Photo Credit: © 2006 Lynne Holder

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Don't EVER Give Up

That's right, the one who has given up on her dreams on more than one occasion is here to tell you just that.

Shall I go over it all again--all those excuses I had for giving up on modeling and throwing myself a pity party?

Being post-menopausal and all the crap that comes with it.
The Great Recession.
A persistent back injury.
Being uncharacteristically anxious at casting calls.
Financial crisis.
Blah, blah, yadda, yadda. 

Better than giving up entirely and pouting, I decided that I would be open-minded to what it meant to be the person God made me to be, with all my inherent abilities and heart's desires, and still be willing to let him guide me on my path. Or even send me down rabbit trails.

I believe that's what happens when you come to the end of yourself and all your striving. You tell the God who loves and made you, this is who I am, this is what I love to do, but I'll do whatever you ask--just show me.

Release.  Surrender.

In May, I was booked for a shoot for Piedmont Healthcare. I had no idea when I showed up at the beautiful location how big this campaign was going to be. It's big--TV and movie theater spots, print ads, web. The crew was wonderful; the "work", pure joy. And here is the result.

There are several beautifully creative videos; all of those with the word "Garden" in the title, as well as "Better 60 Movie" are the TV spots that I am grateful to be part of. [Be sure to take note of the credits, not the least of which is Talent Soup and Head Chef, Radford Harrell.]

For whatever reason, this is who I am. I love playing a role, getting outside of myself or being myself, forgetting the camera or playing to the camera--whatever I'm asked to do--and being in the moment.  

And I get paid to do this?

Yes, but the money isn't my primary motivation (shhhh, don't tell the potential clients). It's knowing that I am being true to myself and my Creator. When I glorify him, I am fulfilling my God-breathed purpose.


I realized recently that 2012 has brought a spike in submissions and modeling work. My dreams are still a living part of me; although I will continue to hold anything of this world loosely. Bearing these things in mind, yesterday, I decided it was time. Time to believe again; not just in how God made me, but in the fact that he is much bigger than I give him credit for being. I decided to embrace all this and I upgraded my online portfolio to Pro. In doing so, I put into action my faith and trust in a big God who is able to do big things with tools like a Webcomp. Now, I have more features that allow me to show clients searching for someone in my category a better representation of my work. As a bonus, I've found it has given me a great boost in attitude.

These words I used to speak rather doubtfully have gone from my head to my heart:

I am a Pro.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The "P" Word


It's so hard to master, and at this point in my life I'm not sure I ever will.

Waiting for word of my booking on a cruise line shoot has been a great opportunity to master patience. No problem, at first. Then days turn into weeks. My nerves have become more raw with every passing day from thinking over and over, I would love to have this booking, Lord. You know how much we need the money this would bring. It would be a dream come true.

I feel like a sprinter trying to be a marathon runner. Yeah, it's not working out so well.

I know, everyone with a Bible is going to quote Hebrews 12:1 right now: "...And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  

Easy to say because you're either on the sidelines watching this race or you're running it at a fantastic pace, and enjoying it.

At this point in the marathon, I'm gasping for breath, trying not to face plant on the road. My side aches, I need water, and I'm digging down to my core for another scrap of energy to turn into a few more strides. People are passing me as though I'm not crumpled along the curb; as though some metronome in their head is clicking off every step. 

Some people aren't runners, so don't judge me for stopping to catch my breath, walking a few strides and maybe even picking up the pace to a run once I have recovered a bit. I'll finish the race, same as you. Well, maybe not the same, but you get my meaning. 

Today has been the stop-to-catch-my-breath day.

Dear God, when is SOMETHING going to change for the better?  

The dinner hour had come and was quickly passing, so I went to the kitchen to see what Leland was up to. Mahi mahi burgers was what he was up to. I decided to make Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and garlic. I broke out the pretzel chips, hummus, and poured a glass of Don De Dieu (sorry, all you unfortunate people who have not tasted this nectar--get to Total Wine before it's too late for you and you settle for another American can of you-know-what). Pretty soon we were singing Inagaddadavida baby, don't you know that I loooooove youuuuuu...

Lo and behold, something had changed for the better. 

God is in the little things, and we are reminded again that blessings are right under our noses.

Friday, July 6, 2012

TGIF Y'all

I've actually used that charming term, "y'all." Cue the banjos.

It's Friday, which means 2 days off are ahead for most of the working world. For me, that means I get to enjoy today off and work all weekend. I'm counting on the crazies and meanies being too tired to shop after all their full moon antics of late. 

This week, all the kids, spouses, soon-to-be-spouse, and the granddaughter packed up and drove or flew to the far reaches of New York State to spend the 4th of July on Grindstone Island with my ex's family, and attend their grandfather's memorial service.

The view from one of the family cottages. Photo: Natasha Brooks
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this gem of real estate and are now searching your data bank's geography section for clues, Grindstone is a large island in the chain of Thousand Islands that dot the St. Lawrence River.

Shiny wooden boats, swimming, water skiing, boating of all kinds, warm days and cool nights, shoals, BUGS.....all make up the wonderful experience of visiting this vacation spot.

I know they had a blast. And they felt so far away. They're all on the way home, or will be soon. Back to the heat and humidity of the South, kids!

Here in Hotlanta, the week has been busy for Leland; not so much for me. The store manager has hired a few new people and my hours have been cut back. I had been working nearly full-time, so I'm not complaining about the break. Leland had lots of time in the office doing post-production. Really, both of us were just trying to escape the brutal heat.

We have several things to be grateful to our Provider for, among them:
  • After invoicing, invoicing again, and then calling several clients, they're going to actually PAY!
  • New bookings for Leland.
  • I received unexpected income: a check for renewal of a commercial I filmed in Miami in 2009 (the gift that has been giving every year), and a check from my late father's trust fund's interest income (long story......we won't go there because it involves a step-monster). Money is good.
  • Out of the wild blue, I received a call from an agent in AL that I hadn't spoken to since my last week in Miami, March '09, saying he was submitting me for a cruise line shoot. Not just any shoot, this one is in New Orleans, all expenses paid, is worth a lovely 4-figure rate, and will significantly boost my professional resume...not to mention, it will be FUN!
  • Leland and I are keeping the "4 walls" up, meaning we are living indoors, have transportation, food, and clothing. 
  • Our small group continues to bless our lives. We're happy we didn't do what most groups do, and break for the summer.

We are so grateful for all of our friends and family (maybe, even strangers) who have been praying for us, and for God's love, mercy, and provision. Please continue to ask God for the ability to pay our creditors and achieve financial freedom without bankruptcy, and pray for the cruise line shoot to go from submission to booking!

Have a great weekend, y'all!