Thursday, December 29, 2011

Signs & Craigslist Danger

My friend and I were chatting today about starting vision boards and goal sheets, and how we should share them so we can continuously be reminded of what we want and our path toward success.  Then I got something in the mail from Oprah. Yup, a journal for her life class.  So I take it as an additional sign that I need to reflect more often.


And now I will take a detour from this note and write about being careful on Craigslist.

Now, Craigslist has been a savior to me many times in my life. When I moved to LA, I found my first apartment and job through Craigslist. I have been connected to great acting gigs for major networks and magazines through this list of Craig's.

But I have also found myself in odd situations where a voiceover job turns into some porn-like script or what sounded like a normal photoshoot turns into a weird "I'm going to film you while you piggyback your friend who is going to pretend to fart on you" scenario.

One guy was going to pay me $75 to sit on him. Not his face. On him. Some kind of bet to see if he can handle it. I ended up not doing it, but he kept trying to talk to me.

I recently responded to a post to do an improv scene. A live-comedic scene they called it. The situation ended up being wanting to use me as a plant where they bet their friend to go up to the 1st random person (me...I'm "random") he sees and do whatever I ask him to do. The friends were super keen on embarrassing him. I would get paid to suggest he take all of his clothes off and have to walk around the block. And he would HAVE to do it. Too bad that wasn't enough later on. They wanted me to pull down his underwear and the only way he could get his clothes back is if he pleasures himself to CLIMAX in front of me. Yeah. Not my cup of tea.

After refusing, they changed it back to the original mission of getting the guy to parade around naked. And they kept increasing pay. And offered to get me a cab.

Who knows what the real deal was. But I seriously need to filter my submissions to Craigslist ads. I don't need to be accidently involved in porn, fetishes, or my own death.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reality...Paranoia...whatever you want to call it.

I've always wanted to be like the grandfather who is like an ox, strong and the epitome of good health... despite the fact that he smokes way too many cigarettes and drinks entirely too much whiskey.

Not that I'm a smoker or drink whiskey by the bottle.

I just eat whatever I want, drink as much as I want, barely exercise, and suck at taking vitamins. So honestly, at this rate, I probably won't be the most healthy person when I reach hag-dom. I'm probably not the most healthy person NOW.

Why the sudden concern?


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (in a relationship)

It's my final night in Mexico.  It has been a week of meetings, meetings, and more meetings with vendors to finalize our wedding here.

Trips together with a significant other seem to be a surefire way to strain the relationship. Of course, we are too far along in our commitment now to use this trip as a litmus test for our compatibility, but it is fun to see what happens when you mix a couple spending entirely way too much time together in a foreign environment. Oh, and let's not forget the pressure of budgeting and figuring out wedding plans.

Oddly enough, we don't argue a bit about the wedding. Actually, we don't argue at all.  Except for the occasional differing interpretations of Spanish.  ("He definitely said to go past 3 lights, turn right at a book store, where we will see a big bird and many children."  "NO, he said go 3 blocks, go past a library, and take a right at Grand Avenue and turn left when we see little churches." Needless to say, we got lost a couple of times.)

ANYWAY, even without arguing, being around my man so much just allows more opportunities for me to notice the weird things, the eccentricities, the annoying, and the baffling.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November...Where's My Pumpkin Spice Latte?


Yup, it's the month of Thanksgiving.  So here are some things I've been grateful for:

Breaking Bad: what an awesome show! It's my man's guilty pleasure so I catch it sometimes when our viewing schedules happen to merge. We have "our" shows and then our own shows we are allowed to watch without the other giving any guilt trips. "His" show is Breaking Bad. Yes, couples are annoying. Haven't you noticed?

Case in point. Who do you usually go to the movie theater with? Your significant other, right? So then that's the person you usually catch previews with and get excited about a particular movie, only to promise that you will watch it with each other. Fast forward to you and a group of friends making last minute plans to get together and perfect! There is a showing in 5 minutes for a movie that everyone in the group has been dying to watch. Except you are shifting uncomfortably because you would be breaking that said promise if you watched it without your honey. Annoying!

What a tangent.


My improv class has also been a source of happiness. It is extremely scary having NO idea what the plan is for your performance or dialogue. I am getting more outside of my own crazy head. It is improv level 1, and we will be having our graduation show in December.  Someone get me some Depends because I will pee the stage!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Missing...


Eating & drinking this...
and chilling in this....



Napa Valley, let's hang again!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making Me Blush: Estee Lauder vs. Tarte

Also, these days, I've been running low on sleep. So like any other woman, I use tricks and smoke and mirrors to keep from looking like a zombie. I finally finished my go-to junior high school level (hey! I LOVE drugstore brand makeup...no hating here) Covergirl Blush in Brick Rose and decided I'm old enough to upgrade to a natural, good-for-your-aging-face option.

I visited my local Sephora and picked up a blush from Tarte ($25), a company that prides itself in having products that are formulated without parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. They also packaged in recyclable and post-consumer recycled materials.

I bought one of the 12-hour Amazonian clay solar-baked blushes in Tipsy (a coral color).

Cute packaging!


Color Without Flash








Monday, October 10, 2011

Trust

Sometimes it sucks to be such a positive person.  Look, hear me out.  If you're the person who is always spouting out the "It'll be ok"s and the "Don't quit!"s, you have a little more accountability to practice what you preach.  And when I say you, I really mean me.

Because 95% of the time, I feel the zest of life and see the great potential in all of us.  But 5% of the time, I wouldn't mind punching life in the face.

And when I feel this way, I feel SUPER guilty. Because it really isn't so bad. I think of all the horrible conditions I could be living in... I could have died from lack of nutrients from only being able to afford ramen noodles as my only form of sustenance.  I could have a debilitating, terminal disease.  I could be hooking for a sandwich! (see here)

In the end, I cut myself a deal.  I can rationally know something very well, but I can't help my emotions.  If I felt disappointed with my performance at an audition, I am allowed to feel that way.  If I want to cry because everything feels just so overwhelming, I shouldn't bully myself for feeling the tears come on. If I had so much anxiety during sleep that I nearly cracked my mouth guard, I can't blame myself.  I just have to focus on the bigger picture and trust that there is a plan.

My lovely friend, who was aware of my frenzied state, texted me today.  She said that life sometimes calls for us to be in hibernation or a cocoon as God prepares us for what's next.  Trust that you're walking the right path, keep praying, and try to learn as much as you can from where you are.  And a beautiful finishing piece of advice: be good to yourself.

Her text actually came after a weekend away from it all.  It gave me time to enjoy the beauty around me, celebrate how far I've come, and be more in tune with my loved ones.  And when I did return to the world of emails, work, and auditions, I found that I had a lot more to smile about.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Destination Wedding Date ROULETTE

Asking someone you are seeing to be your wedding date can be a little tricky. Sure, maybe you just want someone to hold your purse or have a guaranteed dinner conversation partner. Or maaaaaybe, you really want that person to know that you like him/her out of ALL the people you're dating and are willing to show that person off to your circle of friends and family. (What a hoot.)

Or maybe you just want someone to share the cost of a hotel room.

What? Ok, I'm merely joking, but there's some truth to it.  Finding a date to a local wedding isn't a big deal. Going stag for several hours might even be a blast.

But when it comes to asking someone to a destination wedding, you're bringing in a whole set of new factors. And I really wasn't aware of it until I started planning my own destination wedding.


Allure Best of Beauty Awards & more Contest fun!


I have a Sephora gift card that I am excited to use, so I was very happy when this was released!

I especially love the Cheap Thrills section for beauty bargains under $10. Yippee!

Some of the cheapies include:

E.L.F. Eyeshadow "C" Brush, $3. Its downy bristles pick up loads of pigment and blend smoky eyes flawlessly.

Hard Candy Fox in a Box in Skinny Dipping, $6. Swirl together the orange and bronze shades in this duo for a believable sun-kissed flush. REMEMBER when Hard Candy used to be expensive??? This is perfect for the upcoming "pale" months.


Monday, October 3, 2011

You can help The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and enter yourself to win some prizes!

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a great organization that offers services and resources for defenseless animals, including adoption centers, behavior centers, investigations into possible animal cruelty, and Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics.






I originally got the idea from a Mark rep to raise awareness and encourage donating. You can always make any amount donation here on their website.  It can be monthly or just a one-time donation. Don't forget that you can write it off when you do your taxes.

I also wanted to give the opportunity for you to give just by shopping. All commissions from sales through my Mark eboutique until October 31, midnight, will be donated to ASPCA! There are only a couple of products that have no Mark commission, such as the m.powerment line, in which the proceeds go directly to charities working with victims of domestic violence. Everything else...you would be shopping AND helping ASPCA!!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Don't You Hate Pulling Your Keys Out of Your Bra?

So you're having a night on the town with the girls! Whooo hooo! But where do you stash all your cash, keys, card, etc?





Yeah, there I am with my black clutch. It makes it so inconvenient to display all of my brilliant dance moves when I have to carry a purse. (Do you ever see someone do an awesome robot holding a purse???)  Or if you're just prone to being a hot, drunk mess, you will prooooobably not be very good at keeping up with your belongings.

Well, that's where Cuffs Couture comes in!


Feeling Lucky?

Just got my $2 yearly Lucky magazine subscription!

Enter their contest to win $600,000 worth of free stuff!

LUCKYMAG.COM/BREAKS

*edit: It took me FOREVER to figure out how to enter. You have to click on each individual product you want to enter for that specific item. Whew. Could they make this any harder?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

I've been replaced...

First of all, my mom ignored all of my phone calls for a week and decided to give me a much-appreciated (NOT REALLY) wake-up call at 7:30 AM on a Saturday morning only to ask me to pay something online. My mom has yet to grasp the workings of the interwebs. When I called her back to tell her I paid it, she never picked up.

Then while I had a relaxing (read: old) Friday night with my man, my mom was out until the wee hours of the morning singing karaoke with the girl who rents out a room in our house. This young lady happens to be my age. And apparently, she's so cool and sooooo smart and picked up my mom in a "open car". It took me forever to figure out my mom meant a CONVERTIBLE. "Open car?!" Really....

Yeah, I'm hating. I see what my mom is doing. Well played.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

So I hung up on my mom....

The other day, my mother was regaling me with tales of her friends' successful children and all the great things they bestow upon their parents: "Mrs. Kim's daughter is making six figures with JUST a Bachelor's degree. AND she just bought her mom a Mercedes Benz." Talk about feeling inadequate. Believe me, I would LOVE to give my mom everything in the world. But I cringe just paying for my monthly Metro card. I'm not exactly in the financial position to be gifting luxury cars, know what I mean?

Although this may seem foreign to some, there is an expectation for Asian kids to "take care" of their parents as they grow older. There is a Korean tradition in which you give your first paycheck to your parents. I also gave a portion of my paychecks as a teacher to my mom. With the operative word being "teacher", my contribution wasn't a healthy amount, but it felt good being able to do it.
Since entering this wacky, unpredictable industry, it has been more difficult to help out my mom. And I've been feeling like a selfish, bad Asian daughter. It doesn't help that she's a widow of almost 30 years, and I'm practically the only family she's got. I have a severe guilt complex that started with feeling bad for being born (I was an accident. Yaaaay.)

So when I receive phone calls like this, which inevitably lead to her hysterically asking me what I'm doing with my life at such an old age, I stress out. And that's why I hung up. I couldn't take it anymore.

Thoughts of applying for that assistant position at the investment firm, the paralegal job, and all the other hundreds of Craigslist listings were swimming in my head. I started to get really angry at my brother for not being there to help this situation. I fumed at the stupid nonexistent Prince (old King?) Charming that hadn't swept my mother off of her feet yet and wasn't there to fix her AC when it's broken and I'm not there to help. Fine! Screw this, it's time to say good bye to acting. I would resign to moving back home and just being what she needed me to be.

Then I came to my senses. Thank you, Corona, ice cream, and TTT (time to think). In the book Conversations with God, one of the huge culprits in why we don't fulfill our roles in life/biggest dreams is because we veer off the path. We get scared, we go for something easier, etc. Whether you believe in God or not, there is realistic validity in the statement.

I have been in NYC for 2 years. I've been seriously pursuing this for a year (I had some job distractions the first year...yeah, I took the comforting route & took a couple of full time gigs) and REALLY felt a change in momentum this past May. My mom doesn't understand the knowledge and contacts I've acquired little by little this whole time I've been here. She won't know what it means that my resume has been shedding background and extra work and getting replaced with bigger parts. She doesn't get that I went from only self-submitting for auditions to gaining strength in alliance and access to more roles when I started freelancing with agents and a manager. Come on! If you had told the 2008 Erica that I was going to go on auditions and have any agents to call, I would have looked up from my lesson planning and told you to stop smoking crack. And maybe would have punched you in the face.

The point is that I realized that I don't need to be a "starving artist" type. I can still do what I want to do and have money left over to help out my mom, right? It doesn't HAVE to be menial survival jobs. It might just take some time to figure it out. Ballerism doesn't happen overnight. (Haha) And I need to stop having such a guilt complex. Even when I was working a full-time job, I didn't feel it was enough. So I might as well be happy. And who's to say that I won't find something else to make me more happy? But in the meantime, I don't want to quit just because this pressure from my Tiger Mom. So I won't.

Plus, what would I do with my 500 new actor business cards?

PS. I think it's in my best interest to tell my mom that I would never hang up on her and blame T-Mobile for dropping the call.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodies

Tip

I just recently started selling Mark products, and some of my friends wanted advice on what to get.

Here are my thoughts! And yes, they are honest! These are just going to be brief reviews, and I will go into specifics with more products/colors in later posts.


For $5, the Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadows are a steal. (The Metallics are $6.) People compare the quality in pigmentation to MAC and Stila shadows. I use MAC, and I don't see a difference.  Reading about the shadows, the best results seem to come from using it over a primer such as MAC's Paint Pot (which I use!)

Popular starter shadows are Tiki and Gioia.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Awesome Munn Day with Olivia Munn

First of all, if you're not familiar with the awesome surprise that Olivia had for her fans, here is a link.

Second of all, two things I have to apologize for:

1) OH MAN, my really obnoxious voice on the video. Soooo sorry.

2) I am not very video-making savvy, but I really wanted to get this out to you guys asap. And since I'm not good at making videos, it would have taken FOREVER to edit it to look cool. If anyone wants some of the footage/pictures for your own library or you'd like to create a better version, feel free to ask me! @rob_roan, if you want better quality versions of the photos with you in it, I can send them.

You can leave your contact in the comment section or just send me a note at ericagcho@gmail.com


So here is the video. =)



Photo Journal

@DoubleSixx tried to give me courage to get onto the Red Carpet, but I was stopped by The Very Big Man



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rain, rain...go away

Rain may not listen to you when you pray, do a reverse rain dance, or throw a fit for it to leave.  But that melancholy weather can put you in a great DIY (do it yourself) mood. As in a DIY funky manicure!

Before recycling your newspapers (because I know you do!), why not wear them?

Shown in Sally Hensen Xtreme Wear in Mellow Yellow




Shown in Fiji by Essie. I liked this color better, but this was my first test run so it was more messy.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Just because...

I'm at Starbucks gazing out of the window sipping on "Calming" tea with classical music playing in the background.  Obviously, I'm not just gazing out the window...otherwise, these words wouldn't be getting typed right now.  Anyway, with all of the above mentioned factors coming into play, one cannot fight the urge to write.  Come on!  There's a whimsical snowy setting of the city right in front of my eyes! (I will ignore the dog taking a gigantic dump onto a pile of said snow.)

Besides creating blogging magic, I am waiting to meet my friend for lunch. It's been a strategic little scheduling game of fitting in social time with pals. With a lot of the evenings being taken up by rehearsals or shoots, I have to resort to squeezing myself into people's lunch breaks.  I had breakfast with my other friend right after we re-registered for a casting company so that mixed in a little errand AND fun time.  I really, really try to be productive. But I also love my friends so much that if it got to the point our schedules didn't allow for a proper meal together, I'd gladly go to their homes, chat for a few minutes before tucking them into bed. Hold me to it!  I don't care! I could see how you may think my idea is weird...