Friday, April 1, 2011

Cold Calling AKA Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands

I attended a new acting class last night with a truly fantastic teacher. He is kind and encouraging, but definitely calls out when a scene or performance doesn't work. He said a few pearls that I happened to take with me. In short, I am very excited to keep attending.

He is a big proponent of cold-calling Casting Directors. He didn't use the words cold-calling; I put those words in his mouth because that's what I do for a day job now. I am a headhunter for senior care executives (aka Nursing Home Nurses and Administrators). I cold call all day long to facilities in the area of the job opening and see if anyone might be interested or know anyone. Some people seem to think it's a "shady" business, but it's not! I have a legitimate job opening and I'm networking and offering new opportunities to people they wouldn't have known about otherwise. Business is business and I'm in the "finding people" business. My boss calls us "Paid Assassins."

A Casting Director I recently met at a workshop said, "If you call our office, we'll take the call, but we're not on the phone to make a friend. Do your business and get off the phone. If you're doing business, so are we." That makes so much sense. If I am right for a role, the CD wants to see me. They are looking for me, even though they may not know it yet. I potentially could be making their job easier. And I'm no stranger to a "no" response. Sometimes, they truly may not be looking for me. It's business, it's not personal.

The instructor last night said that actors just will not make the call--they get so nervous about getting turned down, or nervous about I don't know what. He referred me to an iPhone App called Actor Genie, updated daily, that has all the names/numbers of CDs, agents, and managers, as well as the projects that are currently casting. I couldn't believe that this existed! I told my mom, if I quit cold-calling nurses, it would be such an easy transition to cold-calling Casting Directors! Now, I email resumes for nurses, but soon, I could be emailing my headshot and acting resume.

Don't I want acting to be my career? Isn't a career a business? Isn't cold-calling the best way to get business? It seems so easy! Probably because it is!

I am really excited to have the resources and the knowledge to take matters into my own hands. This class couldn't have come at a better time in my life!

I'm already taking my weight loss into my own hands for the same reason--to develop a good acting career; this is just the next step :) No one said this would be easy (losing weight OR acting); I'm init for the long haul, so I may as well start the difficult work now! I am PUMPED!
it for the long haul, so I may as well start the difficult work now! I am PUMPED!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Five Pounds Until WW Goal

Current Weight: 130
Starting Weight: 136.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0.8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 6.2 lbs

Weight Watchers has a tracking device online that charts your weight loss, and I thought I'd post it today for you to see. 6.2 lbs lost in 3 months seems fairly slow, but the line graph makes me look very successful! I'm excited to stay on track and lose more this week. Only 5 pounds away! That's enough to motivate me to eat extremely well this weekend!

Plan: TO PLAN MY MEALS THIS WEEKEND! (and this time actually do it)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trying for a Positive Spin

Current Weight: 130.8
Starting Weight: 136.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 5.4 lbs

So I maintained yesterday... I was very frustrated although not surprised... I was VERY hungry yesterday--all last week I was (I blame P90X)... I could have eaten more than was allotted, but not much. I tracked everything, and ate all my points. I can be more strict, eat more fruits/protein, etc.; I can make a change this week... so I shouldn't be that frustrated, but I am.

And you know how when one thing goes wrong, EVERYTHING seems to go wrong?Or you start looking at it in that light?

I was talking to my mom over the phone this morning, and really got myself going, whining, complaining, the whole nine yards. I realized a couple of things.

1) My mom is so supportive that she'll listen to me, and offer advice, etc, which is great. But then I take all that support as encouragement, and my complaints get bigger, stronger and cover a wider variety of topics until one of us runs out of steam.
2) Truly, nothing's really wrong. Any problem comes directly from me.

Here are my positive spins:
1) I haven't had any auditions this week (after having 3-5 auditions every week since the 1st of the year). Spin: I was able to work full time for my boss, which I know he and his small company appreciated (so did my bank account!)
2) I maintained weight. Spin: I didn't gain weight and I'm way more motivated to stay completely on track this week and lose more than I would have in these two weeks combined!
3) I have been creatively frustrated and uninspired. Spin: this feeling obviously has reached its pinnacle, so there's no where left to go but up!

I texted my dad that I was practicing "create your own happiness techniques" and he texted back "exactly how?" and I realized I hadn't made any tangible steps... so I did:

Steps I'm taking:
1) My dad told me to go to a mountain somewhere and enjoy nature to clear my head. I will do this Sunday.
2) I will plan my meals for this weekend (at least breakfast and lunch)
3) I will plan at least 6 hours this weekend for creative discussion/writing work. There is this one project I can't seem to complete, even though I have begun, I'm very excited about it, and the idea is very clear--it has been in my head for years.

Whew. So, maybe not so bad a start to a Friday after all...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Current Weight: 130.8
Starting Weight: 136.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 5.4 lbs

I almost didn't weigh in because earlier this week (previous blog post), my scale said I had gained 2 pounds since last week, which was a shocker because I had begun a rigorous work out program (P90X), AND stayed on plan. Turns out (after posting to the WW website), that the fact of the matter is I wasn't getting enough water. That was suggested by several lovely members on the site. I proceeded to drink a ton of water the next couple of days, and BAM! Look ^ what happened :)

Well, it goes to show you this moral: Weigh In at Weight Watchers and ONLY at Weight Watchers ON YOUR WI DAY! Turns out I lost 1.4 pounds, which is the most I've lost so far on this program (I think I lost 1.4 the first week, but since then, it's been fractions, maintaining, or somewhere in between).

I also have non-scale successes:
1) My average weekly loss changed from .4 per week to .5 per week. Thank you, thank you (as I take a bow)
2) My measurements (listed in a previous post)
3) I did not purchase a WW snack at the end of the meeting, which I typically do, and then immediately cram every last one of the mini bars, etc down my gullet that night and the next day, rendering the box empty within 24 hours. This means that I have learned what one of my bad habits is (eating the entire box of ANYTHING), and I took one step closer to changing it.
4) I have had 4 national commercial auditions this week, 3 last week, and 3 the week before, giving me a total of 10 commercial auditions already for 2011. This is going to be a good year, folks. They say you book one out of every 40-50 auditions you go on, and I booked 2 last year after about 30 auditions, so we will wait patiently and see what this year has to offer.

Congratulations to me!
My main goal:
Stay on target over the weekend. I typically eat all of my flex points (yes all 49) over the weekend, and then have a meltdown when on Monday, my scale reads that I gained weight. Duh, Amy. Well, let's not do that this weekend. Not THIS weekend, ya hear me? Yes, I hear you. Good.

Stats and Pics

I measured myself 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches! That sure takes off some of my worry of gaining weight by working out:

Waist: now 28, lost 1 inch
Hips: 38.5, lost .5 inches
Bust: 32.5, lost .5 inches (THAT'S not where I need to lose inches!)
Arms: 11.5, lost .5 inches
Thighs: 11.5, lost .5 inches

I have lost a total of 3 inches all over my body! My dress size is still a 4, but my size 2 goal is in sight!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I started P90X this last Friday (3 days ago), and BOY am I sore! I did about 60 days of the workout my last semester in college, and then semi-started the workouts several times since then, always not for very long (because I got "busy").

This time, I will give myself a bit of a break. They break up the 90 days into 3 four-week rotations, so I'm going to view these rotations as doing 24 workouts in 28 days. I'm going to allow myself to skip one workout a week so I will be doing 20 workouts in 28 days. So far, I skipped the upper body workout yesterday because I was so sore from the similar upper body workout on Friday. Once I get stronger, I may get more strict with myself, but I'm happy with making this adjustment for myself. I also felt like resting my muscles yesterday was a very smart thing to do--I ached all over!

The workouts had an INSANE effect on my appetite/sleep habits. I was wide awake Friday night until 3AM, and then got up at 8AM, super hungry. Then at noon, I crashed for about 4.5 hours, did workout #2, and slept for about 10 hours Saturday night. I wasn't hungry until about 2PM on Sunday, when I got INCREDIBLY hungry, and ate all my 29 points within the next 1.5 hours which lasted me all night until about 10PM when I used some flex points. I also took another 2 hour nap on Sunday. Hopefully my body gets used to this soon, but for now, it seems as if I'm just eating and sleeping and working out :-P At least I have time to live this way for a little while.

Another thing--my boyfriend was noticing that I was spending an hour a day on work outs, and for the first time I got a text message saying: "why don't you come over a little later, I want to get some exercise in." !!! It totally took me off guard because I have NEVER heard him say anything like that, but I didn't say anything and just came over later. I don't want to treat it like it's a weird thing, if he's not going to treat it like it's weird. I would love for exercise to become a major part of our lives :) By the way, the reason he doesn't exercise is because he eats VERY well and always has--he's naturally skinny (but not gross skinny) and has a great relationship with food. I am very jealous of that quality about him, but he's very supportive when I say "let's go somewhere where I can order a salad" when he wants to go out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lean Protein Is What I Need!

Of course!

My leader yesterday at the meeting said that part of the reason WW changed their program is because members were using their daily points values on only SNACKS, like tidbits of ice cream here, a small WW bar there, yes, some egg whites, but why eat a fruit or veggie when you can slide in a muffin?

This new program greatly increases the possibility to have more fruits and veggies (due to them = 0 points plus), AND LEAN PROTEIN! Well, I got the fruits and veggies loud and clear, but the lean protein was not included in my diet as much last week.

I was one of those snacking WW members on the old plan. I still am one of those members on this plan. I always feel like I don't have time to cook meat! But I do! And I can! And I need to! I think adding protein will help me lose more this week.
Tracking is such a good way to realize what is going wrong. I didn't want to show my leader the tracker when I could figure it out on my own--no need for additional embarrassment for myself (even though she's awesome and probably would have been helpful). I am going to try this new plan--adding lean protein--this week, and see if it improves my weight loss.

I used to do a 3-day "diet" after a big holiday like Thanksgiving, and the reason that's in quotes is that looking back, the "diet" was just a healthy day of eating, all planned out, 3 days in a row, with different variations on each day. It might be a little short on calories, but not much; and it includes ice cream and eggs and veggies, fruit, lean protein--everything that WW wants you to eat! The only difference from that "diet" and what I'm eating now is my LEAN PROTEIN!

Have I figured it out? I hope so!


These are Weight Watchers numbers from here on out:

Current Weight: 132.2
Starting Weight: 136.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: .4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 4 lbs

I'm pretty frustrated with this number--I bet any loss is a good week, but .4 pounds?! I haven't decided how I feel about that--especially since I stayed on the plan all week. I know I need to eat more protein, though.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mindset for Career, Creative Work, LIFE = Mindset for Weight Loss

I read a book last year called "It's Just a F*ing Date," by the same folks who wrote "He's just not that into you." The book finally let me know that I had to have confidence in myself and my life in order to have a relationship. People, not just men, are attracted to others who have their sh*t together. So I cleaned up, bought nicer outfits, started losing weight, hanging out with MY friends and treating myself right. Fastforward a few months, and now I have been with my current boyfriend for about 4 months. Hooray!

But it was just a mindset change--I finally believed in myself and believed that I could have a relationship... and I truly believed it; I didn't just tell myself I believed it (which is what I had done before).

Same with my career. I truly believe I am going to be a successful actor (paying my bills with acting gigs). I thought for a long time I couldn't have my day job AND pursue acting, but it's the opposite--my day job is paying for me to be able to pursue my acting career. The hours are SUUUUUUUUPER flexible, and I've helped my boss hire 2 other actors because "we [actors] sound better over the phone, and we give a good energy to the office." I can now say, I am a recruiter AND an actor, and I'm fine with that, and my boss is fine with that, and my acting friends are more than fine with that--they commend me for having a job to pay the bills!

So, all in all, I have a very happy life right now. I think it's because I believe I can have a happy life.

Know what would make me happier? Losing these last few pounds (especially losing a pound this week)! After about a month following this new program, I am confident and truly believe I can do this. I can't wait for the day when I wake up and weigh 125 lbs! It will be so soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Showing Up Is 90% of the Job

I'm working on a web series called Less Than Heroic (about D&D, at the table, and in realm) with my friend Matt. We did a similar series last year: We want to do things better this time around.

Everything is taking a much longer time, but I think we will have a much better final project. We have 4 writers this time, and both Matt and I are making it a creative priority. We had a writer's meeting on Saturday, and it went well--another episode down! We have 2 more episodes to begin, and a few to do second/final drafts, but overall, we are making good progress. All of us are beginning to understand the characters a little bit more and to have fun with them.

I guess the main lesson I'm learning is that showing up is 90% of the job. Even though the process is taking forever, we are all committed to making this show happen. At the meetings, probably 75% of the time we are joking around; but the other 25% of the time, we are actually thinking and writing. Just by being there, we are getting the job done. Slowly but surely.

I can also equate this to weight loss, or even to maintaining my financial budget. Just show up to meetings (for WW), write the stuff down (track spending points as well as dollars), and don't give up even if you fail during the week or during a day or an hour even!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Abundance of Auditions!

This week has been great for my weight loss and my acting career. I auditioned for 3 national commercials (those are the kind that have the potential to pay big bucks IF they air): Best Buy, Lowe's, Miracle Whip!

I also had a fantastic improv show last night--a friend put it together, and it was about 30 of my favorite people, each doing groups of about 7 to put on 4 20-minute shows. Everyone had a blast, and I felt like my additions to the scenes were particularly good, especially considering I haven't done improv since before the holidays. I attribute it to confidence. I had just weighed in and had lost 1.2 pounds, so I was feeling fit, skinny, and in control. It lead me to make a lot of bold moves I might not have otherwise made. Hopefully all this will pay off soon--I can't imagine it won't!

Gaining First, Then Losing EVEN MORE!

I weighed in yesterday and am officially 132.6!
Current Weight: 132.6
Starting Weight: 133.5 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.2 lbs (from last WW weigh-in)
Weight Loss Total: .9 lbs (I think next time, I'll just do the official WW weight instead of my own tracking system--it's easier to manage if everything's the same)

The following is taken directly from my Weight Watchers blog... about the new program.

I thought I was the only one! Nononono, on this new program, soooo many other people from what I gather are gaining weight in the first 1-3 weeks as they adjust from 1) their lifestyle before or 2) the past WW program.

I have less to lose, but I noticed I sure didn't lose very much the first few weeks, 2 out of 3 weeks, I maintained, and one week, I lost a fraction of a pound... But I was doing everything right! Including exercising!

This week, I lost 1.2 pounds, and I knew I would. I weigh myself every day--it helps me keep track, and I know now not to OBSESS over it, so I'm fine with it. Anyway, one day I was my regular weight, as per usual after maintaining, and the NEXT DAY, doing nothing different, I dropped a couple of pounds. I barely felt the change, but there it was. I weighed myself 3 times to make sure.

Here's MY hypothesis... Just like in sports or weight training, when you start something new, your body is SORE for the entire first week you embark, then the second week is easier, and on the third week, you're already at a MUCH higher level than day 1. You're training your body to operate differently. Your muscles are working in new ways, and some muscles that have been dormant are finally getting worked out. Somehow, I think that's the same situation with our digestive system... Something like that... That's how it makes sense to me anyway.

A man in my meeting tonight was frustrated because he gained weight
this week, even though he "followed the plan perfectly." What he
thought that meant was denying himself 20-30 of his Points Plus Target
Points DAILY. The room exploded in sympathetic and some disapproving

I ate ALL my points plus the weekly flex points, and I LOST WEIGHT. I'm my own testament to the system. Everyone else in the meeting verbalized similar experiences--including lifetime members who had reached goal weight on the past program. They gained 3 pounds and then after two weeks, had lost 6 pounds. I think it's because most of us on the old plan were thinking, "20 points--at least some of those are going towards my desserts." And now we can have our desserts and the free fruit/veggies somehow HELP digest the other less complex ("bad") foods.

Every night this week, I've eaten what I wanted within the program, and then ended the night by filling up on the WW veggie soup. EVERY NIGHT I went to bed SUPER FULL, as in, almost bursting full. Then I'd wake up, and I'd weigh the exact same (the same as that one day when I dropped 2 pounds out of nowhere). On the past program, I'd go to sleep hungry way more often than I wanted.

It works! Eat the points! Eat ALL the points!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Call Sheets... and new goals

I got a call sheet this week late one evening with call times such as midnight the following night. I panicked, because I had a meeting that night and had to work early the next day (I have to be in my office at 7:30AM every morning). I emailed early the next morning to please forgive me, I'm so sorry, but I won't be able to make the shoot--maybe I could reschedule and shoot another day (or maybe I could hear word a little bit further in advance). Turns out they emailed everyone on the cast list, but not everyone was called. I was not called. WHEW--that was a relief--I did NOT want to disappoint these filmmakers!

I have another audition today for Lowe's, so they keep coming--should be a good 2011!

I also realized yesterday that besides losing weight (I have about 7 pounds left to go), I need to lose inches! I need to lose about 3-4 inches in both my hips and waist, so that basically means 1) sticking to eating healthily, and 2) (the big one) weights! toning! I can't get to where I want to be without some serious exercise, and that means exercise beyond the cardio that I've been doing.

Maybe I'll try P90X... I had those videos in college, but never completed a full 90 days. At this point, I think I need to get on a regular exercise schedule of some sort. I also have a feeling that even though I'm eating more healthily than before, I will need to eat even MORE healthily (or maybe even eat quite a bit less)... we will see.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Auditions and back to it in 2011

I had my first audition of 2011--for Best Buy! The casting office recognized me because I booked Purina there, so that was nice. She said, "Hey! We Taft Hartley'd you!" It feels good to be making connections!

I got used to auditions during the day and being called the day of to go in and read last year. It was stressful, but I felt it was always necessary to take the time off work. This year, it's back to being stressed, and trying to find a good balance between time in the office (which pays my bills), and time taken to go audition for national commercials that hopefully someday soon will pay my bills! The good news is that I've never had to turn down an audition, thanks to my awesome boss. Last year, I was averaging an audition or a call back 3-5 days out of the week, which is pretty awesome! I attribute that to my agency, Reign, and to my headshot, taken by

I'm expecting session fee checks (around $400 each after taxes/agency percentages) to come in soon (next week at the latest) from the two national commercials, and then it's just a waiting game to see if, when, and how much those commercials air, i.e. how much money I get paid :) It seems as if it could be anywhere from $0 to $50K. Either way, this is considered a really great step in my career.

As far as weight, the scale didn't lie yesterday; it wasn't a fluke. My scale read the same this morning which can only mean one thing: Weight Watchers works. I'm very excited to weigh in tomorrow and to lose more weight next week and the next and the next... then to set NEW goals!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Weight Success!

Current Weight: 132 lbs (per my scale this morning!!)
Starting Weight: 133.5 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.8 lbs (from last entry)
Weight Loss Total: 1.5 lbs

I was so shocked, I weighed myself several times just to be sure.

I guess the defining factor is that over this New Year's weekend, I wrote down everything I ate, no matter how many WW Points they cost me. I also made WW Vegetable Soup yesterday, hopefully to eat for dinner every night this week. Some people say they take the soup to work, but I normally don't have a problem eating healthily during the day--it's those darn NIGHTS that really ruin me. I had 2 cups of it for dinner yesterday.

Also, I worked out 5 total days last week with my cardio videos, and I did a workout last night as well. After the workout, I just drank water because it was 8:45, and I felt that it would be detrimental to eat something that late. I also wasn't hungry. There's something about doing cardio that takes away my appetite--as if the workout itself filled me up. Sometimes, if the workout is VERY rigorous, I'll get hungry about a half hour after the workout, though. Not the case last night.

I normally would wait to log my weight until after I weigh in with Weight Watcher's, but I estimate that with this success, and my vegetable soup every night, I might lose even more weight this week!

2011 is starting out juuuuuuuuuust fine!