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!

food for thought #2: show me the money

Let’s talk first jobs. Mine was actually a diaper commercial. And man, I really wish I could recall that day of filming. Like I want nothing more than to see the world through my toddler eyes that day, but until that technology becomes available, the footage itself will have to do.

Yep, “that’s me” alright. Living my best life at the age of 2. Happily being a ham in front of the camera.

 

Since then, many things have changed in the ad world. Lots of companies are now approaching influencers about promoting their products and a lot of commercial work for actors has gone non-union (aka less money and no residuals). Business wise, I get it. They’re cutting costs where they can. And it’s funny to be on both sides as someone who auditions for commercials but also blogs.

So here’s my two cents: if you are being approached by these bigger companies know your worth! I know it can be scary to ask for more money, but if you don’t ask then you’ll a) never know if they’d pay you more b) step outside your comfort zone and realize it’s not actually that scary to ask. But also have the grounds to back yourself up. Numbers talk sure, but engagement is where it’s at. They’re more likely to show you the money when you stand up for your work.

Just a little reminder, sparked from mini-me, to know your worth and stick to it.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Signing off from Austin, TX

NP

food for thought: 1st edition

Soooo in Wednesday’s post I mentioned how had been feeling uninspired the past few weeks. Do you ever have those moments? I was like, I have this beautiful blog space and I don’t feel like writing + sharing sh*t. I was down on myself because lately I’ve only been sharing wine content, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t a wine blog. But it’s also not a fashion blog, food blog or my acting page. Bottom line is, I was having an identity crisis.

All the advice I hear when you start a blog is find your niche. And even though I’ve been at this for over a year, it still feels brand new! I’m still “trial and erroring” as I grow this site. WTF is my niche?? I’m a self proclaimed actress with an appetite for many aspects of life. I want to try it all!

This is where the “food for thought” series came to life. I needed a way to funnel down so I wasn’t all over the map.

It went a little something like this:

I was having an Aperol spritz with one of my best friends and I brought up how I was feeling so “meh/overwhelmed/gahhhhelpmeplease” about this site.  I knew the wine was working (when is it not?!) but I didn’t know which direction to go with other posts. I have ideas but lately they’d just been clouding my brain and no action was happening. I wanted consistency.  A) to help me fit writing into my schedule and B) so y’all + new readers know what to expect. 

Why don’t you do a “food for thought Fridays”? That way you have your wine on Wednesday and Fridays you can open up about your other areas of interest.  

**I nearly started crying** Ok sliiight exaggeration, but her idea was brilliant: An op-ed style Friday segment where I could write about acting, food, breakups, losses, wins, double standards, and why I hate the term “overnight success”.

A weight was lifted off my chest. This is my niche. Drinking and dishing my way through Hollywood. Serving up a slice of honesty with a side of do what makes you happy.

So here’s to many more editions of sharing my stories, words of wisdom, how I keep hustling…favorite restaurants sprinkled in their too.

Cheers friends!

xxNP

act like a champion today

So I just had a breakthrough, even though it’s been in front of my eyes since I was little.

Has that ever happened to you?

You hear something for years and it doesn’t totally make sense/you think you understand, and then BAM one day it hits you?? The marquee finally blinks in all of its’ glory!

Mine went a little something like this:

So, there’s a famous sign: “PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY” that hangs in stairwell between the Norte Dame football locker room and the tunnel to the field. Tradition states that all the players touch the wall on their way out before game day. My dad is an ND alum, so we had a replica hanging in our basement growing up. Later, as I was choosing colleges- I ended up choosing UNC because I saw that same sign in a stairwell at the theatre department, only it read “ACT LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY”.  A literal sign I should go there.

Now flash-forward to post college, living in LA and my acting teacher said something along the lines of “LA is the Olympics of acting, so you better train (aka rehearse, practice, read scripts etc.) all the time if you are going to make it in this sea of actors”.

And even with all of these sports metaphors, I was still thinking about myself as an “actor” and weirdly that meant I felt guilty about getting help– I needed to figure it all out on my own because that’s what the great actors do right?? They just find the character, they know the beats of the scene, where it needs to go to tell the writer’s story etc. The greats do it all on their own.

And it’s ironic too because part of the reason I love what I am doing is I constantly get to LEARN. I’m a student of life, as corny as that sounds. But subconsciously I was blocking out help.

But recently it clicked. The “BAM” moment happened during another acting class, as the teacher- a series regular actress- said her career changed when she started thinking about her auditions with an athlete’s mentality. No longer were they this big once in a lifetime, must book or fail situations. Auditions became a game. This meant she was still training, approaching the text from a writer’s stand point and making the strongest choices based on what was on the page BUT she then scored herself post audition like she had just played a game of basketball. That took the audition more into her hands and totally changed her dynamic in the room.

*Most* athletes don’t beat themselves up after all of their losses– because statistically you can’t win them all. Instead, they look at game tapes and work on improving their plays so next time around they can give it a better shot. By approaching acting with the same mentality, it has allowed me to reimagine what winning and losing look like. I feel more in control because I know I have the tools, and can keep training on the parts that aren’t up to par (pun intended).

Not saying this is the way. It’s just the way that I now approach my work- and maybe it’ll help you, regardless of your profession. The same principles can be applied.

Now that the marquee’s lights are flashing (thank God!) I don’t need to feel less than because I work through scenes with an acting coach or another actor (aka teammate). And winning doesn’t just come in the form of booking the job. It comes from keep track of growth in the audition room, classroom and onscreen, of being consistent and great at what I do. Being an athlete means showing up to all days like they’re game days; ready to utilize the training, while also trusting your teammates, coaches and your own worth–and ultimately “PLAYING LIKE A CHAMPION” all the damn time.