feel intimidating- like, “I haven’t done anything of note, so why bother sharing”.

But again mindset here. And I have a trick that I use to grow and cultivate that confidence.

ENTER MANTRA CARDS

I am such a huge proponent!!! At first I poo-poo’d them (classic extrovert, I’m already confident, I don’t need them). So false. And they couldn’t be easier to make and utilize. Essentially, you’re writing positive mindset phrases that you repeat to yourself daily. Think- an AM pep talk to yourself. The repetition and practice will help lessen the shitty “I’m not good enough/ things won’t work out/ I don’t have support” thoughts. So grab yourself a stack of index cards and make a set for your bed side table. Some of my favorites are:

I AM ENOUGH
WHEN DID IT GET SO EASY TO TRUST THAT I AM DOING ENOUGH?
GLOW BABY GLOW
HERE I AM WORLD, LOOK AT ME
I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO GO FOR IT
MY TIMING IS PERFECT
I LOVE MYSELF JUST THE WAY I AM

You can make them more specific to your field, but they are really about opening your mind and filling your head with the good thoughts. My theory is that the better you feel mentally, the easier it is to open up and share your wins.

And speaking of BIG WIN, my film GEO DISASTER is now available to watch/rent/buy on Amazon (link below) and OnDemand! I couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out. We filmed it in 10 days and with a budget of around $175,000, which in Hollywood is next to nothing. Props to everyone involved. Can’t wait for you to see if I survive!


one final thought:

EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE

Hold that true. My friends and family have reminded me of this lately. You are the CEO of your own life, so build yourself up baby-no one else will more than yourself.

Cheers!

 

wine wednesday: cause for celebration

Confession: I haven’t been following my own advice. Me, the champion of celebrating and eating up what life has to offer, wasn’t excited about my own movie premiere. I was downplaying the hell out of it to the point that I was confusing my excitement for nerves (which is a thing btw- they both give off the same physiological symptoms: faster heart rate, higher levels of cortisol, sweating, etc.)

So here I was days before the big night aka tonight poo-pooing my success: “Oh, it’s gonna be bad” “My acting’s going to suck” “It wasn’t a big budget thing soo…it’s gonna be campy” “It’s nothing to be proud of”

F*$& THAT

Thank God I had a moment where I realized what I was doing was dumb, and was able to shift my mindset. This is a big deal. So what if the film isn’t going to any festivals in the future? It was my first experience being a lead in a feature and I should damn well celebrate my work. Period. End of discussion. Because if I can’t take the time to celebrate my own work, why am I even chasing the dream?

Well, I’m off to get done up, drink some bubbly and celebrate with my onscreen fam (pictured below)!

And in case you want your wine lesson for the day…

MORE ON BUBBLY:

I talked about the champagne process here complete with a little 60 second video to get you up to speed. We can say merci to the French for creating this spirited beverage!

wine wednesday: 4 game changing wine books

game changing wine books

Knowledge is power. And becoming versed in wine didn’t happen just because I worked in restaurants. It happened because I was hungry for more and wanted to become educated from the best in the biz. Even if you’re not wanting a career in wine, these books are suuuper helpful for learning the basics and beyond. They’re full of easy to follow verbage, pictures, illustrations and even drunk tales.

And fear not “Wine Wednesday” fans, I will keep my own content coming, filming more wine videos coming to the blog soon!

So to hold you over, enjoy these reads with a glass or two of wine (duh) links for the books at the end of the post!


WINE. all the time. by Marissa A. Ross

This chick. Guys she’s one of my favorites to follow on the ‘gram because she keeps it more real than a 1st edition Harry Potter book. She’s hilarious, knows her shit and is the Wine Editor for Bon freakin’ Appetite! Also she’s not a sommelier proving that you don’t need to pass some old school fancy test to kick-ass. Her book is truly a “casual guide to confident drinking” and will have you laughing. I promise it’s her writing and not the wine.

The Wine Bible. by Karen MacNeil

A true bible. MacNeil’s book is the holy grail of wine information. It’s my go to source when I need to look up unfamiliar regions or varietals. I haven’t cracked through the entire volume yet, but the book is laid out in such an easy to follow format that it’s only a matter of time before I spend a day highlighting my way through. And then booking tickets to said wine regions.

Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack

My first wine book! I was thrilled to open my package from Amazon and dive right in. Filled with amazing charts and illustrations that give the essentials on all the well known grape varietals. It touches on the wine making process, the basics of reading wine labels and how to serve each type of wine.

Rosé All Day. by Katherine Cole

I meannnnn. Of course rosé deserves its own book. And Katherine’s written one that not only looks good on your bar cart/ book shelf/ coffee table but that highlights everything rosé. And why drinking pink is the greatest! Also why deeper pink rosés shouldn’t scare you. Plus pictures of her favorite bottles and labels to help you shop!


Well there you have it folks. May I also mention that these books were written by W O M E N!!!! Hell yeah ladies (ok hi too Justin, you’re doing great things too!). But going into this I didn’t even realize my favorites were all from females. So pick up their books and promote these women in wine. Crushing real hard on them all.

Cheers!

Nat