Sunday Chronicles: Happy Father’s Day!

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It’s Father’s Day! My dad is an engineer but has never questioned or withheld his support from his daughter who only ever wanted to dance, act, and be in fashion. He’s also the man who taught me to love football–which is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.  I hope the fathers in your life are as supportive of you!

On the other hand, relationships with our parents, and parent figures can be tough. I hope if this is a hard day for you that you’re spending the day in a way that feels right to you.

Wishing us all a week of love and amazing shoes! xo RA

Sunday Chronicles : It’s All in the Seams

This post is originally from a few years ago (there are times when it shocks me that I’ve been doing this for years!); but this is something that I’ve been thinking about recently. Not necessarily French seams, though yes, but the idea that things take time. The idea that something that is well made, and worth the time and effort, is better than something that is ready quickly, but made to fall apart. The idea that somethings, both French seams and ideas are meant to last.  Also, what fashion means to me, why I care about quality and what I can do to explain my views with you (more of all of that to come!).

And then, I remembered I wrote about this before: so I give you again, It’s all in the seams!
Enjoy!
XO RA

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Yesterday my mom and I got to talking about couture, really the magic of couture is seaming, lining, and fit. French seams, where you essentially double sew the seam so it’s encased, are the trademark of couture- they’re difficult, time consuming , and look amazing. The seams are part of what make couture fit so well, last so long, and look stunning. So they’re worth it. In fact the trick to catching couture – and real designer bags and shoes- check the insides

It got me thinking about what is worth it. We live in a world that demands everything instaneously- relationships, careers, material goods. Everything is expected to come quickly, it can be considered failure for things to take time. But here’s the thing about rushing things – quickly made seams fall apart. I can do a quick seam- but it won’t last, and probably won’t look good. And when you want something to last- and look good- you have to take the time to do the little things, whether that’s French seams or letting a relationship or career take its time. It’s a process, but rush the process and the inside falls out.

I would rather have a closet full of French seams- bags and shoes that last- things that are beautifully made than a closet full of seams that fall apart. I understand that this means I will spend more, and things will take time to accumulate. I’m okay with it. In fact, I’d like to build a life full of relationships that last, a good career, and moments that matter- those things take time as well. But, when I look at the French seams – it’s worth it.

Happy Sunday! Wishing us all a week of great seams and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Perfectionism and Mantras

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

I did some more flashing back this week and came across one of the first Sunday Chronicles I wrote. It’s a subject I keep going back to: perfectionism, and how I deal with it. The story of my life, in other words. The reminder that some battles are constant both encouraged me and scares me. Spin class is one of the ways that I’ve always dealt with it–but right now I’m still mainly working out at home (which isn’t bad!), but it means I’m having to encourage myself. And that looks different. Weirdly, I’m saying all these things to myself. Not weirdly, they work!
Enjoy my first thoughts on the topic!
Wishing us all a week of onward and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Perfectionism and Mantras

I’m a perfectionist. Which means I hold myself to impossible standards, am hard on myself–and all those things you’ve heard–that perfectionists procrastinate, etc? Yes, those are true about me. In fact I’ve spent a vast majority of my life striving to be perfect–and not always being nice to myself in the process–and being even harder on myself when I was unable to be perfect. Sadly, I think that being perfect is something that doesn’t exist.

I still believe in perfect shoes and outfits–but that’s probably a different story.

Get to know me a little and you’ll find that I love to work out. And I love workouts, like Soul Cycle, where encouraging mantras are said and they uplift you–and you feel good. One of the favorite mantras–and one I’ve seen in several places this week so it’s on my mind–is “The Way You Do One Thing Is The Way You Do All Things”. Which is great when I’m in a dark spin class–because I can sprint and jump and climb and do it well. But what about the things that I do not do well? The things I flat out suck at? The list of my talents is long–but I fear it is out numbered by my flaws. I’m human (hard to accept)– and this means I’m messy and unfortunately for me, cannot do all things perfectly. So this phrase has never sat well with me.

However, a spin teacher I love (Angela Davis if you’re ever in LA) has begun to say, “You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be brave”.  Now this I can get behind. If I have to accept that I cannot be perfect–I get brave. Brave means taking risks, and trying, and doing your best. Brave I can do.

Another saying I love is “You have to have compassion for yourself, you cannot be brave every time, so when you can’t be kind to yourself”. Which is another way of saying “You have to give 100% of what you have right now, which will be different than tomorrow and different than yesterday, and that’s ok”. Let’s be honest–life can be hard, and even if we’re trying to be brave, we don’t always get there. I need to hear that it’s ok for me to try my hardest–and that my hardest will be different each day. This I can do.

So I’m trying, I’m being brave. I ramble –and I know there is no fashion tie in. Although, we could say that you should try that outfit you’ve been thinking of, and if it doesn’t work–it’s ok.

My hope for us this week is that we can all be brave, and when we can’t be as brave that we can have compassion towards ourselves. Oh–and I wish for us amazing shoes!

Happy Sunday!

xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: When it’s not PERFECT

Investment Piece, fashion blogger, Sunday Chronicles, Perfect, when it's not perfect, everyday editorial, CA, TX

Loves, Happy Weekend! As you may know, I can be a perfectionist. I hold myself to a high standard, which manifests itself in various ways. I can have a great work ethic and produce things that are amazing. I can be paralyzed by the fear that things won’t be perfect and procrastinate, making sure that the “product” won’t be perfect (but I’ll have an excuse!). I can pick myself apart. I can admire other people’s work. Like most other perfectionists, I can tell you that it’s a great thing to want to hold yourself to a standard of excellence, but can tell you perfectionism is also an insercurity and an attempt to protect yourself. So, it’s great and not great. And one of the hardest lessons is how to move forward, do work, and be happy when it’s (whatever it is) not perfect. Loves, nothing is ever perfect (and yes, that’s hard for me to say), so how do we handle this?

I believe that this is where many people would tell you it’s the effort that counts, that good enough is good, and as perfection is an unattainable standard you do your best and be happy. Yes, all of that is true. It is still stunning to me how hard that is for me to at times accept. So how do I handle it? Loves, if we’re in the trust tree I have to let you know that the answer is not always well. I can waste time, money, and self peace in an attempt to “perfect” a project. And what I can tell you is that those things are not always worth it. So my new methods?

Give Myself Time
I’m finding if I can do posts/projects/etc early, spend some time away from them and come back, I’m either a-ok with what’s happened or I can “fix” it in a more productive manner. It’s the break that lets me have some space, and somehow that helps. And those times when I don’t have the time for that? I let go as best I can.

Mind Shift: vulnerable is more likable
There is something in my head that says that being perfect is the way to be liked (as broad as that can mean). It’s taking a lot of work, and a lot of more work, to discover that the best, real moments are the ones when I’m vulnerable. Does that mean that I don’t do my best? No. But it means I’m trying to not kill myself when I don’t have all the answers or something isn’t 180%. An acting coach of mine once told me that the audience wants to love you for all the things you’re embarrassed to show them. While this may not relate to every situation, I think it is true. Our humanness is raw and not perfect, but it’s beautiful.

Ask a loved one
When it’s hard for me to see that our humanness is beautiful I’m learning to ask someone I trust for their opinion. Often, their critique is not half as bad as my own. We could chat a whole other Chronicles on how hard it can be to ask for help, but I find another’s perspective is often what I need to end my manic pursuit of “perfect”.

Loves, this list is by no means complete, and it is by no means easy. It’s a process, and I’m learning. I’m striving to see that perfect is a great goal, but when I laser eye it, I miss so much. I’m learning that good is beautiful, and failures can be fun. I’m trying to be honest in my struggles and in my strive for perfection, be happy with great.

Are you a perfectionist? How do you deal with it?

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

Sunday Chronicles: Effortless

Investment Piece: Effortless

There is a myth, or ideal really, that most American women–especially those who love fashion adhere to; that being “French”, or effortless is something to aspire to being. That somehow to be able to throw on anything and have it look perfect,to have your hair fall perfectly everyday; that it is possible to not really try and that you will look perfect and things will work out. And here’s the thing–this is true sometimes. We all have days where our hair is somehow perfect, and no matter what we put on it looks great, our careers and relationships just seem to click and flow; and everything requires minimal effort. I do love effortless days–they make everything seem easy and doable.

On the other hand, the great Tom Ford has said “Dressing well is a form of good manners”. I’m not saying to dress well and being effortless are mutually exclusive–but as much as we strive for effortless, let’s be honest–we all experience the other side of the coin too. We all have days where we have to think about what we wear, try on many options–put effort into our clothes. We have days where we have to spend time on hair and make-up, maybe put in extra effort into our relationships and career because it is needed. Is this effort a bad thing? Hopefully it pays off– and let’s be honest , there are times when putting in the effort is fun, it feels good to try sometimes.

I often long for effortless. It’s a dream to have every outfit be a hit, hair that always falls into place, things that come without too much hard work. Yet, I find I often have to put in effort. I can try (too hard at times) and there are still outfits that didn’t work, bad hair days, and things that came with intense amounts of effort.

Are these the only two options–putting in effort or being effortless? Are there the types of people who have to try and those who don’t? I don’t have all the answers–I know, that bums me out too. I do think that all of us are both of these types though. I believe that we are all capable of effortless days–and all have days where effort is required. Here’s the big epiphany- I don’t think that one is better than the other. Days where everything from your t-shirt to hair to relationship and career just work are amazing and you should cherish them. Days where you have to think and try for your outfit, lipstick, conversations and meetings are also amazing and you should cherish them.

And some days are in the middle- a mix of effort and effortlessness and those might be the most special of all.

Maybe effort and effortless are two sides of the same coin; maybe we need one to appreciate the other. Maybe aspiring to effortless is something you should do; maybe trying, even trying too hard occasionally, is something you should do too. All I know is that both can feel good–and that both kinds of days can be good. So this is my wish for us all: great days this week–whether that means you have to put effort into your hair or not and of course, amazing shoes.

xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Is Fashion Frivolous?

Investment Piece: How to Star Gaze

With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s difficult not to question what we’re doing here. And I don’t just mean here- in my tiny little corner of the internet- but in general. Here. This rings especially true for those of us who’s pursuits are more of the creative kind. As I think about the suffering and the potential for destruction that’s happening around the world, I can’t help but wonder- is fashion frivolous? Should we be putting our energy into something else?

I don’t make light of anything that’s happening. It’s heartbreaking and important and everyone in the Ukraine and in war’s path needs and deserves our support and care. Those heavy things deserve our attention and our care (even when doing so is hard). And yet- I can’t bring myself to tell you that fashion is frivolous, that it doesn’t matter.

Yes, maybe now is not the time to be shopping thoughtlessly; perhaps our outfits aren’t the foremost things in our minds. But. While there is not a magic outfit that could bring about world peace (how I wish there were), I still firmly believe that fashion is simply a means with which we tell our stories. And now, more than ever, our stories matter.

Investment Piece: Blue Christmas

I think it’s easy (and a bit lazy) to call fashion frivolous. In some instances, fashion is a luxury, it can be a hobby, and fashion is easy to look down upon as it doesn’t offer any solutions to heavy problems. Yet. Fashion is a trade, a skill, an art. The men and women who make textiles and craft our garments are skilled workers who provide us with at the least a form of shelter and at most, storytelling material.

Even when things are hard and heavy, even perhaps when we aren’t always paying attention to what we’re wearing, our fashion tells our story- from uniforms to support to statements. And our stories matter. The story that we’re telling now may be heavy, but it may also be hopeful. Maybe it’s a story of support for people who are suffering, maybe what you wear lets someone know you’re an ally. Perhaps what you wear tells the story of survival, getting through the day, the story of revolution.

And maybe, by telling our stories we give others the permission to tell theirs.

There are a lot of stories out there right now. Stories that deserve our attention and our help and our reverence. Some of those stories are being today with fashion. So, how can we call fashion frivolous?

(I’m not even getting into how fashion can be a release, can make you feel good, can give you something to look forward to.Fashion can also be joyful, and even in hard ship joy is necessary and sacred. This is a mulit-layered topic, but I think it starts with the understanding that fashion is meaningful.)

I know right now we’re all aware of the world and its suffering, I am and I don’t want to make light of any of it. It’s not the time for carefree frolic of any kind. But, even though there is no magic peace outfit, maybe our fashion (and the support of those who make it) is a part of the solution and not some distraction? (Though if you need a distraction right now there is nothing wrong with that!)

I don’t concede that fashion is frivolous because fashion is a part of who we are, and we all matter.

Wishing us all a week of peace, hope, and amazing shoes. Slava Ukraini!
XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Ukraine

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It’s usually the Sunday when we do Ex Files here (the place where I share dating horror stories that happen to me and my beloveds). Yet, today with all that’s happening in the world I couldn’t bring myself to write out a story about dating- I can’t stop thinking about Ukraine. The people, the fight in the them, the leadership of their president. Of course, like many of you, I’m wondering how I can support them, what I should do- and how our stories of fashion fit in this moment. It’s a lot to think about, and I realize I’m in a position of safety and privilege to sit back and think.

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I don’t know that I have the answers. What I know is that I highly admire the Ukraine people, the bravery of their president, and that I’m so in awe of their stories. Even related to Ex Files, have you heard the Tinder stories coming out of the Russian war? Evidently Russian soldiers have been attempting to match with Ukrainian women over Tinder- depending on the stories you read either the soldiers are using the women for intel or the Ukraine women who are using the intel to give to the Ukraine army. I like to think Tinder is being used to for good, and if given the chance, would love to read those dating stories.

I also know that we’re each given talents, mine are stories and fashion. At times like these, it can feel as if those talents aren’t needed- but stories like the Tinder one above, remind me that our stories are what we have- and are worth fighting for, maybe the only things worth fighting for. And that on top of telling stories, we can support. If you’re moved to give to help support Ukraine at this time I suggest finding a charity that speaks to you (for me so far it’s been WCK for Ukraine but I know there are so many many great places to give out there). If you need a place to start try here and here.

This week as I’ve struggled to know what to say I’ve been reminded that any work we do to stand up to evil or be good tugs at the big threads that connect us all, and works to unravel all that needs unraveling. Maybe it’s fashion or stories, supporting from afar or up close, what we do is important- and the small things we do can add up to big things.

As overwhelmed and unsure I’ve been this week, I’ve gained strength and inspiration from Ukraine (ironic as I would love to help them). May we all have the bravery of the Ukraines this week, and may we all find our own ways to support them.

Wishing us all a week of strength, peace, and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Minor Holidays

Investment Piece: Dressing like Freedom

When I was a kid, I was extremely aware of every day we had off school. I tracked them, I looked forward to them, from in-service days to long winter breaks I always had them in my calendar, had plans (even to just stay home) and could name them. As an adult, I wish I could be on top of holidays. It’s not that I don’t know the major ones, or do my calendar, but unless I have major plans often minor holidays escape my attention.

Sad? True? I often know it’s holiday like President’s Day (our current minor holiday in America) because of the sales.

And sales are something I’m a big fan of (tomorrow I’ll be sharing my sales picks!). But I also think holidays- even the minor ones- are something worth celebrating. Maybe it’s that as I get older I more and more understand that we shouldn’t “save” things for special occasions (every day is special), or maybe it’s that any chance I get to relax or travel or be with people I love is a chance I want to take advantage of- but minor holidays are beginning to be some of my favorites.

Ironic when you consider I have a more difficult time keeping track of them.

While when I was in school these minor holidays were something I had plans for, and now they as often sneak up on me and they come as a wonderful surprise! Imagine- suddenly discovering you have a day off!** If you’ve been planning for days like President’s day trips, parties, may be on your calendar. Yet, maybe you’re like me and Monday being a holiday was something you learned about via sales emails. And while I have things I “could” do, there’s not a deadline I must meet. Meaning, this minor holiday is my day- to rest, recoup, watch tv, shop, anything my heart desires.

**Side note, I know not every minor holiday is a day off, as many companies or fields don’t always give time off. There have been plenty of holidays that I’ve spent working-maybe that’s part of why I can sometimes have a difficult time remembering them!

How decant is a day where you don’t have to do anything? There is, of course, the idea that we should use these minor holidays to “get ahead” and work on things- and while that’s valid, and I may do a bit of that- I’m trying to take minor holidays as a time to use for me. In any of those wonderful ways I mentioned above.

So, if you need me tomorrow I may be on the couch, or online shopping, or watching movies, anything that leaves me ready to face the rest of the week at my best! What do you do on minor holidays? How are you spending your President’s Day?

Wishing us all a week of celebrating and amazing shoes! 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!

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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.

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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

Sunday Chronicles: Last Minute Stress

Investment Piece: A Merry Little Christmas

By date, we still have over half of December left, there are still 14 days until Christmas. So, why does it feel as if anything we’re doing right now is last minute?

Maybe it’s that this year we were all encouraged to shop early due to the supply chain. Maybe it’s that every year the holiday season seems to go faster and faster. I’m not sure. All I know is that while (hopefully at this writing) all the decorations are planned, the meals are set, the shopping is done- so why do I feel like I’m behind?

There’s always more that we can all do (even on the holidays), and the weeks before the holidays intensify those feelings. Right now I’m not only thinking about all I should be doing for the holiday, but for the new year, the first few weeks of the new year- stressing about what I haven’t gotten done and all the things that I should do. It’s beginning to feel all last minute, and a bit stressful.

When I begin to feel that way, these are the steps I take to make sure that I don’t let the last minute stresses get to me (have tips? I’m all ears! The comments are open!)

-Make lists. To do lists. Done lists. What I’m ok with putting off lists. Sometimes seeing the big picture and the steps helps me put into perspective where I should really be putting my energy. Each day I make a must do list, and each night I compare it to my overall to-do list. Time consuming? Maybe? But it keeps me on top of my last minute holiday doings.

-I make peace. Each year I keep thinking that this is the year I’ll have it all together and the holidays will be perfect. And while each year is amazing, there’s always something that is different from my “plans” (for better or for worse). So, I make an effort to not get too attached to my plans, and to make peace with what won’t get done- or what will get done but differently than I thought. Does it help with last minute stress? Yes. Absolutely, as it lets me let go of things.

-I tell people I’m stressed. I know this isn’t what we’re “supposed” to do. Many people consider it uncouth- but truly telling the people that I love that I’m feeling stress from the last minute things I (think) I have to do or feel pressure on helps me. More often than not, my people let me know what I can let go of, what really matters to them, and then we can all adjust. It’s a part of being honest about what I can deliver, but also lets my people be honest about what they need.

These little methods aren’t full proof, there are still times when I feel last minute stress and worry about all the things that happen (good and bad) last minute. However, these things do help me with last minute stress – and getting things done last minute. I would love to know what works for you!

Wishing us all a week of no last minute stress and amazing shoes
Xo RA