The Only Faux is my Fur

Investment Piece: The only Faux is my Fur
Investment Piece: The only Faux is my Fur
Investment Piece: The Only Faux is my Fur

We spout the phrase “fake it till you make it” as stellar advice, in both professional and personal matters. And I get it- faking it helps you get where you need to be. When I was in Los Angeles, auditioning a ton, a Casting Director told us to always dress nicely and carry an expensive purse, it would give the illusion (or faux appearance) that we were “busy and booked”. Thus making us more appealing (the wanting what we can’t have and wanting what other people want parts of psychology). If you’re feeling less than confident, people will tell you to fake it- act confident until you are. And it works! Acting like you’re happy, etc, is proven to make you more happy.
So, should we always be a faux version of ourselves?

I’m all for a dose of false confidence to help me become more confident, but I also want to be comfortable in my skin. I’ll give you the appearance of everything being perfect, but when I need to, I want to let people know what’s bugging me, or what’s wrong. And it’s not just me- most of us don’t like fake people (which I know can include a lot of behaviors), most of us don’t want a faux life. Do we fake it till we make it or do we be real?

And, I don’t have any answers. I think it comes down to discernment. Yes, faking it while making it is a great strategy, and yes you are amazing even when you’re not, and you can be real with people. Can both things be true? Why not?

The good news is that in fashion, fauxs are good- unless they’re knockoffs, which is a whole other conversation, so for the sake of this one? Let’s chat really, honest- the only faux is my fur.

investment piece: the only thing Faux is my fur

Do you have a strong opinion on fur? Or Faux fur? I don’t mind vintage fur, vintage is a form of recycling, and while I don’t condone animal cruelty, the animals are long since dead. Real, modern fur? That makes me feel a bit more icky. So, I’m incredibly grateful that faux fur has come a long way. This number? Faux! But it’s so soft and chic, and during the winter it keeps me warm and feeling like I’m making it, which is especially important when it feels dreary outside (and sometimes in!).

January, especially the tale end of the month, is really a fake it till you make it month- between the winter blahs, the feeling that maybe your resolutions were a bit much, the cold, and the yearning for spring. Is is possible that a faux could help us fake it? That by wearing something faux we could get to a real place? I only know we can try, and that a chic faux fur never hurt.

This faux fur is from years ago, but I found you some great faux fur pieces below (side note: these leather leggings are real, but faux leather can be amazing too! We can fake it in that as well!)
I would love to know what you’re working towards and how you’re faking it (or not!) right now!
xo RA

This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

investment Piece: The only thing Faux is my fur

Year of the Tiger

While we collectively celebrated the new year on 1/1, on 2/1 it’s another “new year”- the lunar new year, or the Chinese New Year. 2022 is the year of the Tiger (water Tiger, to be exact), and in the Chinese zodiac tigers are known as strong, brave, and able to exorcise evil. Red is the good luck color of the Lunar New Year, and wearing tigers and red this year can be considered to bring you good luck throughout 2022 (at this point, I’ll take all the good luck we can!).

(I find Chinese astrology fascinating- you can read more about it here. I’m an Earth Sheep (or goat) and the signs point to me having a good year- I’m hoping that’s true for us all!)

If you’re into the astrology, you’re simply wanting another ritual for good luck, or a reason to shop seasonal and special, the Year of the Tiger has something for you. Brands, from skincare to shoes to dresses, have specialty items to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Below I’ve rounded up my faves.

Will shopping ensure good luck for this Tiger year? These’s only one way to find out!

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them.Thank you for your support!

investment Piece: Year of of the Tiger

One of my favorite Year of the Tiger products are these slippers from my beloved Sarah Flint. Fuzzy lined for warmth, arch support, and in a great red suede with that embroidered Tiger. You’ll be brave both pre and post coffee! (Also these would look chic with denim!)
Buy them here and use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off!

I know, it seems a bit odd to mention Tigers and skin care (or lipsticks) in the same breath, but each lunar new year one of my favorites are the beauty limited editions. From bronzers in the shape of tigers to serums with the red (for good luck), these are the Year of the Tiger limited editions I’m shopping!

Shoes and Bags
From purses shaped like tigers to shoes with tigers on them, to reds, these Year of the Tiger accessories will bring you luck and keep you chic all year long!
These are my favorite from Kate Spade and Tory Burch (both brands do a great job at celebrating the Tiger!)

Dress like a tiger, have a tiger on your clothes. Either way, these pieces from Kate Spade, Tory Burch or COS will have you in a celebratory mood, incredibly on trend, stylish- and maybe a bit lucky. If the Year of the Tiger brings good clothes to all of us I won’t be upset about it!

What do you think will bring you the most luck for the year of the Tiger? I’m betting on all of them- and I can’t wait to see us all in various reds and tigers starting 2/1/22. Happy Year of the Tiger loves!



Investment Piece: Day Off

In the US we’re celebrating MLK Day (and it’s a great day to support Voting rights and love your neighbor!), some of us have the day off- some of us don’t. Last week I began feeling a bit under the weather – so far it’s been all allergies, but in an attempt to stave off everything else and not spread anything around, I’m staying in bed. Resting. Preparing. Shaking things off. You can shop my sale picks in either the @shop.LTK or @shopstyle apps. I’ll be back and hopefully feeling better by Wednesday.

Be kind and wear your best shoes out there!


Sunday Chronicles: Returns

Investment Piece: Fall Party

After the holiday season- the gift gifting and the sale shopping comes a season of returns. None of us give with the intention that our gifts won’t hit the mark (and few of us shopping thinking it won’t work out), but sometimes, returning a gift (or purchase) is the best thing. I know this. I’ll be the first to tell you that if something doesn’t fit or hit the mark, that you should return it- and of course then I will tell you to get things that do hit the mark and fit! If I feel this way, if I can acknowledge that returns are a part of shopping, why do I sometimes have a hard time with returns?

(And I’m really hoping I’m not the only one!)

When we talk about returns, a lot that is difficult to deal with is the actual process. Going to the store, or mailing it in, waiting for a refund or a replacement item. At times returns are annoying at best, and a major inconvenience at worst. This article by Amanda Mull in The Atlantic breaks down the return process, history, etc much better than I could. And I have to say, unfortunately, I have no advice or tips for dealing with that side of returns.

However, I do have thoughts about the feeling side of returns, because I do refuse to believe I’m not the only one who sometimes over-thinks or feels the simple return. There are times when I can make the choice to return, not think about it, and get it done. Then there are times when I find myself trying way too hard to make purchases work, feeling as if I have to over explain my return reasoning to the store clerk (and anyone who asks), or worse- keeping something I know is not right for me.

Sometimes it’s the embarrassment of ordering the wrong size. Which I know is dumb- especially as there is no standard sizing, that no one cares, that a number on a tag doesn’t define me. Like many women, I’m a ton of different sizes and most of the time I’m ok with it. But. There are times when the wrong size is a reason I delay returns. This is very similar, but times when a piece doesn’t work for me I can also get a bit dejected (I’m not 100% sure that this is the word I’m looking for, but we’ll go with it!) and put off returning it. I can get very in my head about being a “fashion blogger” and how that must mean that I could make any outfit work- and the reality is, that’s just not possible. From style to body type to sometimes outfits just don’t work. And as much as I can tell you that, when things don’t work for me, there are times I can take it personal.

And sometimes, the feelings and hesitation to return something is a bit more complicated. Maybe it’s something you really wanted to love, or something that meant something to someone you love. There are things that we return that can rub our loved ones the wrong way, as they take it as a comment on them or their gift giving. Returning, with all of its frustrations, leaves you without something, and sometimes that’s more difficult than we expect it to be.

Reasons returns are hard can be varied, and I know most of the time the answer is simply to just do the return. The store or clerk isn’t judging you, and if something isn’t for you, it just means that something better is out there. But when I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around those ideas these tips are how I get myself to suck it up and make the return:
-I bribe myself. Be it what other thing I’ll buy with the return funds, a coffee out, or making a day of fun errands after the return. I’m not debating if you should bribe yourself, just letting you know it works for me.
-I wear an outfit that makes me feel good. If you’re making a return of an item that didn’t make you feel great about yourself, there’s no better balm than an outfit that makes you look amazing. Fantastic lipstick (under a mask even!) can also help!
-I ask a friend to go with me. It makes the process a bit less painful and it can lead to a really fun day.

How do you feel about returns? I know we all have things we just return, but the things that are difficult to return- how do you do it? What are your tips in general for returns? I would love to hear about them all!

And it is currently Mercury Retrograde so if you have things returning to you (people, etc), I recommend discernment, and I would love to hear about all of those returns too! 😉

Wishing us all a week of good returns and amazing shoes! XO RA

In My Robe

Investment Piece: In my Robe
Investment Piece: In my Robe
Investment Piece: in my robe
Investment Piece: in my robe
Investment piece: in my robe

Some thoughts:
When it gets cold I’m always tempted to wear a blanket out. This robe (yes, it’s a robe) basically lets me. I’m a fan of Pj dressing (really, who isn’t? But see here, here, and here for starters). Every year, my family does the matching PJ thing for Christmas (we’re cute) and this was the pick a few years (we wore them over plaid pants). It’s essentially a sweatshirt with buttons, and it was my uniform over the holidays.
One day my mom mentioned that she thought it would look great with a belt and heels. A neighbor asked where we got them as she could wear it to get mail and run some errands, and no one would know that it’s a robe. I’m interested in how warm it keeps me, the slightly 80s vibes, and that the possibilities are endless.
This isn’t the only styling you’ll see of this robe.

In fact, it’s not the first time that I’ve worn it out- before this post or after. I can’t resist any outfit that makes me feel like I’m in PJs and presents as chic- or any chic pjs that let me present as being dressed. Especially around this time of year. And if you’re looking for a break into the vintage community may I recommend a vintage robe, the 1930s and 1940s robes are especially LOVELY and glam. Robes as outfits? Why not?

Headbands-thanks to Blair Waldrof, the Duchess(Es), or the simple fact that you can use them to hide dirty roots are back. I resisted for a while, but now I’m in love. Ones for working out, ones for fashion, I’m wearing them all.

Jumping into the new year hasn’t been pain free. Really, we had something like 2 weeks off, is it fair or logical to assume that jumping into anything would be seamless? (Not that I don’t love new starts, but I was getting used to be in vacation mode. Also, this isn’t to say I’m having a hard time, it’s to say that going from 0 to 60 has thrown me for a loop!) However, I’m just hanging out in my robe. So, winning!

I’ve linked similar robes (and other blanket-like outfit options for your shopping pleasure!

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Another Year, Another Closet Clean Out

fashion, blogger, closet clean out, clean closet, closet full of clothes, Austin, tx, Los Angeles, ca

About this time, you’ll be seeing, getting, reading all sorts of articles and tips on how to clean out your closet. It’s that time of year. And I get it- I’m a fan of cleaning out closets,I even have my own method which I’ve gone into detail about here, here, and here. Yes, when I clean out my own closet I do these EXACT things. I go through section by section and sort my yes, no, and maybe piles, trying on all my maybes and asking myself questions to see if they fit in my closet (life). Then I sort again, organize and make plans to get rid of my nos.

But. Wanna know a secret?

I haven’t cleaned out my closet in a couple of years. With the pandemic, and all the things, I just haven’t been up to it. Part of it is overwhelm- even though I have a system that works for me, I’m well versed in what I like and what I want my closet to look like, the stories I want to tell with my fashion- going through my clothes right now seems daunting. Some of that is that I know some things I know I need to sort out and replace (like a lot of my sports bras), and the idea of replacing a section seems too much right now. Part of it is that I’m at a loss for what’s happening in the world right now. Am I not wearing things because of the item or fit- or because I’ve been at home for over a year? How do you judge that and what are you doing about it?

Investment Piece: Luxury

If you’re managing to clean out in a way that’s working for you, I can’t tell you how much I admire you. A closet clean out is currently on my list of January goals, and I’m still not even sure how to start it. There are so many things in my closet that I love, some I need to part with, and many that I would love to add- and in this time that’s all a bit much.

I’m changing at how I’m looking at the closet clean out this year. Will I eventually go through my closet, using my processes and get rid of the things that no longer serve me? Yes. At some point will I replace all the things that I need to (for me, sports bras)? Of course. However, while all of that is still overwhelming, I’m choosing to focus on other aspects of a closet clean out- the organization. During the pandemic my closet space became more temporary than it had been in years. There was a time when you could ask about any item I own- ANY- and I would know EXACTLY where it was in my closet. Skirts, pants, tops, dresses, vintage, modern- my closet was sorted by type, color, function. It was pristine. Now? I don’t know where anything is (I do, but not in the ways I’m used to). Instead of making myself stress out about another closet clean out, I’m focusing on getting my closet back to being pristinely organized. Will that help in a clean out (as some clean will naturally happen along the way)? Yes. Or at least I’m hoping so!

But taking the pressure off myself is making this process easier on me. In my closet clean out process, I always say that you shouldn’t feel pressured to get rid of things just to get rid of things. If you love something, if it brings you joy (even if you aren’t wearing it every day), I say keep it. This relaxed attitude has always let me clean out my closet in a way that lets me keep things, while I really do get rid of the things that are no longer for me. I’m crossing my fingers that this same attitude will let me organize- and clean out- while avoiding the overwhelm.

How are you making room for new stories this year? How are you cleaning out your closet? I would love to hear any and all tips!

Bond Girl

Beloveds, you have seen this post before. I spent the weekend fighting Cedar Fever, thankfully not Covid, but I was still left in bed for the majority of the weekend. Then! I dealt with a little hacking on the back end of this site (so so sorry if you were affected by it!). I spent the part of the weekend I was functioning fixing that- which made me feel like a Bond Girl. Which made me think of this outfit (and once I’m up and about may have to wear it!) Shopping options have been updated, and I’m wishing you a Happy Monday that’s without spyware or allergies!

Investment Piece: Bond Girl
Investment Piece: Bond Girl
Investment Peice: Bond Girl

I’ve always wanted to be a Bond Girl.
And I know that some of the Bond girls are the “bad guys”.
And that might not be the most evolved statement.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I want to be Bond, as a woman. The power. The style. The spy gadgets, intrigue, and glamor. (I also wouldn’t say no to a car or a martini right about now)

Investment Piece: Bond Girl
Investment Piece: Bond Girl

I may not be a Spy (that we know of) or have all the gadgets- but I like to think that the style and glamor I have covered. Or, more accurately stated, this set makes me feel like a Bond girl. Stylish. Powerful. Off to something glamourous.

And it’s just a set (though these details are swoon inducing):
Investment Piece: Bond Girl
Investment Piece: Bond Girl

I’m not going off to someplace glamourous. (It’s still the pandemic)

But this set. It makes me feel all those things. I tend to stand up straighter when I wear it. My walk has a bit of swagger in it. Power, style, and even spycraft- this outfit makes me feel like a Bond girl.

The power that has. What could I do in this set? Who could I win over? Where could I wear this?

Investment Piece: Bond Girl

I believe in that kind of fashion power- the kind that makes me feel changed. The kind that, even for a moment, leads me to new and exciting things because of how I feel in it. Yes, it’s a set (and here you can tell yourself all the set things- it looks great together and seperately, etc, etc), but when I’m in it, I’m a Bond Girl. You can’t beat that!

Investment Piece: Bond Girl

This is a vintage set, but you could “make” your own- simply layer a short dress over pants (any pattern will do). I’ve linked snakeskin pieces I love for your own Bond girl looks below!


Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank your for your support!

Sunday Chronicles: Back at It

Investment Piece: Back at It

It’s been a week of the new year- how are you doing? Remeber when I said that I love January (here)? It’s not that I don’t, it’s that after a week, after really thinking about what I want and setting the goals, we’re at the difficult part. We have to do the work, go from rest to back at it.

Back at it is fun- getting to put our goals in motion, seeing what this year brings, making things happen. But back at it is also overwhelming. Confession? I’m a big picture thinker. I can come up with huge, wonderful plans, but the minutia, the small action steps are often hard for me. Getting back to it can be a little frustrating when you know where you want to go, but aren’t 100% sure how to get there. Add on trying to adjust your habits, maybe work in new systems, and waves hands at all the things.

So. If we’re back at it, and yet sometimes back at it is hard or overwhelming or any of those things, what do we do? How do we make sure that we keep moving towards our goals?
AKA How do you stick to your resolutions when reality sets in?

The following list is by no means an expert one, but these are what I’m trying:

-Getting enough rest. Counter-intuitive? But I find that when I’m over tired I can’t get back at it. I miss things, I make mistakes, I make things harder on myself. Rest can come in many forms- sleep, downtime, time to pursue hobbies. When I’m well rested I not only work better, all those small steps that are more difficult for me? I can somehow see them better and plan them out.

-Lists. Journaling. When I list out and write out my plans and see them on paper, it helps me not only see the small steps I need to complete, it helps me come up with creative ways to get things done.

-I get friends and family to hold me accountable. This is not to say you need to share everything with everyone, but telling a few trusted friends always helps me get back at it. They keep going, and often help me with plans and more!

-Treats. Yes. I bribe myself with rewards- from new shoes to special glasses of bubbles. I know there’s a lot to be said about bribing yourself, but it works!

What do you do to get yourself back at it? I would love to hear any and all tips!

Wishing us all a week of getting back out there and amazing shoes!

Post Holiday Sales

As we ease into the new year, one of the things I miss from the holidays of my youth is getting to take your new toys to school or to a friend’s and showing them off. Obviously, as adults we can buy ourselves toys (aka clothes) whenever we want, and show them to whoever we chose, but aren’t there times when you just want to have that one moment where we show each other our new things? And get excited for each other?

It’s not that I don’t love holidays as an adult (they are just as magical, sometimes in different ways, but the magic is there), but the toys I get have changed. And that’s great! I really don’t need a Barbie house right now. 😉This holiday I was so lucky, and my family and Santa were so generous- and yet. I kinda want new clothes to show off to you.

Not just because I want to shop or show off, but because as I decide who I want to be this year, and what I want to wear, I keep finding things (from jeans to shoes) that I feel like would fit my story. Help me tell it. Lucky for all of us- most everything is on sale right now! The Post Holiday Sales are still going strong, and there are still amazing deals to help us tell our new year stories.

I have favorites from all over, and while I’m still debating (and attempting to be responsible) my choices, I’m excited to share these sales with you. Hopefully, there are things to help you tell your stories, and when we’re done shopping we can show them off to each other!

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Madewell has been having sales all season long, and now you can get an extra 40% off sale with code CLASSIFIED. I LOVE Madewell jeans, and there are so many more picks below!

From party dresses to chic coats, all sale at Anthropologie is an extra 50% off right now. Here are some of my faves:

From on trend jeans to dresses (I really LOVE the yellow one), these sale picks at Revolve are every thing I think I want to wear:

What do you want to wear this year? Who do you want to be? We’ve had a year to think about what kind of stories we want to tell, and decide which clothes will help us tell those stories. We also need to find a time to show each other our new things!

xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Life Lessons From Auditioning

Yes, this was originally a Sunday Chronicles article. Yes, I posted this before. But this week, as I’m trying to set my goals for the year, and really thinking about who I want to be (and what I want to wear this year), I’ve been thinking about some of the themes below. How can I put myself out there (in an outfit at the grocery store or opening up to you) and be comfortable with some people not liking it? How do I get better at moving through things? How do I forgive myself for missing the mark? The article below doesn’t solve all of those problems, but it does remind me of where the magic happens, and that’s a start.

If I had to add anything to this, it would be along the lines of don’t be afraid to revisit and rework ideas, help the people behind you, share your knowledge, and trust that what’s for you is for you. Maybe that’s the next article!

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about these again, and trusting that everyone is rooting for me- because I’m rooting for you!

Or : “What Facing Constant Rejection Has Taught Me About Living”. Acting is an interesting beast–to be great you have to be raw, honest, and vulnerable. However, the process by which you get jobs–auditioning–is about constant rejection, making the whole “be vulnerable” thing a bit hard at times. Ask any actor and we will all tell you that we have a love/hate relationship with audition. At their best, auditions are great; you own the part for at least a moment and you feel so empowered. At their worst, auditions can be a flawed way to match a character with an actor, akin to choosing your starting QB in football based on who scored best on a physics test. Auditioning is in itself a skill-set, one which I like to think I’ve become fairly good at, and the older I get, the more I’ve realized that what’s true in the audition room is true in real life. The best moments come from open, raw, vulnerable things–and facing rejection can be scary. However, if you can work at being great at auditioning some of those lessons have to apply to real life, right? That’s my theory, and the following is what I’ve learned.

Some notes: This list is by no means definitive, there’s a ton more–some of it is so specific to acting that I left it off, some just seemed redundant. If you’re interested in specific acting techniques there are amazing classes and coaches out there–and I would be happy to recommend some! These lessons do bleed into each other, and I tried to be as concise as possible (some of these snippets could probably fill their own book)–but these are things I remind myself of everyday and wanted to share. Also, know that there are times when I have walked into rooms and blown it, was just awful. We all have–to fail is human. I don’t address that case in the following because really the only solution there is to go back on work on your craft and try again. As the saying goes–it doesn’t matter that you fall down, what counts is that you get back up.
But what you should know is:

Everyone in the Room is Rooting For You
Walking into an audition can be completely intimidating. There may or may not be a ton of people in there–some of whom may never acknowledge your presence. You may be taped. You may have to do the sides more than once, you may have to take adjustments, you may be cut off. The good news? Everyone in that room wants you to get the job. They believe in you–or else they wouldn’t have called you in. Don’t believe me? It’s true. The casting director’s job is to find the best candidates to present to the director/producers and they are not going to risk their careers by bringing in people who can’t do the job. The casting director wants you to succeed, because it means they succeeded. The director/producer want you to be a fit so they can move on to the next role or get on set. You doing well means everyone does well. Everyone wants that –and is on your side.
It’s the same in life. Your boss wants your report to be great, your boyfriend/girlfriend wants you to be happy, your friends want you to succeed, even the people in the grocery store want your check out to go well (even if that’s only because it makes their check out go well). People may be out for themselves but the world is not against you; and people are on your side more than you think. Know when you walk into a room people are rooting for you, and if you’re constantly walking into rooms where they aren’t, you may want to reassess what kind of rooms you’re walking into.

Rejection is NOT About You
I know that is hard to hear. Rejection is hard because it FEELS personal. And it can hurt to want something, to work for something and not to get it. I’m not saying not to hurt, or grieve, or even go scream in the woods if you need to. We take rejection personally because we take it as a comment on our worth–what I’m saying is maybe it’s about changing your perception and seeing rejection as a combination of fit and timing, not comments on your worth. Loves, while it can be hard to hear, rejection is 99% fit and timing. In auditioning. In careers. In love. And there are times when that is hard, but often it’s what’s best for us.
A casting director had an analogy that changed my life, and how I take rejection. She explained that casting is like planning a meal. For example, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving you’re considering every aspect-the meat, the appetizer, the sides, the desert. You want it all to go together, to fit, and to use the best in season. So strawberry shortcake may be your favorite desert, and you may know the best strawberry shortcake. But you aren’t going to put in on your Thanksgiving table–it doesn’t fit the meal or the season, the timing isn’t right for it. So if you’re the strawberry shortcake should you be upset? No, it doesn’t mean that you’re “bad”, it means Thanksgiving is not your time. So what do you do? You be the best strawberry shortcake, put it out there, be so good that people can’t forget you, and trust that when the time is right people will put you on the table.

Don’t be Desperate
There is nothing wrong with being passionate, with working hard, with having focus–in fact to be successful you need all those qualities. However, nothing kills a moment faster than trying to hard. A contradiction? Yes, but we all know that look of white-knuckling, forcing things to happen, being so desperate that you’ll do anything–in audition rooms, on dates, in meetings. Loves, more often than not forcing things to happen doesn’t work. There is not a situation in life where being desperate is attractive, in any sense.
Many times we get desperate because we’re thinking ahead, or focusing on things we can’t control. In acting it’s called playing a result, in life we call it not being present. It can often sound like “I have to book this gig so I can be a working actor and pay my bills”. Or “I want to get married and this first date could be the one so I will bring up this/this/that”. “I’m broke and need this to happen so I have to get the promotion or job”. We all can get caught up in this–and I’m not saying to not have goals or look ahead, but a football team can’t win the championship on the first game on the season; they can only win one down at a time.
When I audition my goal is never to book the job–that’s completely out of my control, and as we know comes down to fit and timing. When I audition my job is to show my work–to be good, make a fan and let it go. I cannot control anything else. On a date the goal is to have fun and get to know someone–not to book a wedding venue. Have a job interview? You’re goal is to show how great you are and showcase your skillset–you can’t control getting the job. It is my experience that if I focus on my goal in the moment–be it do a great scene, win a down, or have a good time–it keeps me from being so desperate. And some of the magic is that the more you focus on what you can do in the moment the future takes care of itself.


Be Yourself
I know. That is the most cliched advice in the history of mankind. But it’s true. An actor’s job is to breath life into a character, and that doesn’t come from thin air, but is informed from the actor’s own experiences. We are each unique with our own world views, and when we allow that to bleed into our work magic can happen. It’s true not just in acting: you’re an accountant who happens to be really empathetic? That will inform your work and make you great with clients. A football coach who loves to surf? Balance and timing are needed on the field too. We get caught up in how things should look, or should be (in acting it’s called playing the idea) and we can forget that there is no formula, no way things have to look. So bringing yourself–all of yourself–to your work can only make it better. It’s what people really want. Anyone could just enter numbers or repeat lines. There is something about you that’s special, that can make a job extraordinary; and if you are brave enough to offer up those special parts of yourself you will find that more often that not you get rewarded for it.

Live a Big, Full, Juicy Life
This is part be yourself, part don’t be desperate, part don’t put your worth on one aspect of yourself–or your paycheck. You know the actors that book the most? They’re the ones that have a ton going on, a ton of interests, and a ton of places they could be. That’s not to say that they don’t take acting seriously and work on their craft–but they’d also love to tell you about their family, or charity work, or great book they just read. Acting is not the only thing that defines them, or their worth is tied to, they tend to have a lot that interests them and they pursue all of it. I think this works on multiple levels. As humans we find interested people interesting. As we know, every aspect of yourself can inform your work–and make it deeper. (Music can even make you better at math, it’s proven). And if you have a lot going on, you tend not to be so desperate.
The casting director who preaches this advice makes it specific to actors. Acting is a beast and like all creative fields requires you to put so much of yourself out there and allow yourself to be judged. And there are good years and years where you may not book at all. You can control your acting but there is so much you have no control over–what scripts are optioned, etc. We’ve talked about timing and fit, and it’s true, however, rejection can still be tough. A few years ago I had a week with two big auditions–I lost one as I was “too old and not blonde enough”, I lost the other because I was “too young and too blonde”. Other than hair dye there’s not a lot I can control there. There are tons of Hollywood stories like this (I had a friend cut from a pilot as she reminded the producer of his ex wive whom he hated, it happens); again rejection can be constant and the casting director was making a point that if you’re tying your worth to situations that you don’t have control over, and where rejection is likely, you are setting yourself up for disaster. This is akin to the “be your own soulmate and then your partner gets to be the cherry on top” advice, but I think it holds true. And not just for acting.
Be interested. Pursue whatever makes you happy, even if you don’t earn a paycheck from it. Read what you love, have great friends, travel, anything that makes your heart sing. It will make you a better whatever you are. And those things can sustain you. No matter what, Loves, there are going to be jobs you don’t get, relationships that fail, and things that don’t go your way. And when that happens all these things that you love can still fulfill you.

Let the Ball Fly
No matter how much you prepare, there comes a time when you have to just go for it. In audition rooms things don’t always go the way you plan–and the choice is to white knuckle your choices or take in what’s going on and use it. The latter, in my experience, is always your best bet. This is what your training comes down to–the ability to have grace under pressure, to take what is happening and use it to your best advantage. When things don’t go your way you can either get stuck and freak out about what is going wrong, or you can adjust. Loves, adjust. Just like a QB–no matter how great his coaches are and what play they’ve called, the ball is snapped and he has to read the defense and make a call. He can either freak out about the defense moving, and usually then get sacked or throw an interception. Or he can read the field, find an open man, and let the ball fly. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of the touchdowns (except when my team is playing defense).

There’s so much more advice: don’t apologize for your work or who you are. Be prepared. Be on time. Treat everyone with respect. Know your function in the script and serve it. There are whole classes devoted to how you hold your sides. I could go on forever. But for me, I think it comes down to “do good work and love your life”. Nothing else is within our control.

Wishing us all a week of big, full lives and amazing shoes! XO RA