3 things every LA actress should know!
By: Eva Ceja.
First of all, I have to thank the lovely Rachel McCord for asking me to guest blog! I’m very excited to share some knowledge with you. I’m still learning, but here is my story, thus far:
I’ve always had the same dream since I was three years old. I would walk up in my beautiful Oscar gown, up those stairs to the podium, and accept my award for best actress. When I moved here almost six years ago, that was the plan. It still is, but my journey has changed. I learned that I needed to hustle, stay financially grounded, and above all, be happy everyday that I get to be here and pursue my dreams!
I’d like to say, I’ve made it! However, I’m still working my way up, and everyday it’s an adventure. Especially the first time you get to go to a Red Carpet Event, it feel like you just struck gold. Keep in mind, I definitely keep my cool around people in the industry. I always pay my up most appreciation for there work, and give them raise for future projects.
I can honestly say I FINALLY have a understanding of this city. I’m still learning, as you should in life, but I have a few tips on things I wish someone would have told me upon arriving here in LA. I may have saved me a few years.
Did you know, much like mathematics, smiling is recognized in every culture as being happy or positive socially? I know what you’re thinking, duh Eva! But seriously. I was at work one day (yes, I still waitress) and a few of my co-workers kept telling me what was wrong, why was I in a bad mood, etc etc. I was confused because I was in a great mood. I asked them, what made them think I was in a horrible mood, since I had such a great day! They told me, “Because you’re not smiling.”
Then it hit me… smiling is essential. It SHOWS that I am in high spirits. Smiling is also contagious. So when you meet new people, like casting directors, directors, producers, and fellow actors… That smile is the first thing they see. Believe me. They will remember if you made them smile back, too!
Another thing to do that really helped me was reading “The 7 habits of Highly Successful People” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People for the Digital Age”. These are great references on how to live your life! Very life changing. I have them both on audio book as well, so I can listen to these books over and over while I work out on the elliptical! It’s so easy!
2: COFFEE MEET UPS.
A great way to meet new people is to meet at coffee shops. If you need to rehearse, talk shop, or even have a meet and greet with a new face, it’s always a great idea. I am mentioning this because I broke this rule once, and it was the worse mistake I ever made. I booked a TV show, and my fellow actor wanted to rehearse the script before we started shooting. I’m definitely a trusting person, so when they asked me to come over to there home, I happily agreed.
As you may have guessed, in the end, he just tried to sleep with me. I felt so uncomfortable the next day at filming, that I told the director. They made sure to make everything on set professional so the gentleman would not try anything else. I filed a complaint with HR the same week. It was the strangest experience of my life. I learned that you need to make sure that you never put yourself in a situation where you could be unsafe. Thankfully, when I was in the situation, I said no firmly on his advances, and left.
So please, be safe. Know your limits.
3: YOU’RE MORE THEN JUST AN ACTOR, YOU’RE A PERSON, TOO!
I can honestly say, I am obsessed and passionate when it comes to my career. These are not bad traits to have, in fact Barbara Streisand said, “I‘ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.”
However, when I read a script or meet new people, they ask me, What else do I do? What else am I passionate about… and then my mind would go blank.
“Acting?” I would say.
“Nothing else?” They would respond.
So, just a reminder. You are more then just an actor, you’re a person, too! What else makes you smile or get excited? Who are your favorite musicians, movies, books, or color? Do you enjoy sports, decorating, repairing, painting, writing, or study something else besides acting??
These are amazing attributes that made you an individual! No one in the world is exactly like you… which makes you unique. For instance, I study Muay Thai and Jujitsu Martial Arts, certified in Forensic Science, I love the Wizard of Oz, I play on a softball team, and I volunteer for an organization that helps people who have or have been effected by HIV/AIDS called HollywoodHEART.
I would encourage you to sit down with yourself, write out a bio, and see what makes you unique! It’s a great way to learn more about yourself. By doing this, I gained much more confidence as an actor. I know that I can go into an audition and nail it just by bringing little pieces of myself into the character and also into the room. Casting directors aren’t casting the character, they cast you.
This seems silly, but I even have a reminder for myself tattoo’d on my feet. A ruby slipper, just like Dorothy Gail, on each foot, with the quote from Socrate, “Know Thyself”.
Thanks for reading guys! I hope this helps all of you Red Carpet pursuing actors.
Till we meet again.
What are your tips to live the red carpet? Let us know in your comments below!