Speaks To Me Sunday #2

22 Mar


Things have gotten SO busy the last couple of weeks! I have always considered myself someone who thrives off of a packed schedule. To some extent, this is true. It’s easier to prioritize if you have less time to procrastinate. However, I am beyond the point of wanting to be busy just for the sake of being busy. I don’t want to do things because I “have to.” I want to do the things that make me feel fufille. There is no such thing as free time. You are always spending it. Whether it’s on the couch binge watching Netflix or creating memories with your loved ones… Guard the finite time you have fiercely. (Not to say that binge watching shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or The Office isn’t the right way to spend time occasionally ūüėČ) It’s up to you how you will spend your time. Choose what makes you happy, do the things that you actually want, live fully in all the glorious little moments, and don’t be afraid to be a little selfish with your time. It is precious. 

It’s up to you. What will you spend your time doing? What means the most? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments or reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter (@JoannaHackman) using #SpeaksToMeSunday. 

Favorite Five Friday (104th Edition) 

20 Mar

Why hello there! Another Friday is here, and I am loving it. It’s also been a full week. Here we go…


1. ¬†I think I’ve shared this before, but I am working on expanding my presence on social media. Apparently that is important if you are an actor. ;) So, you can hang with me on Instagram and Twitter (@JoannaHackman). That also means I am adding new things to the blog. This week I started by posting something called Speaks To Me Sunday.¬†In these posts I will be sharing words that speak to me, inspire me, challenge me, or even make me laugh. I hope you check it out and share words that speak to you. Join the conversation in the comments each week or on Insta and Twitter with #SpeaksToMeSunday.

2. ¬†Universal is hiring the¬†next class of Studio Tour Guides, and I am proud to be one of their trainers! I’ve spent most of the week riding the trams, watching the trainees discover new things, and helping them to craft their tours. I have to say it’s one of my most favorite positions at Universal, and I feel so privileged to be a part of the training team.


3. ¬†I finally gave in. I am watching The Office. And I will admit it… I love it. I put it off for so long because I was nervous about all the hype. I had also just heard bits and pieces of the show without watching, and it never sounded like something I would like. Well, I can happily say that I was wrong. I think the show is brilliant and hilarious. I love the ensemble cast. I love the ridiculousness of each situation. I love how amazing Steve Carrell is at making me love/hate Michael Scott. (Sorry, he’s the worst. Stupid $400 iPod.) Most of all I love Jim and Pam… I can hardly stand it. Guys, I love The Office.

4.  I just found out that one my favorite people on the planet is moving to California for a year! Cammie was my roommate in college, and she is one of the funnest, most talented, and encouraging people I know. She and her awesome husband, Steven, are coming to L.A. for a year while he is working to become a doctor. Los Angeles is so lucky to get those two even for a short time. I cannot wait to have more of them in my life.

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5. ¬†My amazing Dad turned 60 TODAY! To celebrate him, I’d like to share a few of my favorite memories/moments:

– My favorite thing when I was little was going swimming with my Dad. There was nothing more fun than having him throw me up in the air and then splashing down into the water. Never being scared because I knew he was there.

– Every kid in the neighborhood knew when it was time for the Rolan kids to head home. Dad’s whistle could be heard the next street over. No matter where we were out playing, we would hear that and make our way home. I miss the days of not needing to watch a clock or carry a phone. Dad could reach us with just a whistle.

РDad drove me all over the place. School, friends houses, rehearsals, soccer games, auditions. He never complained. I always just expected that he (or Mom) would drop whatever they were doing to get me where I wanted to go. I never realized how much time all of that took or considered how inconvenient my plans might have been. Looking back, I am so thankful to have had SUCH supportive parents. They always made me and Jeremy their number one priority. 

- I will never forget when my Dad did a cart-wheel in the middle of my 8th grade science class. (He was the teacher.) His cart-wheels were always better than mine. Probably still are. 

- On that note… I never made the cheerleading squad. I remember when I was waiting to find out if I had made the squad, my Dad gave me flowers and two cards from he and Mom. One card was to be opened if I made it. The other if I did not. When I found out I didn’t make it, I opened the latter. It was a sweet card about how proud of me they were. I couldn’t stifle my curiosity, and I opened the “yes” card too. It still makes me tear up remembering that it was the exact same card. This support, belief, and love is my firm foundation.¬†

- Dad wanted to surprise my Mom with a really beautiful gift for her birthday. He let me come and help pick out jewelry for her. I felt so proud that he wanted my opinion, and loved the way he wanted to surprise Mom. I am so happy I found a husband who loves to surprise me. 

- I always loved listening to my Dad sing at church or in shows. Whether he was singing a solo or with the choir. It made me so proud. That’s my Dad.

- Dad came with me and Mom to buy my Homecoming dress. I was 14, and it was my first high school dance. It was blue, floor length, and one of the most beautiful things I’d ever worn. Dad cried when he saw me in it, and I felt like a princess.

- He is super brave. After I fell in love with theatre, Dad decided to give it a shot too. He puts himself out there auditioning and performing. It’s really fun to share our love of the stage.¬†

- One of my most cherished memories is having him walk me down the aisle at my wedding. It was such a special moment, and I’m so glad he was by my side. Then we had our Daddy/Daughter dance to Unforgettable, and that is what he is.

Dad, I love you so much! I am proud of all you have accomplished in your 60 years. You are brave, talented, hard-working, thoughtful, funny, supportive, and loving. I am so thankful to be your daughter and to have so many wonderful memories together. Happy Birthday! 

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And Happy Friday, y’all! Enjoy the weekend!¬†

Speaks To Me Sunday

15 Mar

If you follow me on any social media, you could probably guess that I am a fan of quotes. Words that inspire me, challenge me, make me laugh. I have always loved words – spoken, written, typed, whatever. Language is such a powerful thing, and I think it all comes down to communication. Something I believe we all crave. Sometimes words just speak to your heart… something said by a loved one that you lock away to think of whenever you need it most, a hilarious phrase that can put a smile on your face when the day isn’t going your way, comforting words that make you feel like someone understands you, an empowering mantra that convinces you to take on the world. That is a lot of power from something so seemingly simple. (Ah, alliteration. WORDS!) It is safe to say that I have had a lifelong love affair with words, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. So, I decided to share words that are currently inspiring me by doing something new!

Speaks To Me Sunday!

This is where I will share what words, quotes, phrases are speaking to me. To my heart, my soul, my mind, my funny bone. ;) I want to share the power of words, and maybe you will be inspired too! (*Disclaimer: The quotes will (most likely) not be mine. I am not claiming to be the one who said these wonderful things. I will credit who did whenever possible! Same goes for any art work that comes attached.*)

And that brings me to my words for this week…


I have been learning this a lot the last several months. I made the decision to give up fear in 2015 (#NoFear15) and it has been quite the challenge, but oh-so-worth-it. Diving into scary situations, overcoming challenges, leaving doubts at the door… it has all be SO freeing. Well, yesterday I made the choice to do something that actually terrifies me. I signed up for Improv Class at The Upright Citizens Brigade. (I am trying not to hyperventilate.) I’ve always liked the thought of improv, and been able to act on those impulses when forced to for auditions or when live theatre takes a turn because someone missed a cue. However, when I was first introduced to the idea of improv, it was the thing that funny people did. You had to be funny to do improv, and I had been told that I was not. I let that control me, hover over me for a long time. Being told that I was the girl for the dramatic scenes was great… being told that I couldn’t do comedy was crippling. I branched out in college and was able to tackle comedy, but there is always this voice in the back of my head saying that I am not funny.

Well, I turned to my friend Amanda (Improv Goddess) who told me that it’s a good thing that I don’t think I’m funny. WHAT?! She thinks I will have a better chance at succeeding in improv if I am not worrying about finding the funny thing to say, but rather the honest thing. Well, that certainly flipped all my ideas around. I don’t have to be funny. But maybe I will be. :)

So, I decided to face my fears head on and jump into class. I am definitely nervous, but I am trying to let go of control. I feel like this might just set me free.

I would love for you all to join in! Comment here. Or reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram (@JoannaHackman) – share your quotes, thoughts, words. Use #SpeaksToMeSunday and get in the conversation.

Favorite Five Friday (103rd Edition)

13 Mar

Oh, hey Friday! Nice to see you. And you, if you are here reading my blog! Here’s how my week played out…


1. ¬†Lots of auditions this week! It’s been so great to get in the room, and have some fun. Dan and I got invited to a call back together, too. It’s always neat to get to work together. We make a pretty great team. :)


2. ¬†We went down to USC to see our talented friend, Kyla, perform in As You Like It. She’s a second year Grad student in their theatre program, and it shows! She played so many characters and totally owned that stage. I can’t lie, it made me miss theatre quite a bit. Maybe one of these days I will get back up there.

3. ¬†More friends in town! Our Lukey came to visit all the way from Nashville. We got to take him to Universal for the day, and it was a blast! I miss this kid, and I’m happy he came to visit.


4. ¬†More friends in town continued! One of my directors from The Continentals was vacationing in Cali, and we got to meet up for a bit. We played tourists in Hollywood while we caught up. Omar, next time we meet up, let’s go back to South Africa. ;)


5.  Guys, my new agent rocks. Before the ink even dried on my contract I was out auditioning, AND booked a role! Yesterday I was up very early to drive downtown for a print shoot. I got to watch the sunrise over City Hall and Grand Park. Believe me, it was a sight worth waking up for. I had a fantastic time at the shoot, and I am looking forward to what is to come!


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy Friday!

Favorite Five Friday (102nd Edition)

6 Mar

Hey y’all! It has been quite the week, and it doesn’t seem like things are going to be slowing down any time soon. Here is what’s up…


1. ¬†I feel like I’m actually at the age in life where you can have “old friends.” Like the friends you’ve known for a long time. Well, I got to spend time with one of these old friends this week. Elise and I were in choir together throughout high school, and she is probably one of the coolest people I know. If you don’t believe me, you should go check out her blog:¬†elise’s pieces. It’s pretty great. Well, she was in Los Angeles this week so we got to catch up over dinner and it was wonderful. Elise is also a rock star as social media, and she gave me some great ideas about how I can get better at it. I am thankful for “old friends” and the chance to spend time together.


2.  This week I got some very exciting news in the form of a yes I had been hoping for. I recently met with Avalon Artists Group about joining their commercial division. They are a fantastic agency, and I was dying to work with Stephany (head of commercial). Well, it happened. I got the yes! I am so proud to share that I am now represented by Avalon, and I am thrilled to be a part of the team.


3. ¬†I’ve been tossing around the idea of taking an improv class for a little while now. The idea of it terrifies me a little, but maybe that’s why I have to do it. Luckily for me, I have lots of friends involved in improv and lots of people willing to share their experience. I turned to my friend Amanda (who is an improv goddess) for a little advice. Not only did she share a wealth of knowledge, but also got me into her show at The Second City the next day! Dan and I went and it’s safe to say we laughed til it hurt. We had such a good time. Amanda and her team were hilarious. And as a bonus, Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead was there to perform with one of the teams! It was pretty awesome. I’m nervous, but excited to jump into this new adventure. Wish me luck!

4. ¬†We’ve been really great at getting in date night lately, and I am loving it. This week we just did dinner and a movie. Or the detailed version: Pizzarev and Kingsman: The Secret Service. And it was great. I love that even though I see Dan all the time, date night is still exciting. Good thing I married someone I love to hang out with.


5. ¬†My friend Trevor has a love affair with Downtown L.A. It is not my favorite place. It’s obnoxious to get to, so much traffic, far away, blah blah blah. Well, it was his birthday this week, and at his request I made my way to DTLA. Only for him. Well, it was a pretty wonderful night. We celebrated Trevor’s 30th on the rooftop at The Perch. This place is stunning, and you have a spectacular view of the city. It was seriously breathtaking. I highly recommend it if you live in L.A. I love this city, and I love spending time with my friends in cool places. Thanks a great night in DTLA, Trevor! Cheers to trying new things.

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Now, that is what I call a solid week! I think it only gets better from here. :)

Happy Friday!

Favorite Five Friday (101st Edition)

26 Feb

Another week has come and gone, and it has practically taken February with it! Can you believe it is almost March? I’ve got some exciting changes I am planning to make in the next month. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling in the mood to mix things up lately. It’s time to move into something new! Stay tuned. For now, here is what went down this week…


1.  I love watching the Oscars. Awards season always gets me excited about this industry I’m trying to break into. The films are so well done – the screen writers have breathed life into a story, the directors have crafted their vision, the entire crew (from designers all the way to grips) have given it their all, the actors are at the top of their game. This is the best of the best, and it makes me so excited. We got to watch the Academy Awards with our pals, and, of course, had a great time. We filled out our ballots, oooh-ed over the gowns, laughed with NPH, were moved by some of the speeches, and even had a healthy debate going about which films were most deserving. Man, I just love it. I was truly thrilled for all who took home a statue that night. I was probably most excited for Eddie Redmayne. I know people really thought that this was going to be Keaton’s year, but I was so hoping Redmayne would take the win. I absolutely adored The Theory of Everything. I think Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones created incredible characters and an remarkable world in their film. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to portray a real individual, let alone people who are still alive today. How nerve-wracking! They handled themselves beautifully. Yes, Redmayne did an amazing job displaying Stephen Hawking’s disease, but he did so much more than that. It was the emotion and inner-life that shined through the physicality that really made this a stand-out performance. Well deserved and congratulation, Mr. Redmayne. And to all the winners! And to all the nominees! Thank you all for your work and the inspiration you ignite.

Also, in case you didn’t see it… be sure to check out Best Picture: The Musical! I play Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones). Maybe that’s why I was so excited for Eddie (Yes, first name basis now). Watch this:

2.  One of my bestest buds celebrated her birthday this week! To mark the ocassion we went to a fun place in Burbank called Story Tavern for food, drinks, and darts. Y’all, I had never played darts. Secretly, I always wanted to. But I never did because I thought I would probably be bad at it. I don’t have great aim, I’ll never be able to make it stick to the board, I don’t know what I’m doing. Doubt. Doubt. DOUBT. About something as silly as darts! Take a breath, Joanna. No one cares if you are good at darts. So, I played. And I was kinda terrible. And then, I got better. I even got a Bulls-Eye. More importantly, I had fun. It made me start wondering what else have I been avoiding because of my self-doubt. What awesome things have I been missing out on because I was afraid?! Well, I am through limiting myself. You are never going to accomplish anything worthwhile or have any kind of fun if you are scared of failing. Most of my goals this year have been about leaving fear behind, and it has been such a game changer for me. (#NoFear15) I am ready to try new things, to fail, to move forward, to have FUN! Even if it’s as simple as a game of darts. How about you? What are you going to do that scares you?

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3.  So many of my favorite people were born in February! We were recently at Disneyland celebrating my Grandma’s 75th Birthday, but as her actual birthday was this week, I have to give her a shout out. My Grandma is an amazing woman. I will always jump at the chance to eat any food she makes. Her sewing skills are incredible; some of my most treasured possessions were made my her hands. From an early age she patiently taught me about sewing, crafting, gardening, and Jesus. I couldn’t possibly count how many games of Uno, Sorry, and Tic-Tac-Toe we’ve played together. She took care of me when I had to stay home from school, and even now when I don’t feel well, I wish I could have “Grandma Toast.” She’s the reason why at five-years-old my favorite movies were Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and The King and I. She has always encouraged my love of the arts and has seen me perform in just about everything. She has never once questioned my dreams, and I love her for it. She is a faithful woman of God, one of the strongest people I know, and the best Grandma around. I am so proud to have been named for such a lady. I love you, Grandma!



We are so related.

4.  Date night is so great. We don’t always get to have one, but we’ve been trying to make that happen more lately. I love getting to hang out and have fun with my awesome husband. I kind of think he is the greatest. Also, we got to go eat delicious diner pie. Which is also great. What I’m saying is, go on dates! It’s important! That is all.


5.  Guys. You guys, Los Angeles has some of the coolest museums around. Currently, the Academy (Yes, that Academy) has a ridiculously cool exhibition going on where you can see some of the most iconic costumes in film history. The Hollywood Costume exhibit boasts more than 150 pieces and a genius use of multimedia to enhance each display. (We could not get over just how brilliant the projection, films, and lighting were.) You weave your way from the Golden Age of Film to present day productions, all the while learning about the role of the Costume Designer, creative collaborators, and the true significance of costumes in cinema. We spent more than two hours gawking at familiar items worn by characters like Indiana Jones, Jack and Rose, Tyler Durden, and Marilyn Monroe (Yes, she counts as a character). It’s all quite breath-taking, but the whole section dedicated to Meryl Streep’s various ensembles might have been my favorite part. The Exhibit is only open until March 2nd, so if you are in the area, head on over! You don’t want to miss this piece of Hollywood History.

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Happy Friday! Be fearless this weekend!

Favorite Five Friday (100th Edition)

20 Feb

The 100th Edition is here! (Seriously?!) WHOO HOO!!! I can’t believe that I’ve kept this up. Thank you to everyone who is still reading my updates and thoughts on life. It means more than I can say. I’ve got some really great things to share. Without further ado…


1. ¬†The World Famous Universal Studio Tour is about to welcome some brand new guides to our “Tramily.” I got to help out with the open call, the first impression the candidates make on the Studio Tour management. It’s such an exciting environment to be in, and I love meeting the folks who walk through the door. I am also looking forward to getting to know the trainees better next month – I’ve been asked to be Trainer again! I am so thrilled. I truly love getting to know our new guides, helping them craft their tour, and getting them pumped up to work for an awesome company. See you soon, future Guides!

Lovely ladies at the Open Call

Lovely ladies at the Open Call

2. ¬†As an actor, having a social media presence is becoming more and more important. I’ve been trying to up my game. Put myself out there a little more and gain some likes and followers. Social Media is not always fun or as easy as it sounds, but it is certainly useful! This week I passed 1,000 likes on my Facebook Actor Page. I am so overwhelmed by the support from my friends and family. You guys are THE best. I am unbelievably grateful. If you haven’t followed, liked, or looked yet… check it out! Click the above link for my FB Fan Page. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram as @JoannaHackman.

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3. ¬†I love Disneyland. I love my family. Put the two together and you get a whole lot of love. And a whole lot of fun! We got to spend about 72 hours together at The Happiest Place On Earth to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday and my Grandma’s 75th. Huge Celebration! It was so fun to catch up with my family and ride our favorite rides together. There is also something so special about seeing Disney through the eyes of a child. My 8-year-old niece was so excited all the time. I have so much love for that place, and even more love for the people who enjoyed it with me.

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4. ¬†My family had another reason to celebrate on this trip – my big brother got engaged! He had been planning and waiting for months to propose to his amazing girlfriend, Sabrina. He picked the perfect spot for them – Ariel is her favorite so he proposed right in the middle of the Ariel ride. So cute. We were all waiting to congratulate them after. Including her family – which was a total surprise! I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it. My bro is so happy and Sabrina already feels like family. I am finally getting the sister I always wanted. She was totally worth the wait. Congratulations Jeremy and Sabrina!


5. ¬†It’s Oscar season, y’all! My awesome, talented friends got together and wrote a short musical piece about all the Best Picture nominees. Dan and I both got involved and had a blast. He was asked to play J.K. Simmons/Fletcher from Whiplash – which he was perfect for. I was so excited to be asked to play Felicity Jones/Jane Hawking for the section about The Theory of Everything. They did an amazing job putting it all together, and I am so proud to share it with all of you. So, for your consideration – Best Picture: The Musical…




Thanks for stopping by to see the 100th Edition of Favorite Five Friday!

There is more to come. I am working on some new ideas and some changes. So, keep an eye for more Acting Up coming your way.

Happy Friday!


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