Friday, June 30, 2006

A Novel Idea

The busy week is finally coming to an end. I do believe this is a record, having 4 bookings in one week. So far June has been a busy one for me what with the bookings and the vacation. It went by very quickly. Last June was a busy month for me as well. Next year I will be sure to keep my calender completely clear in June.

Today was a first for me. I shot the cover of a novel. When I heard I was booked for Harper-Collins, I worried that it might be for their erotica book covers (not because I have the body for it) because they are always mass-producing them and booking models off cards, no castings. My agents are really thorough though, and I know they would have told me if any type of nudity was involved. And of course I would have declined the job if that were the case.

Instead it was a fun, flirty, girly photoshoot with a lot of Anthropologie dresses (my fave store). So, it was right up my alley. We were going for something like this or this, and I think we more than achieved it.

It will debut in January: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stock Photography

Today I was the wrangler on set for a stock photography company. Companies that sell stock photos are selling images usually to magazines for use in their articles. Next time you read through a publication (especially a free one), check the inside crease to see a photo credit: Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Corbis are a few commonly used companies.

My mother print agency does not book any models for Stock Jobs. This is because the model gets paid an hourly fee to sit for a gajillion photos. The goal on a stock shoot is always to get as many frames telling as many stories as possible. Then they edit the images and sell them for a lot of money, and the model only got the hourly fee...kind of a rip-off, especially if the usage of that photo becomes very widespread.

I have mixed feelings about modeling for stock. I have modeled for stock 3 times. Each time I did it with my children. I decided to participate for a few reasons:
1. Money is Money is Money
2. "Free" photos of my kids and me. Some of my favorite photos of us have come from stock shoots.
3. All three of us were booked and also paid.
4. While pregnant and nursing, there are fewer jobs, so it is nice to be working even if the scale is not great and the usage absurd.

Despite the above, I have decided that I will no longer model for stock photography. Here is's scary. I did a stock job about 18 months ago and I have seen my face from that job, EVERYWHERE. The first time was in the Salt Lake City Tribune (random) advertising an acne solution. When I saw that I realized that my face could be bought by anyone: Genital Warts cream anyone? Yikes.

The other reason I won't do it is the same reason the agents won't: I was paid by the hour for that job, and the photos have been used in American Baby, Burlington Coat Factory's store windows, Baby Center, Acne Solutions, Ducklings, the cover of
If I had shot each of those jobs individually, I would have been paid perhaps 5 to 10 times what I was paid for the shoot that day. And that gets my goat.

But I have no regrets, I just learn as I go.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Husbands for Sale

Today I kissed a man who was not my husband. Some might call this adultery, I call it just another day at the office.

More often than not, when I am given a new husband, one or both of my daughters are present and are thus given a new Dad. The first time this happened my 3-year-old was unaware because she happened to fall asleep at the shoot, and we used her as our sleeping daughter in the photos. The second time she thought it was fun to call the model playing "Dad", PRETEND JASON, as this is her Dad's name. She had a fun time pretending to have a new Dad, especially when they got to feed each other carrots and turkey with a fork (It was a family dinner shot).

The third time she had a really fun time coloring on the floor, reading a story and playing piggyback with her Pretend Jason. I was pretty impressed that she was comfortable with the situation, but then again, she is a kid, and pretending is what kids do right?

Today it happened again. My four-year-old and I were hired to play a mom and daughter to a PRETEND JASON for a Jetblue industrial. Actually it was the jetengines that are in Jetblue aircraft that hired us, but it's easier to say Jetblue. The main scene that we did with Dad was greeting him at the airport. Basically we just had to be excited to see him, and greet him with hugs and kisses. Daughter did the hugging, and I the kissing. And she was ok with it, and I was too, but now I am wondering if it's ok that we were all ok with it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I do not live in a loft

Last night I got back from a week-long trip to Utah. I had a really great time visiting friends and family and having some Utah misadventures. You can read about it here. Being in Utah, I spent a lot of time driving and in between that, in people's sprawling, affordable suburban homes. Which inspired me to pursue a photo essay on teeny, tiny, expensive NYC apartments.

I know, I know, how am I possibly going to fit it into my already too busy schedule? I have no idea, so the pursuit is just that: an idea. And I am surprised that it's birth was in Utah. I guess I missed NYC so much that it conjured crazy images in my mind, that I really want to capture for all to see. Too many times NYC living is portrayed as this loft with ginormous windows and mod and minimalist furniture. And of course I have seen those apartments.

My reality and that of my friends and neighbors is not like that. The images that kept popping in my mind were my friend who built her own loft bed and shelves with pine, and covered all her books in white paper, so that she wouldn't be distracted by their titles; And my friends who have no closets and instead hang their clothing on racks on one perimeter of their room, and have a makeshift bedroom for their third child on the other wall of their room behind their dresser; And of my pianist who has a 5th floor walk-up studio filled with a baby grand piano and stacks and stacks and stacks and stacks of music books that come up about 4 feet on every wall. How he got that piano in there I will never know.

These rooms tell the stories of the sacrfices we make to partake of this amazing city. What we choose to do with our living space tells the story of who we are, our pursuits, passions, professions and priorities. I look forward to exploring it, if anyone will answer the door when I knock.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm Back

And I'm busy. I booked myself out through today, and my agents are quick to call. Good news is I got a double rate on the WET ONES ad I shot a few weeks ago because I was originally going to be anonymous in the ad, but I guess you can tell who I am in the shot they chose. YEAH.

More good news, baby and I are booked tomorrow (I think it's today now....I am writing so late), for BABIES R US and my older daughter and I are booked for a Jet Blue industrial on Wednesday. We auditioned for that over a month ago, so that was random news. I am also on hold to shoot a book cover on Friday, and I think it might be a romance novel....we shall see.

Anyway, I am home from my trip, and I am already busy, and that's a good thing, but I have no time for substance today! Not that I do most days...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Death of a Hand Model

Did you know that people get booked to model specific body parts? You can see some examples here. My baby had a hand modeling job when she was about 3 months old. Isn't that hilarious?

When my children are on set as a model, I so relate to the photographer, art director, stylist, makeup artist, and client wanting to get the job done, so sometimes I forget that I am a mother...and I forget what is in the best interest of my the time she was a hand model...

This job was a nightmare. If it had been my first job with my baby, I might not have pursued it any longer. They had this under-the-bed storage box filled with sand and rocks and water and leaves, to look like a stream. It was on top of a wagon. The shot they needed was a baby’s hand on top of a man’s hand as if the baby was taking a bath in the stream and the man was just sort of cupping her hand. And the baby had to be holding a flower. It was so specific. I was sort of dangling the baby over this box thing…and it was difficult to have the hand in the right position because of the lip of the box. All I could do was position her, then others had to get her to hold the flower in the right position. On top of that, the stylist was using a blow-dryer to blow ripples in the water…which HELLO...Electrocution Hazard!

You would have thought that at that point I would have called a time out and said: Look people, I am dangling my sweet little baby over water and a hair dryer.

I didn’t even think of that until I left! Anyway it was like way too many people trying to get my baby to do what she needed to do-the impossible…and after several trials we were finally released. It was terrible. She was SUCH a great sport.
I was doubtful that they actually go the shot, but I think that this is her hand…she has those same two lines at her wrist.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bad New York Day-Vintage

September 1, 2004

I describe my days in New York as Bad New York Days and Good New York Days. The extremity of each is heightened in NYC even compared to Chicago. I have had the crazy neighbor, had the penis flasher guy…the meningitis. On good days I have seen celebrities, free concerts, visited Macy’s Santa Claus…central park. The good days (thank goodness) are a much longer list.

Today was a bad New York day-but only for a little while. I guess the fact that I got over this episode quickly is a bad sign? I am not sure. I should probably be a bit more shaken.

I dropped my 2-year-old off at Nursery School today-her first day there. She was a champ…didn’t even say goodbye, just walked up the stairs to join the fun. I was thinking about her as I made my way to the Subway. I had a transfer after only 2 stops. I was thinking about the Republican National Convention being in town, and the heightened terror alert and equally heightened security. I suppose I was a bit on edge about where I was going and what I was doing, and being newly pregnant heightened all emotions.

I got off the platform and looked around doing a quick inventory of who was in my midst….this has become second nature. The platform was pretty quiet and I quickly passed into my own world. I was staring out at the tracks and did not feel anyone approach me on my right or left, just felt fingers hit the left upper side of my head, grab onto my hair and pull me down about a foot. This young, tall black woman with a red turban, blue shirt and black skirt looked me in the face and yelled at the top of her lungs: “Why are you doing that?” Then she let go and backed up, still staring at me, and walked further and further down the platform. I was stunned. The episode was swift and quite painful. At first I think I was thinking: “She’s got the wrong person.” Then I was thinking: “What was I doing?...ok just standing there…alright…this woman must be crazy”

I looked around and saw that a few other folks had witnessed the episode. I took a few deep breaths and tried to think straight. As long as she was still on the platform, I felt threatened. An older black woman seemed to offer her help through her body language, so I stood between her and the 20 or 30 feet that now separated us from the crazy lady…I think I might have even held onto her arm. I might have asked “What should I do?”…either with my body language or my voice….but she told me to go get a cop. When I saw crazy lady advancing back, I quickly ran up the stairs and told a construction worker that I needed help. At that point I couldn’t really articulate because then I started to cry….I got an MTA worker to come down with me because she said there was a cop down there. By the time I got down the stairs with her, the old lady informed us that crazy lady had gotten on the V train and was gone. At that point I felt relief and then frustrated that I couldn’t warn her next victim.

The E train came right then and I got on. I cried for the next 20 minutes as I could feel my head throb. I wondered if she pulled any hair out. I think I was so freaked out mostly because I didn’t fight back and my imagination thought about how much worse it could have been. Thank goodness I was safe. I made it to my go-see for Clinique. It was on video, which is pretty rare. They videotaped all angles of our face and than asked us to talk about something interesting…that wasn’t hard to figure out. A bad New York Day...and I didn't get the job, but 2 years later the man who did that casting recognized me, so at least I was memorable when I told my story.

Monday, June 19, 2006

While I'm Away

Checklist for while I am gone:

~Catch up on posts. I highly recommend Oh My, Oh My Oh Pukasaurs! and Artist Mother.

~Don't forget to catch RUNWAY MOMS on June 21st @ 8 AM and 2 PM, (if you haven't caught it already)

~Start a new book. My two faves: Poisonwood Bible and East of Eden. For a shorter read: Peace like a River and Night.

~Get your haircut, I know a guy... ; )

~Call a friend and make that lunch appointment that you have been meaning to make for a year now (Rob and Megan...I will when I get back I swear).

~Watch a great summer flick: Gone with the Wind or Summer Magic or Chocolat.

~Look up one of your old favorite tv shows from 20 years ago, and watch a rerun. I recently did this with Murder, She Wrote...It was really fun.

~Pick a year from your past and search it on ebay, you will find your memories.

~Cook a meal and eat it for me.

~Buy a baby blanket for that baby in your life that was just born...Ava, yours is coming soon. Oh...and throw in a copy if Eebee's!

~Ya'll come back now ya hear? (June 27th)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Best Dad Ever

The beginning of my life was a rough patch. I had an amazing mother who was married to a man who had amazing potential. He gave me life and he gave me many of my talents and especially my drive. He did not give me his worldliness, addictions or abusive behaviors. He was not there for me as a child, nor will he ever be. He gave me up for adoption to my step-dad when I was 12, and I have not laid eyes on him since.

Of course I could write a book on that paragraph alone. Fortunately our relationship is a large part of what defines who I am and the choices I make. I chose to marry a man who had a lot in common with my “bio-Dad”, but he is surpassing his own potential with every breath he takes.

The beautiful thing about the man I married is that he has mystery about him. I knew him well as my husband, but when he became a father, it was like I met him all over again. When we were courting, I did not dwell much on whether or not he would be a good father. I knew that he would provide, that he was supportive, smart, righteous and most importantly loyal, and that is all I needed to know. I was high maintenance enough; I figured a child couldn’t be any worse.

Then came Fatherhood. It was March 7th, 2002 and he saw our first daughter and had a look on his face unlike any I had seen him express. When she was 5 weeks old he became her primary caregiver. He took her to class with him everyday (he was getting his MBA at the time), and took her to parties, and wore her in the bjorn, and couldn’t be prouder. Still today he gives baths, changes diapers, makes the bottles (or cocktails as we call them now), dresses them, does their hair, the list goes on. I never had to talk down to him or teach him how to do something or BEG him to help. He has ALWAYS been there as a co-parent.

The most special part of all this is to see the love that he gives reciprocated in our daughters. To see the looks on their faces when they look at each other, I am all of a sudden invisible, a fly on the wall, an intruder on their “thing”. Though I love my Dad (the fantabulous man who adopted me) with all my heart, I never had that bond from the very beginning of existence. I on the other hand, had to work on it, and was painfully aware of each step: “Doug, Dad, Daddy, touch, hug, air kiss, kiss, real hug, I love you Dad.” For Pukey & Poopy, loving their Dad and expressing that is more natural then breathing. When he walks through that door it is like the circus has come to town: “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!” I love it. Happy Father’s Day Honey, to the most wonderful Dad I have and will ever known.

Tiny Dancer

Last night was the ballet recital. And I thought I was totally over ballet but alas I was not. When those little E1 level ballerinas came out (after seeing their potential in the tall, beautiful E10 girls), my heart just broke in two. I cried and laughed so hard and at the same time...something I had never really experienced before. I can laugh so hard that it makes me cry, but this was like both weeping and hysterical laughter all in one. It was such a strange emotion. My husband was just laughing as hard as he ever laughs...and I don't hear that very often, so that was so great. The thing that was so funny is that she was the smallest dancer (I guess she is the youngest by at least 1 year), and she was on the very edge, and sometimes she would just stop dancing and stand there and sing the song she was dancing to so strong, mouth so wide. And we were not the only ones affected, others around us were laughing just as much. I am sure all the girls were doing hilarious things, but we couldn't take our eyes off of our tiny dancer.

When we picked her up the first thing she said was: "I didn't get a trophy" and a tear. I explained that you had to be in ballet for 3 years and have 2 more recitals before you got a trophy, and that 10 o clock was over 3 hours past her bedtime. I told her she could set a goal and maybe earn one. I told her that we had given her the ballet barbie to show how proud we were of her dscipline in going to class and performing.

In the car on the way home she said to the baby's babysitter: "My mom and dad gave me this barbie becuase they are proud of me for going to all my ballet classes...but her shoes don't come off. I am going to get a trophy in 2 more recitals." I guess I better start saving my pennies.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Worth it

My husband and I recently attended the dress rehearsal for our 4-year-old daughter's first ballet recital. We both attended with cameras in hand because there is no photography allowed during the actual performance (which is tonight). This is SO smart, because there would be a gajillion cameras and clicks and lights and tripods.

She came on stage in her outfit, the shortest, and I think youngest girl in her class. Hers was the only tutu that stuck out in all directions, making her look even more the runt. While the teachers were adjusting costumes and hair and stage position, she stood in a perfect first position with her hands on her hips. I was impressed at how well she was following that obvious direction.

It was finally time to dance, and they performed their number twice in a row. Both times she mouthed (was probably singing out loud) all the words of the song, and only got about 25 percent of the moves right. I winked at my husband and said: You're looking at a thousand dollars right there. (I was was a little less in total). But really, it was priceless.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Who has time for laundry?

This entire week I have been feeling overwhelmed by my impending vacation. Why does a vacation have to be so stressful? For some reason I have it in my head that I need to record at least one vocal track for the album before I leave for one week. As a result, I had scheduled a recording session for Tuesday and Wednesday, only to have them both sabatoged by my commercial agent. And they tried VERY hard to sabatoge my session that is scheduled for today, but I prevailed.

You see, my daughter has a doctor's appointment in the morning to see about a little cough before we go away for the week, and I have my callback for Office Depot around 3:30. I am also supposed to fit in a go-see for Powerguard, and record from noon to 2. So, I think what will end up happening is I will record for 1 hour, drive back home from Brooklyn to Queens, take the subway into Manhattan, see what time it is, and depending on the time hit the Powerguard and then waltz into my callback. Another marathon day, a triborough one at that.

Luckily my friend owes me a babysitting trade, so I won't have to worry about the whole posse coming along for the ride. An interesting note about my Office Depot callback: I told my agent that at the audition the sign specifically said: NO jeans, preferrably khakis...which my agent did not tell me. I asked my agent: "Do you want me to wear khakis to the callback?" Apparently the casting director wants me to wear the EXACT same outfit (jeans, tank and shrug) I wore to the audition. Funny huh? I might have to fudge it a little though, because that day my tank top got pretty stinky, and who has time for laundry?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Subway Striptease

It started with holding on to the pole as a form of independence. Then the spinning started. I had to tell her to watch out for our fellow commuters if the spinning got out of control. Now summer has arrived and along with it the slippery shoes which have aided my 4-year-old daughter in discovering some moves that look vaguely familiar...

I have never been to a strip club, but I have seen the new pole dancing phenomenon exhibited on Oprah and the like. I think it was first invented by Sheila Kelly. And if it wasn't her, I believe she now has the copyright for pole dancing as sport.

I watch my daughter do these new and complicated spins on the subway and instead of worrying for her safety, I wonder where she got the idea...but I think it's just her inventing it...and partly because one day her flip flops slid on the floor and a new "move" was born. She does not look sexual when she does it, more athletic, and I am starting to wonder if this pole dancing is a good workout...I will never know though, because I am not brave enough to try it, though there is an intro class tonight for only $40....hmmm...tempting?

I wonder if I should let her continue in her exploration of the subway there harm in it (besides the obvious sudden braking of the train)? Is she getting a workout? Will she someday see a stripper on tv and see those moves and think: "Hey...I thought of that first!" Maybe she can take it to the next level and actually promote it as a striptease, aerobics and commute all in one. I hope not.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Working Girl

Yesterday was busy. It started with my baby having a job for Talbots Holiday Catalog, which is ironic because her big sister had the exact same job with the exact same people in practically the same dress, 3 years ago. That went pretty well, though she wasn't their first choice baby. If first choice baby got a good shot, my baby will not get it.

Then I had three castings: Nicoderm, Exxon and a commercial audition for Office Depot. The first two went pretty well and the Office Depot one I was supposed to wear khakis, (which my agent did not tell me), so I was a little dissappointed. I find that sometimes casting directors have little imagination so it is good to be as specific as they ask you to be, but I alas did not get the memo.

The classic moment of the day was at that audition. There was a watercooler with those little cone cups in a holder. Of course the baby wanted to pull each one out one by one. So, since I wanted to conserve, I tried to remove the entire stack of cups from the holder to save them from baby destruction, only to have EVERY cup (and there were a lot), fall on the ground. Now they were all ruined, good job mom...but they were a nice plaything for the baby. We stacked them, pretended they were a phone, microphone, walkie talkie, hat. We counted them, we threw them. It reminded me of an Eebee Adventure...making a game/learning experience out of an everyday object. It was fun.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Manhattan Temple Jubilee

Imagine walking up to the Radio City Music Hall and seeing: Manhattan Mormon Temple: Standard for the Nations Youth Jubilee in block letters. This was so out of place and so exciting. On June 13, 2004, as part of the opening of the Manhattan Temple, the youth from the NYC Metropolitan Area prepared a Jubilee to welcome the Prophet and celebrate the opening of the temple. I had a small part in helping some of the kids from Queens prepare. Below is an excerpt from my journal two years ago today:

We sat on the top mezzanine. I was so impressed with all that had come together to make a very professional event. There were 6 groups that performed: Pioneers, Europe, Harlem, Latin, Asia & Broadway. It began and ended with a children’s chorus dressed with white robes, singing “Teach me to Walk in the Light” and “The Lord is my Light”. The youth in the audience held up small lights. It was a great sight. I was weeping for much of the performance. Especially when I saw the prophet on the screens on either side of the auditorium, and the kids stand up and give him an ovation. Then as soon as the pioneer group began, I cried some more. I was surprised at how emotional I was, but the spirit was very strong. The group that I have been working with is Asia, and my specific task was to teach them the hymn: “High on a Mountain Top” in Japanese. We had prerecorded it, but our youth sang with it to begin our presentation. It was accompanied by TAI CHI and followed by a Chinese dragon an Indian Dance, a Korean Fan Dance, a Chinese Ribbon Dance, a Polynesian War Dance, a Lionhead Dance and a Final Pose. Our kids bragged before the performance that they were the best group. They were definitely a spectacle and one of the best, but each group had positive elements to it.

One cool element of the Manhattan Stake's presentation was a special recording of AS I HAVE LOVED YOU sung by Gladys Knight that was broadcasted on a big screen above the stage. That was unexpected and awesome. In between each presentation there were video segments about NYC, the youth, and the kids who would perform next. They showed rehearsals of each group and interviews with kids. It was in the typical, professional church style. It had fun and modern music. It was such a unique event.

After the show there was a special fireside. I wanted to share a few parts of the fireside that stood out to me. President Hinckley said that he wanted to put a little fun into the lives of the youth and the Saints. He has started “ordering” jubilees for every new temple being built. A quote from his talk: “Let’s make the gospel and church fun for the young.” He also encouraged the youth to accept this phrase: “I will make a difference because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He also said: “Walk with pride but not with arrogance or self righteousness”. Robert D. Hales was also present and spoke. A poignant and important point from his talk: 2 ways to tell if you are a good friend and have good friends: 1. Your friends will not make you choose between their way and the Lord’s way. 2. Good friends make it easier to live the gospel.

In the video, Henry B. Eyring said something like: “Don’t act better, just live better”. I liked that too. He also spoke about growing up in New Jersey and being the only members in their county and how church was held in their dining room. I think that my Grandpa attended church their when he was at Princeton, because I know Henry Eyring looked up to my Grandpa Zundel at one point. He testified that Heavenly Father had sent him good friends and confidantes when he was alone in the gospel. All of the apostles interviewed in the video were chosen for having spent time growing up in the NY area: Hales, L. Tom Perry, & Eyring.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Digital Camera Delight

My Sugar Daddy TOTALLY came through for me this weekend. I am now equipped with not one, but two new digital cameras. I got the Canon Digital Rebel that I have wanted for YEARS, and a little pocket fujifilm for all those photos that I want to take in the city but just don't have my camera handy.

Needless to write, I am in digital camera heaven. I don't think my husband understands just how amazing these purchases are for me. I am pretty sure that my canon can do WAY more than I will ever use it for, but I am going to try and learn a few techniques as often as I can.

I went to the Astoria park on Saturday to have a (very cold and windy) picnic, and I took photos with both cameras. Above left is the rebel, and above right is the fuji. I am happy with the quality on both, but the rebel is WAY better. And it shoots like an SLR with no lag time in between shots.

I wish I had some sort of formal training about me so that I could take AMAZING pix, but for now my AMAZING camera will have to do...thanks Sugar Dadddy.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My baby brother

My baby brother is officially an adult now. Well, it actually happened a month ago yesterday, but now he has graduated and decided to go to college and stuff. I cannot believe that he is all grown up. I am so proud of him. He has turned out to be such a wonderful young man.

He is so respectful to women. Poor guy lives with 3 sisters and his mother, and has 2 1/2 nieces, no nephews. He is always surrounded by music and drama and has endless patience for watching his family perform on AND off stage.

He detests conflict. He is the definition of a peacemaker. Well, there were those times that he was trying to push my two younger sis' buttons, but I don't recall him ever out to get me.

He is so observant of the people around him. He doesn't want anyone to feel left out, and he befriends those who might otherwise go friendless. I was his teacher for Sunday School when he was around 7, and there was a boy in our class with some physical and mental handicaps, and even at that tender age, he was so good to him.

He is really stylish. I think that might be our mom's doing, but he always has a great outfit on...looks like he just walked out of a J Crew catalog or something.

He has my hair. Ok...maybe it's just a coincidence, but we sort of have the same haircut...that must be his little tribute to big sis.

He is my only brother and I love him, and I just wanted to write a little something to show that I am so proud of him and when I go home to visit I will truly miss him...and I am aware this has nothing to do with misadventures in NYC...I digress.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Darby's First Recording

One of the pieces on my album (mechanical-license-obtaining-willing), is Mother, Tell Me a Story. We are recording the second verse of it: "Mother tell me of Jesus and why I came here, tell how He loves me and I will not fear..." My high hopes are to get 4-year-old daughter to succeed at recording the child part for this song.

Of course, at home she sings it so well, and she even sang it REALLY well for my hair guy Frank, today...but we tried our first attempt at recording it last Saturday, and though hilarious, it wasn't GOOD. I am not asking for perfection, just not silly.

As soon as I saw that it wasn't going to happen, I ended it. I decided that we would try again, and hopefully because she had that first experience of singing in a room by herself with headphones on that she could hear her own voice in, then maybe she will be able to handle it better.

The focus for the recording until July is the photography for the album. I have shopped this week, and just got my hair cut and colored today, and the last thing to nail down is a makeup artist, and we are good to go. Then July will be a push to finish the vocals, and more goals abound after that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Digital Camera Depression

Yesterday I felt like I was having a good day. Despite the rain, I was having a nice time with my baby as my older child was in school. The baby even took a little nap in her carrier cuddling against my shoulder which NEVER happens. I was trying to relish our cuddle time as we took the N train into Manhattan. And then the depression kicked in.

I asked myself why I was feeling so down? I am healthy, the CD is making progress, I had two jobs this week, and my kids are doing well. And then I remembered, my digital camera died last week. I of course was devestated when it happened, and even more when I realized I couldn't afford a new one.

I love my camera. It is a fujifilm finepix, and the best feature is that when you press the button to take a picture, it takes it RIGHT THEN. There is no flash delay or other unexplained just takes the picture. I don't have to predict when my baby is going to smile and then when exactly I need to press the button to capture that smile, it just takes what it sees.

It only lasted for 2 1/2 years. Seems short. But, I used it ALL the time. I took so many photos over that time, that really I just want to give my old camera a pat on the back for hanging in there THAT long.

And now I am desperately trying to come up with a plan to get my hands on a new camera before my vacation in just 10 days. I simply cannot leave the state without a camera to capture our adventures..and that is what is tearing me up in side. Sadly I don't think I have time to sell anything on ebay or get a temp job...I am just going to have to figure something out, before I really plummet into the depths of digital camera despair.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Model Mommy Girl

About 6 weeks ago my baby was booked for Parents Magazine. The story was a "clingy baby" story. When they told me this, I gave them a skeptical look because my own baby won't even cuddle with me, how were they going to get her to cuddle with a model playing her mother?

It gets worse. I was talking to the model hired to play her mother, and she told me that she had never worked with babies before. Ha.

It was time to get on set. I gave the model a few ideas on how to get the baby's attention, like whispering in her ear, playing peekaboo etc. She just looked at me like I was speaking Japanese. When I handed the baby over, she held her like a football.

An aside: Just the day before I had to shoot a cover shot (polaroid shown above left) with the baby and she was fighting against me the entire time. I had to hold her and try to look relaxed, despite the fact that I was pressing her against me with all my might. We did this for about 20 minutes and the next day I was sore like I had been bench pressing.

This model was a total wimp...she just could not hold onto the baby. Granted, she hadn't had the perfect weight-training program of lifting a baby all day long with the weight gradually increasing over time, but still, she just couldn't hack it. Combine her inexperience with my baby's total lack of wanting to cuddle....and it spelled disaster.

The photographer and art director gave those two about 4 1/2 minutes on set (polaroid from that shown above center) before they dismissed the model and handed the baby back to me with this comment: "She's very independent." Luckily there was a back-up baby and turns out a back-up mommy...they asked ME to get my hair and makeup on, throw on the other models dress (which by the way had VERY sweaty armpits ~ nasty), and do the shoot with the back-up baby.

It went wonderfully well (see above right) .

The reason I tell this story is because I was booked on a job for Quick and Simple Magazine today, and who is the other model booked with me? Model Mommy Girl! And today she had to model with a puppy. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. I could not stop the laugh track in my head when I heard that. She did pretty good. And after watching her face when the photographer asked to her loosen up, have some fun and maybe jump in the air, I could see that in general she is just uncomfortable. Maybe she should skip the modeling jobs that involve babies, puppies, loosening up and having fun...oh and jumping.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Bless my new friend N-dawg for enduring shopping with me today. I was out to find the PERFECT outfit for my album cover, which is shooting in 2 weeks. Do you know how hard it is to find some wintery magical outfit for your Holiday Album cover in the middle of June?

First tactic: go straight to the sale racks. Unfortunately the sale racks only have the SPRING stuff on sale. The stuff that is currently on the rack-racks is the really skimpy summer stuff. Second tactic: shop online in the sale sections. I found a few great pieces on anthropologie. And on sale at that. Third tactic: beg and borrow (we'll leave the stealing to the crooks).

Using these three tactics I think I have got a little something GOIN' ON. I found the most beautiful Betsey Johnson dress at 50% off. When I tried it on, it was a moment like few others...I knew it was THE ONE. Sad to say, I didn't even feel that way about my wedding dress...but what does a 19-year-old know about planning a wedding?

I got an awesome pair of shoes at Anthropologie online, again for about half off. And I found this random awesome little cropped jacket at the Brass Plum at Nordstrom. The other stroke of genius about today was the it was the day before the half-yearly women sale at nordstrom. So if I had gone shopping tomorrow, maybe I would have gotten some deals, but I doubt I would have spotted diddly-squat around all the hords of women who would potentially be there.

I have some back up plans if this one killer outfit doesn't work...but I am finally breathing a sigh of relief that I might look decent on my album cover.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The difference between 4 and 6, boys and girls

I had a job today! Woo-hoo. It was for a Wet Ones ad. I was playing the teacher, holding hands with a line of kids, who I sure hope used some wet ones before they got on set.

It was three kids at a time in the shot, and it might as well have been 15. It was a little crazy at certain moments....the craziness had me chanting: I don't kow what I've been told.....(I don't know what I've been told)....I'm gonna use Wet Ones when I'm old...(I'm gonna use Wet Ones when I'm old) Huh? Anyway, the wrangler and photo assistants were doing their best to aid the children in following direction, but it was challenging at times.

I noticed that the girls (who were all 6) were VERY good at following directions. In fact the most focused of all the models was modeling for the first time today. I worried she might be holding a little TOO still. But she put her feet on her spot, held my hand and looked at me, just like she was supposed to. The boy in the middle of the two girls, holding hands with both of them, was 4 years old and he kept pulling so hard that the main star hero girl in the front, must have fallen to the ground (hard) a half dozen times...poor kid.

There were 3 total boys and all of them were really loud, very physical, and not really into following directios. They were all 4 years old. I did not know that 2 years could make such a difference, nor that gender played such a role in whether or not you wiggled. It was eye-opening. If I ever give birth to a boy, I am going to need to leave the city immediately and get him a yard...and some Wet Ones.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Phlegmy Month of May

May was the worst month I have had in a long time. My health was so difficult to control. I am allergic to EVERYTHING and this was the worst allergy season in a decade. I ended up in the ER for a sprained back (from coughing) and a tight chest, and eventually developed bronchitis. My antibiotics gave me vertigo...I know a bizarre reaction, but true. I think it has been about 3 days since I did not cough or have phlegm coming from somewhere. Even my baby seemed to be suffering.

Now I am hoping to begin recording the vocals for my record. We finished all the piano tracks (all 14) on Saturday, and now it is time to add the voice. I am both exhilerated by this and scared at the same time. I have complete artistic and performance control and I want to be sure to make the right choices. My pianist and I did a short Silent Night to guitar on Saturday and this was my first attempt at recording (in a few years). I put a soundbyte on my website...called sneak peek of Christmas album.

It is really difficult to listen critically to yourself. You can hear every flaw, and you know it's you, but you don't really know it's you. You have heard people tell you you have a great voice, but you regard your voice just like any other body part....and I am not exactly fond of my thighs, behind, bottom of my feet, the list goes it's hard to agree with anyone and say: Yeah, I really love my voice too.

Did I just make any sense?

Anyway, I am just glad the phlegm is gone and the singulair, clarinex and flonase are swishing through my bloodstream at full steam, to get me through the summer and through the most scary/exhilerating/exciting/artistic singing adventure I have had in a long time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Soho, Downtown, Cool, Edgy, NY style, but wear a dress

Agents are notorious for telling you these specific yet generic adjectives for how to dress for an audition. Lately I have been hearing "New York Style". This drives me crazy because I know it is a bunch of midwestern advertising executives coming up with this phrase, thinking they are all that. And the truth is, to me "New York Style" means anything goes, so I usually just wear jeans and the funkiest t-shirt I can find.

Yesterday I had to be soho, downtown cool, but wear a dress. I had no idea what that meant, so I wore leggings, a short skirt, and a tank and a tee on top with some of those $1.00 chinese slippers you can buy "downtown". When I was getting off the subway I saw a girl and I thought: "Now, THAT is soho, downtown cool and wearing a dress" and I decided that she was probably going to the same casting as me, and sure enough, she was. Other girls filed in and the most common element I saw were metallic sandals (silver or gold) and a sun dress that was fitted on top and looser on the bottom. I definitely didn't have that outfit on, but I took note of it, in the event my agents call and tell me to be "soho, downtown cool with a dress", again.

There was a dress that I was going to wear, and thank goodness I didn't because my baby spilled her milk all over me on the subway. The dress was 100% silk and just wouldn't have looked right, probably ever again. But I had some cotton knit stuff on so the milk just blended right in, and dried pretty quickly. But of course I changed as soon as I could so that I didn't smell like sour milk all day. It reminded me of the time I went to an audition with my first baby. She was 4 months old, and I knew she was a little volatile with her pooping and puking, so I wore my entire outfit inside out on the way to the audition, just in case she got me. And then when I was close to being seen, I switched it all around in the bathroom. See? In New York, you can even wear your clothes inside out, maybe I will do that next time the audition calls for "New York Style"

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I coulda been...

It's been a slow few weeks. I have had a bunch of auditions, castings, go-sees (whatever you want to call them), and a bunch of callbacks, holds, and requests, and NOTHING has panned out. I am ok with it being slow because every once in a while I need to revive and refresh myself, but it is always a dagger to my heart when I see the job that coulda been mine.

The latest example of this was seeing the cast of Mary Poppins announced. I had the opportunity to do a few rounds for the role of Mary, only to be told I was falling somewhere in between Mary and Mrs. Banks. It's ok, but just seeing the cast, and hearing the advertisements, isn't the best.

And on a much smaller scale, I saw a clip from the Today Show that aired yesterday, of a story about leggings. I have made a few other appearances for this segment on the Today Show, and so I was feeling optimistic about booking it. I watched and the girl who was cast for MY OUTFIT (mini black skirt and white and black striped top) was a girl MUCH taller and skinnier then me named Jennifer. And I want to hate her, but I can't because she is really nice (I know because we did the last segment together).

The next daggers to my heart will be when the new KY Sensual Mist and Special K commercials come out in about a month (I am guessing). I coulda been the KY or Special K girl...but I guess I already am that....KristY.