When Your Show Doesn’t Go As Well As You Wanted…

Hi guys! Had a great weekend overall! Filmed a new cover song with my friend Carla for our channel, Songs That Embarrass Our Families which you should 100% check out!

Still from our video! Here’s the channel: https://www.youtube.com/songsthatembarrassourfamilies

So that was all super positive and awesome! I’m also in a show at Second City in Hollywood with such an amazing cast of women and it’s been such a great experience! I am so proud of the show and everything we have put together. Last night was our second show, however, and I do not feel like I did my best.

I’m not sure if I put pressure on myself because I know it’s such a great show so I want to do an amazing job with it. And I also know that, while I know I could have done a little better, I still did my job and did well enough. But I can’t help feeling disappointed that I could have done more. I don’t know what it was. Maybe just a second show slump? I don’t know.

Artwork for our Show! Sundays at 8 at Second City in Hollywood through February 16, 2020!

I realized that I maybe was resting on the fact that we have a good show and I didn’t put the pressure on myself to go over all the sketches I was in in my head and make sure I knew what I was doing. I just assumed we had rehearsed enough that I had it and it would come to me naturally on stage. We don’t have scripts, so while the sketches have their beats and we basically know what we are going to say, it is still largely improvised. I think that’s where my slacking attitude came from this last show.

I am really excited for the show this Sunday. And I now know that I have to reevaluate my time spent before the show. I need to go over what it is I need to do and get into a better headspace so that I can be the best I can be.

Also! For any performers out there, does it help or hurt you to know who is in the audience? At this theater I was able to see the entire audience before we went on and I think that weirdly psyched me out a little bit. So maybe also for myself, I should remember not to be aware until after the show.

Let me know in the comments what you guys do to prep before shows! Would love any tips!

Getting Better With Time Management

In the past I have felt like there is so much I want to accomplish and little to no time to do it in. Something I have been implementing in 2020 is having better time management. The best solution I could think of was sitting down every night and planning my day the best I could so I could make sure to hit everything I wanted/needed to do. Or at least, do my best at getting it all done.

I got this really amazing planner that I’ve had the past few years and never used it to it’s full capacity before. It’s been fantastic. It’s called the Day Designer and I swear this is not an ad for it, although it totally sounds like it. It has a Top Three section, a section for To Dos, your day split up with time tables, a section for notes, a daily gratitude, meal planning, and budgeting sections. It’s actually kind of amazing.

I have been pretty diligent so far this year in writing everything down I need to do and getting a lot more done than I have in the past! I can’t tell you how many times I would have a full day ahead of me, just ready to take on the day and all of a sudden it was 9:00 p.m. and I accomplished nothing. Already this year I feel like I am getting so much more done and it’s been fantastic.

What about you guys? What do you use to plan and to be as productive as you can day to day? Would love some more tips and help as to what I could be doing better!!

5 Tips On Moving To L.A. For Every Aspiring Actor

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” -Audrey Hepburn

Welcome to my first blog post! My name is Nicole and I wanted to document my journey in Los Angeles trying to make my dreams come true! I moved here in 2010 and thought a great first post would be some advice for people also looking to move to L.A. or any new city! It was a big leap and there were a lot of things I hadn’t even thought about when I first moved out here!

In general this blog is going to be part advice and part just documenting my day to day life for you guys!

First Week in L.A. at Venice Beach!

Tip 1: SAVE!

L.A. is VERY expensive. Before I moved out here I lived at home with my parents and saved as much as I possibly could. Having that cushion of money really helped me when I needed it and I probably would have had to move back home almost immediately without it. My goal was $10,000 and I ended up saving a little more than that before I came out here.

It’s important for a few reasons. First, if you are coming from across the country like I did, you probably are not going to have a job. I was extremely lucky and found one quickly but that might not be the case and you need to be able to survive until you have one!

Second, there are so many random things you don’t even realize you need when you move away. I had to buy everything from plates and silverware to a stapler. All of those costs add up and you are going to want a little bit of extra money stowed away so the extra expenses don’t throw you for a complete loop.

TIP 2: Apartment Search!

So. A BIG mistake I made was not getting a roommate when I first moved out here. I really wanted to be on my own and didn’t want to worry about potential roommate nightmares.

While being on your own has it’s benefits, having someone to split costs with will definitely make the transition a lot smoother. Not to mention, if you don’t know a lot of people in the city you are moving to, it is a great way to start making friends. You and your roommate will hopefully get along and can get out there together and meet new people!

Great areas to start your apartment search that are affordable include North Hollywood and Koreatown. They are both pretty centrally located and you can get to a lot of different areas in L.A. fairly easily. Like every part of L.A. they have some areas that feel more dangerous than others. However, in general, those parts of town are affordable and a lot of artists live there. A good rule of thumb is to drive and/or walk around the neighborhood of an apartment you are interested in and see how you feel. If you feel safe then it’s probably a good bet but if you don’t obviously search elsewhere! I would also do this at night too just to make sure!

While the apartment websites have a lot of options, I 100% recommend driving around areas you like and looking for “for rent” signs. Often you can find hidden gems that way and may be able to move into a “nicer” area than you previously thought you could afford. I found my first apartment legit while I was on a Hollywood tour trying to get to know the area better. I wrote down the number, called it, and then had a place to live!

TIP 3: GET A JOB!

There are so many more options when you move to a new city even from when I first moved here. If your main goal is to be an actor, working an office job would NOT be a great move. My main day job out here has been as a waitress. Like any day job it has it’s downsides but overall I make the most amount of money in the least amount of time and have more free time for auditions and working on my craft. Also it is much easier to get shifts covered if you do have a conflict with performing as it is a flexible job and a lot of your co workers will probably be performers/actors as well and get it!

Awhile ago I did get very sick of it and tried working in an office. From first hand experience I can tell you that it is 10 times harder finagling around auditions, I made less money and so much of my time was spent at this job.

Also as a silver lining I was able to make my experiences waitressing into a fun Youtube channel which I’ll link right here if you want to check it out! That way I was able to be creative with all of the crazy things that can happen to you in a restaurant!

https://www.youtube.com/gigithewaitress

If waitressing is definitely not for you there are a ton of other options!

Catering-I know this sounds exactly like waitressing but it’s honestly WAY easier. The money sometimes isn’t as good but the hours are flexible and you basically just pass around appetizers and clear plates most of the time.

Nannying– Often these are after school hours which could definitely work for auditions! You just want to be sure the family is ok with some flexibility if you need to take an afternoon off sometimes!

Temp Work– What’s great about temp work is it’s not a set schedule every day and if you can’t take a job because you booked something or you have an audition there is no obligation to!

Uber– Enough said! This was not an option when I first moved out here and it is probably the most flexible job you could get!

Postmates– If driving people around isn’t your thing I did Postmates for awhile when I was between jobs. I will say you had to hustle to make money and it was not always easy but it is definitely a good option when you need some extra cash!

Dog Walker– Love animals? Then this job is perfect! You can even expand your business to dog sit when owners are away and can make a lot of extra money that way! Huge benefit because, once again, you can make your own hours! Also, people out here LOVE their dogs. If you are a great dog sitter you will get tons of referrals.

Personal Trainer– This is a little more of a specialized skill, but if you are super into working out, or are already a trainer this is another FANTASTIC option. You can really work around your schedule as a trainer and don’t have to worry about not getting to the gym yourself!

So those are a few other work options that could be really helpful to you when you first move out here! But I will say, do not wait to get a job. No matter how much you saved up it will go fast and you want to start having some kind of income coming in sooner rather than later.

TIP 4: A CAR IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Los Angeles does have public transportation, but it is not like New York or other major cities. This city is HUGE and if you have to get from one side of the city to the other in a small amount of time public transportation will not cut it. Trust me.

Whatever you can do to get your hands on a car you need to do it. It will make your life SO much easier. If you absolutely have to do public transportation for the first few months I’m sure it’s doable, but I would not depend on it for a longterm plan. People will not like it if you are late to set because you missed your bus and it will ultimately harm you to not have some control over how you get places.

TIP 5: ACTING CLASS

You’re out here to act so start acting! Chances are you are not going to be booking work right away so you need to stay on top of your craft! Join a class as soon as you possibly can! It might seem like a lot of money when things are uncertain but prioritize your budget so you can be working on what you are out here to do! I legit had a cardboard box as a table for almost a year so I could invest in classes!

Being in class is also a great way to start making friends in a new city with people who have similar interests and goals as you! Scene study is always a great option, but if you are going the comedy route I have found improv classes to be invaluable! I have made so many amazing friends and collaborators through improv classes!

If you are unsure where to begin you can often audit classes to see if it’s a class you would enjoy and get a lot out of! It never hurts to ask and I have found it extremely useful while being out here!

My improv class at Second City in Hollywood!

I know taking the first step to pursuing your dreams can be scary and overwhelming. Since moving out here I have experienced extreme highs and lows. I’m hoping this blog can become a community where we can talk about our dreams and every day wins and struggles we are facing! I hope you will come along on this journey with me and I’d love to hear from you guys as to your experiences as well!

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