Favorite Five Friday (80th Edition)

29 Aug

Summer is officially winding down… I wish the heat would cool it, too. (See what I did there? ;) haha) It has been a hot one. Check out this week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Dan and I are going through a down-sizing phase. We are getting rid of clutter and things we don’t need. He has decided to attack our wall of DVDs. We love movies, and we love to collect them. We have bought many an inexpensive DVD at going out of business sales. A terrible habit began where we would buy movies that we had never seen. They would sound interesting or star actors we like, but we would buy them without even knowing if they were good. Well, over the years we have discovered that most of them either A) Weren’t good or B) We didn’t care enough to find out. So, we are diving into some of the movies we are on the fence about to make up our minds. It’s been fun to have so many movie nights. Plus, it feels great to get rid of things we don’t need.

2.  Having couple friends is a ridiculous amount of fun. I mean, having friends at all is awesome. But having friends that are also in a relationship is pretty neat. There is always some common ground to share. Times spent with these friends are some of my favorites these days.

3.  This sweet moment that happened this week:

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4.  I’ve been reminiscing about my touring days… So many wonderful moments and memories. I will be forever thankful for the places I saw, the people I met, the friends I made, and the impact those tours had on my life.

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5.  Disneyland has been calling our names for several weeks now. We haven’t been able to make it down to Anaheim very much during the Summer of Mayhem. We finally got to go visit the Mouse this week, and it felt so good to be back! I know you’ve all missed my Disney posts so here’s a few photos ;) ….

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Dan was pretty cute when he got to meet Cap.

Dan was pretty cute when he got to meet Cap.

Happy Weekend to One and All!

Favorite Five Friday (79th Edition)

22 Aug

Hey, Friday. You’re lookin’ good…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  One of our dear friends was in town this week, and we got the chance to meet up with her for a few hours. She was staying in Hollywood so got to eat breakfast with her at the fabulous Roosevelt Hotel. The 25 Degree restaurant there is amazing. It was so lovely to have a relaxing breakfast and the opportunity to reunite with a friend. Thank you, Miss Trina! What a refreshing morning. :) (The photo is a bit grainy, but still cute!)

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2.  The Universal Tour Guide Showcase auditions were this week, and I had a really great time. My scene partner and I picked an awesome scene. I feel like we really created some fun an interesting moments. Our audition went really well, and I left feeling very proud of what I did. Unfortunately, I did not get cast in the showcase this year. Of course, I am disappointed, but I feel like I am learning to bounce back from that faster. You have to develop a tough skin to work in this industry – while somehow still remaining vulnerable. It’s an interesting dynamic, but it’s one I am working on. I feel great about my audition, and I am just going to keep plugging away. I can’t wait to see my fellow guides in action at the showcase this fall!

3.  I have been craving a beach day all summer! We don’t get to go too often. (Plus, my husband gets burned pretty quickly so it’s not always high on his list). Well, we finally had a day to go and it was perfect. We walked in the sand, sat in the sun, played on the monkey bars, and are ice cream! There is something so amazing about being by the ocean. It’s simultaneously calming and thrilling. Maybe that’s just me? I am just a huge fan of that atmosphere. I’m dreaming of a day where maybe I will have the chance to live right next to the beach. But being close is good enough for now.

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4.  Some friends of ours who are fellow Nashville transplants live in Downtown Los Angeles. The mileage isn’t too far, but the traffic is terrible. Basically this means we don’t get to see them very often. Well, they just moved to a new place so we got to go check it out this week. One of my favorite parts of this week was eating dinner in their cute little bungalow and catching up on each other’s lives. It feels like a little piece of our Nashville home is with us when we are with them. Plus, I love this little man…

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5.  I’ve had several people going through all of my fabulous headshots and helping me choose which ones I should use. Kat Tuohy took so many fantastic pictures that it is hard to pick! Soon I will post my selections, but I came across this little outtake and thought it would be fun to share…

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Enjoy your weekend, friends! You deserve it. :)

Favorite Five Friday (78th Edition)

16 Aug

Guys, I’m not going to lie…I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t feel like there was much to say.  Mostly, I just worked this week.  I love my job, and I am always happy to be at work.  Plus, being able to pay bills is a good thing!  I just didn’t have too much to say. Then, this morning I just felt like I should post something anyway.  Life isn’t always made up of exciting moments, but it’s still thrilling to be alive.  So, here ya go…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Speculoo’s Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s is the most delicious thing ever. I might have eaten an entire bag of pretzels this week just so I could dip them in cookie butter. I have always been a fan of the Biscoff cookies that they have (or had) on Delta flights. Well, that is exactly what cookie butter tastes like! But it’s in a spreadable, peanut-buttery kind of state… so you can put in on things! Like pretzels. And celery, ice cream, bread… Maybe this week I will have to come up with more ideas of what to put it on. Thoughts? Have any of y’all tried this stuff?! Do it. (Warning: The cashier at TJ’s called it “Crack-ie Butter” and he might not be wrong.)

2.  Snow cones at work!  What a fun place, right?

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3.  I’ve really been able to switch on my actor brain recently… head shots, work shops, agency meetings.  I’ve also been working on a really fun scene for a showcase audition I have coming up next week. It’s been exciting to work that muscle again.  It’s also made me realize how much I want (possibly need) to be in class.  Whether it’s a specific technique, scene study, improv… I just want to get out there and do that.  Making goals.

4.  I love The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.  We watch pretty much every episode.  I have never been super into any late night talk shows, but Jimmy just makes it so fun.  It’s also a great way to keep up on entertainment news – which is important as an actor.  If you haven’t seen the show yet, check it out!  Mr. Fallon is nailing it.

5.  As a kid, you fall in love with movies and the characters that are in them… it is some time before you truly realize the character is played by an actor – a real person who is bringing that role to life.  For a while, they are just one in the same.  Do you know what I mean?  The first actor that I can remember recognizing as a person outside of his fabulous characters was Robin Williams.  When I would see him in a movie, I knew who it was and I’d expect to see something amazing.  He never disappointed.  Mr. Williams brought to life some of the most beloved characters from my childhood.  He also played roles that inspired me as a performer.  Watching him on-screen is like taking a Master Class in acting.  When I heard of his passing this week, I was stunned.  Is it strange to cry for someone who you have never met?  Obviously it is not, because every social media site was literally flooded with posts echoing all the things I was feeling.  I saw posts from friends who are actors, friends who just love movies, friends who couldn’t care less about the arts… He was so well-loved by his audience.  This genius of a man touched so many lives!  Robin Williams had such a bright spark that he shared with the world.  Even from afar, we all feel his loss.  I can’t imagine what those who experienced that spark personally are going through.  My heart goes out to family and friends – those that truly knew him.  He will be remembered as we all watch Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire, my personal favorite, Hook… and the many other movies he breathed life into.  Robin Williams, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

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Enjoy your weekend, friends. Make every moment count!

Favorite Five Friday (77th Edition)

8 Aug

It’s Friday! And I am actually posting! What a week it has been…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

 

1.  There is something so special about handwritten cards. The women in my family have always been so good at holiday cards, thank you cards, just a little note here and there. I can’t remember a day of Elementary School that my lunch did not come with a note from my mom. When I was on tour for months at a time, I knew I could look forward to letters waiting for me in many of the places we performed.  Well, not only does my grandma hand write her cards, she also hand makes them! She also got me on this little DIY kick. Making cards is a lot of fun! This is the much-needed one she sent me this week:

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2.  I got to go to a fun on-camera workshop this week with the fabulous Shari Shaw and Keith Andreen. Shari worked with the Guides at Universal last summer, and this year she came back with an awesome camera man. It was a fun way to work on scenes, and I am looking forward to getting to check out the tape later. This is also a great introduction, as Shari will be directing the upcoming Studio Guide Showcase that I’m auditioning for at the end of the month!

3.  Guardians of the Galaxy came out this week! We went on a triple date with our pals to see it in Prime, and now we never want to see a movie another way again. Not only was it in IMAX 3D… we also sat in cushy reclining chairs that each had their own subwoofer underneath. Prime definitely made it a whole experience. Man, I love going to the movies. And, of course, Guardians was awesome.

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4.  I got new glasses this week! I love them. If you know me, you know I have a thing about red sun glasses. So, I decided some red-ish glasses would be appropriate as well.

Kat Tuohy Photography

Kat Tuohy Photography

5.  Well, that photo was my intro into my next topic… I recently got advice from my agents and some wonderful casting directors about getting new head shots.  They wanted a couple different looks and vibes that I was missing.  A fabulous photographer was highly recommended to me, and once I saw her photos, I knew that I needed to shoot with her. Kat Tuohy is a genius, and I am in love with the photos she took. Here is a sneak peek at my head shot shoot:

Kat Tuohy Photography

Kat Tuohy Photography

What a lovely week! I hope yours was wonderful, too.

Happy Weekend, All!

Favorite Five Friday (76th Edition)

2 Aug

Welcome to another edition of Favorite Five… whenever I can post it. Hey, I’m still here. It was a fun and busy week. Reminisce with me…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  When I first moved to L.A. my mom and I talked about going to Rodeo Drive together… walking into a store arms full of bags and saying, “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.” And walking out just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Well, we finally got to take on Rodeo Drive together! :) I asked Mom if she wanted to yell “big mistake!” in some store and then run out, but she wasn’t into it. (Hehehe) So, we window shopped, gasped over prices, and had lunch at Tiffany’s. Literally – right outside of Tiffany! Cute little restaurant. :) It was the perfect mother/daughter date, and I get to cross it off my list.

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2.  So, if you hadn’t guessed, my mom came to town! We had a fabulous couple of days hanging out, chatting, and going on adventures. My time with her is always refreshing. I don’t care how old you are – you always need your mama. I am so thankful for mine! Plus, it’s pretty cool that she is also my best friend. (Hi Mom! I know you are reading this… :) Thanks for coming to visit me. ily!)

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3.  The Iliad Book Shop is magical place just around the corner. They sell all kinds of books second-hand. You never know what you might find – favorite children’s stories, acting must-reads, and best sellers. Their shelves are literally over flowing. Maybe it’s just me, but I love the feeling of being in a book store, surrounded by literature. Language is such a powerful thing. Dan, Mom, and I had a fabulous time searching for treasure in the Iliad.

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4.  Speaking of literature… Guys, July 31st was Harry Potter’s birthday. (Is it sad that I know that? Don’t care.)  Harry Potter will always be one of my most favorite fictional characters.  I literally grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione… which is why it meant so much when J.K. Rowling said…

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It’s just the truth. If you have not read these books. I promise you – you are missing out. So get on that!

5.  Some fabulous tour guides put together an event where we got to screen the new Universal film Get On Up on the Back Lot. Not only did we get to watch the film on the big screen the night it premiered… we were also treated to a once in a lifetime Q&A with one of the films stars, Nelsan Ellis. (Some of y’all might know him better as Lafayette from True Blood) Wow. I don’t really have words for that experience yet other than I am so thankful. It was exactly what I needed to hear. He was so humble and had such fantastic insight. He made me think about things that had never even occurred to me as an actor before.  My two favorite things he said (yes, I took notes) were, “I think about my characters like I think about myself. I have to believe in the person. If I don’t, y’all won’t believe in him either.” and “Don’t stop fighting for your dream.”  It was really powerful to listen to someone with a background similar to my own who is having great success. I also loved hearing that while, to me (and lots of others), he is someone who is successful… he has made it to a place that I would love to reach… he is still working, he is not done.  All that to say, I left last night truly inspired. Plus, the film was a lot of fun! Go see it!  Thank you, Nelsan, for giving your time and sharing so much with us. Now, it’s time to go out and fight!!

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Enjoy your week, beautiful people!

 

Favorite Five Friday (75th Edition)

27 Jul

Well, it happened again. I am posting late. I’m sure you are not surprised. Summer is the busiest time at Universal, and that means it is the busiest time for me! Unfortunately, work and sleep end up taking priority over blogging, but I did have time for a little fun this week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Living next to a park is great. Dan can go for a run, we can have a picnic, and it’s pretty scenery for a walk. Our park has also started showing movies! A couple of weeks ago we got to watch Jurassic Park out there. This last week we got to hang out with our Universal buddies in the park while we watched Back to the Future. I love getting to see our backlot up on screen. I can’t believe that I get to see the sets from Back to the Future on practically a daily basis. Film history is such a cool thing. :)

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2.  Sometimes at VIP we do “buddy tours.” Basically two guides join their tours together while they visit the back lot. It is a ton fun. This week Dan and I did our first buddy tour! The Hackman Squared tour was pretty awesome. My husband is a great guide! I was so proud. :) Out guests really enjoyed themselves. We didn’t announce to them that we were married, but a couple of them ended up finding out. It was a great time, and I can’t wait til we get to do another!

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3.  We are so lucky to have made some fantastic friends out here in L.A. Whether we are playing games, helping each other move, working together, or just hanging out – we always have a good time. This week we got scared together by seeing The Purge: Anarchy. It was creepy and fun. (More Universal sets on screen!) I think we are officially ready for Halloween Horror Nights.

4.  Dan and I have been taking a break from binge-watching TV shows so we could watch some must-see movies. Now, I have seen theses films earlier in my life, but it has been a long time. So, we have been watching the Indiana Jones Trilogy (the 4th one doesn’t count), the Jurassic Park movies, half of the Star Wars films thus far… We want to finish Star Wars, hit the last two in the Back to the Future Trilogy, and move on to some of AFI’s top 100. I love hanging out with my husband and watching awesome movies together.

I think there is more to write on this topic at a later date...

I think there is more to write on this topic at a later date…

5.  This is my 75th Favorite Five Friday post! They are not always consistent or on time, but I have made it pretty far. Now I am starting to think about making some changes once I reach 100! I’ve got several weeks before then, but stay tuned! :D

Enjoy the precious time left in your weekend, and have a fabulous week!

Favorite Five Friday (74th Edition)

17 Jul

Y’all, it has been a crazy couple of weeks. Last week I didn’t post because I was up at 4:30 AM for work. Then I came home and went immediately to sleep! That is pretty much what the last few weeks have looked like. Here is a visual…

This is what 6 AM looks like....

This is what 6 AM looks like….

Summer time is busy but fun!  So, I spaced (and ran out of time) posting yesterday, but here are a few of my favorite things from the last two weeks…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  I am loving my new shampoo and conditioner from Beauty With A Twist. My ah-mazing hair stylist, Angela, introduced me to them. They are paraben and sulfate free, and my hair is feeling super healthy. I also love that these products are not tested on animals. Plus, they smell delicious!

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2.  Dan and I got to squeeze in date night this week! We went to The Federal to see our buddy, Jon, do some stand up. It was a very funny show, and we laughed through the entire thing. Such a great night.

3.  I have been wearing cheap shoes with no support to work for the last year. Well, I am over it. I do far too much standing and walking to wear shoes that don’t feel good. I finally invested in a great pair of shoes! I love my new Sketchers – they have memory foam! Light weight, comfy, and perfect for a Tour Guide. Yes, one of my favorite things this week is a pair of shoes. ;)

Just in case you were wondering what they looked like...

Just in case you were wondering what they looked like…

4.  I am working on being brave…

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(I’d also love to give credit to whoever put these encouraging memes together. I love seeing  these all over the place, and I wanted to share. Spread that positivity! Of course, credit to C.S. Lewis and Anne Lamott for their inspiring words.)

5.  On July 15th the Studio Tour celebrated its 50th Birthday! 50 years of guided tours of the Universal lot… Pretty incredible. The original Studio Tour was the start of a theme park, and now there are Universal parks all over the world. I am so proud to be a part of this legacy, and I am thrilled to share the history of Universal with guests every day.

Happy 50th Birthday!!!

Happy 50th Birthday!!!

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

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