Monday, 30 January 2012

Busy Saturday - including a callback...exciting...not really

Saturdays in LA are just like a week day and it is treated like that here. Something that I am certainly not used to is having castings on a Saturday, which, when I'm back in the UK, is my favorite day and my day off always.

This Saturday I had 2 castings, one was a callback from one of the five I went to on Wednesday. It was the Maybelline casting, where in the first one they just took 3 very quick shots of me and that was it. This time I was expecting a bit more from the casting, as it was a callback after all. But I was completely wrong. All that happened this time was the director for the shoot took shots of me with different expressions. This took about a minute and that was that and I was on my way back home. Ridiculous hey?! They often have up to 4 callback for a job, which is quite incredible. What makes these callbacks so frustrating is that you don't get paid for them at all. So you have to commit more time, more money in travel costs to keep on making them. The clients and the casting directors are very ruthless out here and do not care one bit how the actors/models feel constantly having to spend more and more to carry on getting to the castings. It is one of those situations where you just have to get on with it and accept it or find a new career.

The second casting was for Hyundai and it was supposedly a callback, but for me it was my first audition. This one was very different and involved a lot of movement and acting as it was for a car commercial. In front of the client and the director I had to act like I walked, got into my car and sat down in the drivers seat like I had just finished a busy week at work. As I drive the car I started to feel much more relaxed and happier etc. Very much a typical car commercial format. It was a good casting as the director gave some great feedback and helped me along the way, but whether that was enough only time will tell.

I arranged a photo shoot for Saturday as well, with a photographer that got in touch with me via a model website. These websites can often be dodgy to a certain extent, and you have to be extremely careful when using them. Fortunately for me, I have been very careful with people who are interested in shooting me, by researching them a lot and ensuring it is genuine and that the quality of their shots will help to benefit me.

The shoot went great and I was able to succeed in getting shots in the photographers pool, something which I wanted to add to some variety in my book. The photographer was great and very professional and I was extremely happy with the shots that i will get. There is also so much potential to shoot again to improve the shots even more and add some more variety to them as well. The 2 shots in this post are from the shoot and there will be a few more to come which I will put up.

A busy Saturday but extremely happy to keep busy whilst I'm here in LA.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

5 Auditions in one day! LA suddenly turned busy!

To say I was unprepared is an understatement. To say that it was unexpected is also an understatement. Completely out of the blue the castings kept on coming in, 1 after the other and before I knew it I had 5 for the day, which for guys is pretty much unheard of, especially in recent times. It also gave me a great chance to get out and about and meet some new clients that I haven't met before. I thought I would go through each casting to show you all in more detail what happens during these castings. As there were 5 of them, they all are often extremely different to each other.

Before my day began, I had to plan out my day and ensure I would make every single one of my castings on time. This is all well and good before the day begins, but in LA, you never know what will creep up. The traffic is often horrendous and the waiting times at some castings here are unbelievable, so you always need to be prepared for a bit of day.

(First casting of the day for True Religion, in Compton)

Early start this one having to drive down to Compton to see True Religion. Got to the building at just after 10am the start of the call time, and was introduced to the client and photographer very briefly. They took my portfolio to look through and gave me jeans and t shirt to try on. Unfortunately for me the jeans were too big, but the t shirt fit perfectly, which gave me some optimism. I had a few shots taken of me in the clothes, but a very sombre reaction was received from the clients which certainly didn't fulfil me with any confidence.
That was it, changed and out the door and on to my next one. Very little hope for this one it has to be said. On to do some filming for my girlfriends show reel and then to the next casting.

(Second Casting of the Day Wrangler Jeans, West Hollywood)

Another denim brand this time for Wrangler. I arrived a bit after my call time to find the clients had gone on lunch and wouldn't be back for 45 minutes! With a busy day ahead, I had to change my plans and go to my other castings and return later in the day for this one. It is something that happens a lot during busy days, and that is why you need to ensure you are always flexible with your times.
When I went back, I was lead to one of the room where they were casting all types of people, women and children included for this. I was again given a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to wear, and once again they didn't fit :-( too big once more. I tried not to let it bother me and when I got the opportunity to speak t the clients, I was just my usual chatty self. It is great to get a good rapport with the clients and we certainly had that (probably more down to the accent than me, but hey...ha). A few pictures taken and some positive comments and feedback and the casting was over.
Maybe I might not be right for this job, but hopefully they keep me in mind for anything in the future.

(3rd casting for Millers Beer Print Ad, Hollywood)

The shortest of the 3 castings, and one that had such a familiarity to the way they organise castings in this city. It was short and simple. Just in the room, no book, no clients, just a cameraman, acting as the casting director, taking 3 different shots of me and that was it. Could I possibly gage from this whether it went well? No. Not much more to say on this one at all, so was on to the next casting.

(4Th Casting for Maybelline, commercial, Hollywood)

This was for Maybelline, yes the female cosmetics company! I am not turning into a cross dresser I promise you all ha. It's as the male accompaniment in the commercial. This one required a bit more waiting time, but a very simple casting, extremely similar to the previous one. I had to be topless and bottomless for this though, only my boxers on! Another thing in castings that happens a lot and that I am very used too. Time to tense the stomach and a few quick snaps and that was another casting over. Again very difficult to read as there were no clients in the room at all. The only way to gage is by looking around at the competition in the room and try not to feel inferior to any muscle bound LA guys that were there too!
On to the last casting.

(5Th Casting for a camera company I don't know, was kept secret, Hollywood)

The final one was for a commercial for a camera company, but it was all very secretive, as we had to sign a confidentiality form before hand about this casting, something I am probably breaking right now, but hey! ha. A frustrating casting at the start as there were hardly anyone there, but yet the wait was extremely long, very close to 45 minutes. The reason being we were being paired up with someone from the opposite sex and so had to wait until more females arrived.
When it was my turn I went into the room with a girl who looked like she had been on drugs all weekend, a proper state! Gutted. We had to act like we were taking pictures of each other and doing silly poses and that was it. Relaxed, fun to a certain extent and casting over.
Again no gage as to whether it went well or not. Finally home time!

I hope that has given you all an insight into what happens during my auditions out here.

Booked my first presenting job!

I finally booked myself a presenting job here in Los Angeles! And I would never have thought I would have booked this one. The reason being is if you looked back at my post last week about "The tale of 2 auditions" and I asked which of the two do you think I booked up, you would of said the travelling trip to Asia, the one that I thought went great. Well, you guessed it, I booked the other one, for One Beat, a new online Music Channel.

This was the audition where I had a great chat with the clients, but I completely went blank when it came round to remembering my lines. But I am so grateful now that i am up and running and hopefully this will be the first of many.

It is a small job, and i could be just a one off, but as it is a new music channel, there is certainly a lot of potential there to do all I can to make it permanent. Perseverance pays off! I know a lot of people probably started to think that maybe it wouldn't happen for me in LA, and I completely understood where they were coming from, but I never ever gave up and this will give me more motivation to push harder and to ensure I start climbing that ladder fast.

The job is on Tuesday and I will have the weekend to prepare and to make sure I absolutely nail it. I want to ensure the client realises that I am a commodity to them and to hopefully be offered more regular work for them, that is the aim and that would be ideal. If that isn't the case, I will keep positive and will be able to use the footage for my reel to add to it and improve the quality of it.


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Look round Edelweiss Chocolate Store in Beverly Hills - 70 Years Old

I do not usually write about things that have nothing to do with work, but this I had to share with everybody because it was the most amazing inside into a chocolate shop. Not just an every day chocolate shop, but one that is a favorite with the biggest celebrities in the world! If you believe I might be exaggerating, well all I need to say is one name, Oprah. She adores this store and the incredible chocolates that it produces that i have to say are the best I have ever tasted in my life! Those who know me well, know full well I have a big sweet tooth.

(This is exactly what Oprah will be giving all her employees for Valentines Day this year)

Your probably thinking, OK it's cool that the big celebrities use the store, but whats so special about it? I'm right? Well, this chocolate store started back in 1942 and has been open for 70 years now. With the way the world is and the influence of "Big Business", this is quite incredible. More so is the location of the store, in the heart of Beverly Hills, home to the very rich and famous. All the chocolate is made in the store and they use the original machinery from 1942 to do this! Incredible right?

70 years on and the same machinery is still going strong today. What was amazing is that they purchased a replacement conveyor belt for their old one, but the old one works more efficiently than they new one. Same with so many old designs as they were built with sustainability in mind. The worlds changed now, as that is not a priority on products these days, as companies want consumers to continue to buy updated products.

There are over 70 different types of chocolates that are sold in the store, more than anywhere else in LA. The store is most famous for its marshmallow chocolates and its pretzel chocolates too. I have to say the "Cara mellow" (A mix of caramel and Marshmallow) is absolutely incredible and definitely my favourite so far. I plan to work my way through all 70!!!! ha ha

A truly remarkable place and I will be doing a video segment on this very soon too. It's just a great story of a family run business for 70 years still going extremely strong in today's society. I was taken back by the true generosity of the family too, for allowing us to go round the shop and have our own personal tour.

Check their website out

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A tale of 2 auditions

Today I was very fortunate enough to have 2 presenting auditions to go too. Both extremely different from each other in so many ways, and both outcomes feel completely different as well.

The first casting was extremely last minute, which is something you have to get used to in my line of work. You have to be ready to go in an instant, and fortunately for me I was today, up and about and not far from where the casting was taking place. It was for a "Travel and Culture Show in Asia". The job would be a month travelling around Asia experiencing every little bit of culture in these places whilst filming it all. What a great opportunity. This is what they were looking for:
- Male mid 20's to mid 30's (BOX TICKED)
- Out going, up beat, down to earth, positive attitude (BOX TICKED) - I think ;-)
- Good sense of humour (hmmmm will let you be the judge of that)
- Great people skills (BOX TICKED)
- Good physicality (BOX TICKED) - see below ;-)

- Strong Stomach - being able to eat different foods etc - with experience eating Lambs Tongue whilst on Shipwrecked and drinking the Fiji Kava in a ceremony whilst out there (which tasted like muddy water) I can safely say I am prepared (BOX TICKED)

As you can see the brief is extremely detailed and there was more trust me. But with nothing to prepare for, I was very calm and relaxed and just went in there feeling positive that my travel experience would stand me in good stead for this project.

The audition was in the form of an interview, which was not expected, but was very comfortable as it was just a chat with the clients about my past presenting experience etc. It went great and having so many experiences to talk about it helped a lot. I felt extremely upbeat when I left and to have the opportunity to travel round Asia for a month would be absolutely incredible. I have to try not to get my hopes up too much and to see what happens.

The second casting was for "One Beat", a brand new online dance music channel. I have known about this casting since Monday and there was a script attached which I needed to learn. I thoroughly prepared for this, learning the script off by heart and felt supremely confident going into the audition. But then...something happened and for some reason that I cannot explain, I became incredibly nervous. I have no idea where it came from, but although I knew the script I stumbled through it when it came to the right time. Nightmare! Fortunately I was given another chance and after a great chat with the clients I was ready again, stumbling again, but this time taking a deep breath and going back through the script and completing it fully. I was then given another script to read through on camera, which was pretty tricky and had to be read from the paper, but I did it OK.

Leaving this casting I had a very different feeling, one of disappointment and of letting myself down. It truly felt that way, as I had prepared, but let these nerves come out of no where on me. No one to blame, no excuses, just down to me. This was a good opportunity for me, as whilst chatting to the clients I got on very well with them and they seemed to like my ideas, however, I just couldn't nail the script when I had too.

Very much today was a Tale of 2 Auditions and should find out next week the outcome to them both.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Coping with Disappointment

Being a self employed model and TV presenter often brings about a great amount of opportunities for exciting and potentially life changing jobs that could arise. As discussed previously, I had a great opportunity for some regular work with style haul, a very successful YouTube channel. The casting for this went extremely well and I received some immediate feedback about the job. However, unfortunately for me nothing came to fruition and I didn't get the job. Complete disappointment.

Coping with this disappointment is something that I have had to get used to over the past 5 years of my life. It's quite an incredible emotion to have to deal with on such a regular basis. I think back to when I worked previously away from the entertainment industry and the only possible disappointments I could have got was being rejected a pay rise or a promotion, which may have happened once or twice in 6 years! It is very different when for work I have to regularly audition for jobs and roles in order to earn a living. This is my choice of course.

When I first started in the industry, I took every disappointment extremely personally, always looking at myself and feeling I just am simply not good enough or good looking enough for the model roles I was being put forward too. It is very tough to take and to hear criticism directly to your face. At first I would cope by shutting myself away from the rest of the world, not looking at my phone, not talking to anyone and just being by myself. It hurt, it really did.

As time went on and I gained more experience in the industry, I learned to not taking anything personally. I have to be honest, I have never completely learnt this and still often take the disappointments to heart but no where near as much as I used too. I will often look for other excuses now as for why i did not get the jobs. For example, over here in LA I often blame my English accent for not getting presenting work here. This doesn't mean I rest on my laurels. I will still aim to work hard at home to practice my presenting techniques whenever possible.

I just try extremely hard to block any disappointment out of my mind and to occupy my mind with positive thoughts and thoughts of completely different things, whether football, movies or anything. I stop shutting myself down afterwards as well and I am becoming more open about the disappointments.
Why should I have to hide away from disappointments?
Do people think less of me when I have had more disappointments?

These are the questions I ask myself and I realise I do not care one bit what people think about me anymore. If people are revelling in my disappointments, then so be it, but these people will never get close to my life, ever.

Coping with the disappointments is one thing. Learning from them is a completely different thing. But both of them together are absolutely key to being able to move forward with future aims and ambitions within the industry and to simply be able to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and move on to the next audition.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Walking around Hollywood to Castings

The one part of living out here that I love the most is when I can walk to my castings in the comfort of fantastic weather and some amazing sights. Being away from home it is always interesting to look at the scenery around new places and having the joy of being able to do this for work is even better. Plus, what great exercise too! I am currently sharing my girlfriends car if needed, but I am more than happy using my legs to get myself around. Today I walked 4 miles for 2 castings and to go to my gym. There is no chance at all I would do that if I was in London. First of all the weathers never that great and second of all the tube system is a lot better ha. One thing lacking from LA is a convenient rail system, mainly due to the sheer size of Los Angeles. But walking is always good for me especially when I look up at the Hollywood sign on my walk back to my apartment. It gives me that buzz and that feeling of being so fortunate to be in this place and also that extra motivation to succeed.

The first casting was for Chateau Denim, a contact that I found myself, which is so important out here. You need to ensure you are doing everything you can to find work from every single angle in order to succeed in this tough city. In the back of their store on Hollywood Blvd, I had to try on 2 pairs of jeans and was told I had a 31 waist and not a 32 waist! Result! Even after mas too ;-). There is a lot of potential for this job if they like me, with quite a few shoots in the pipeline with this company apparently, so will have to wait and see.

The second casting of the day, after a stop off at the gym for an hour, was for "Ballpark Franks", who quite simply enough are a big American Hot Dog company. This was a very simple casting where all they did was take a couple of pictures of me and that was it. Some are often like this and you don't get any time to chat or impress them one bit. So, if your look doesn't fit then its a case of being tough.

Home time proceeded with another walk back to my apartment to get online and start researching as many job opportunities as possible. The one thing I refuse to do this year is sit around and waste my free time. It's important to look through all of the casting websites in town and look at any possible way of getting some work, which could lead to bigger more regular things.

As they say, "I'm On It" right now.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Presenting Casting for Style Haul

LA is very much a 7 day week city, it never seems to sleep and work opportunities can show themselves in the strangest form and often at the strangest times. Late Sunday evening an email comes through with details for a casting for a presenter for Style Haul. Now, I had no idea who or what style haul was until I went on their website and YouTube channel and saw the incredible amount of hits that were accumulating on the site. We're talking millions and millions and total hits past the billion mark! It just amazed me the incredible rise of social media and how powerful it really is. The simple, but extremely effective ideas are being created and developed through social media to hit the right audience and clearly with huge success. This online fashion, styling, beauty and entertainment company was a rather successful online media. So, I started to realise that this was a big deal and that I need to forget the fact its Sunday night and power through and research as much as I possibly could for this role.

The details for the casting were pretty vague and the script was quite confusing, so I decided to create my own, mixed with the mock script given to me. Now, those of you who know me, will know that I am no fashion expert, and I dress how I want, which is often the comfortable, the simple and effective way, sometimes crossing that border every now and then if I have an extravagant urge! Fortunately for me, my other half is very fashion conscious and gave me some inside knowledge into what colours are hot for the new year and a few tips which helped immensely. As did Google. The most amazing thing ever to research anything you like, and so it was homework time for me!

The Picture above is probably one of my more out there outfits that I have worn (even though it slightly doesn't count because it was on a shoot... but hey).

Some research into the basic levels of fashion and styling and reading clearly the brief of what kind of person they are looking for, I was set and ready to go. All a bit rushed, but the brief asked for lots of personality, which I certainly brought to the table! Bubbly, friendly, out going, confident, charming, you name it, they got it all!

The Casting Itself
I was given a new script that had been changed slightly before I went into the room, which certainly added an extra speed bump in my preparation. Reading through it next to another applicant, who was a young and very casually dressed American guy. I felt suitably dressed, stylish, fashionable (well I thought so), wearing jeans, shoes, white shirt with sleeves rolled up, waist coat and a sleek red shiny tie, to add a bit of colour, energy and difference to my look. Fortunately for me this look worked as I received a lot of praise from the clients for how I looked.
"Fortune favours the brave" as they say.

In the small casting room, I was greeted by 5 people in total, 2 men and 3 women that made up the panel of the client. Sat on a directors chair facing them all I was greeted by a very very familiar accent! This immediately settled any nerves I had, as the English humour is so specific to English people that it acts as a comfort zone for me. I was asked some questions of what have I been up to, work wise etc. The answers I gave brought about a very positive response, especially when I mentioned about preparing and producing personal TV segments in my previous presenting experience. They liked hearing that I was willing to work hard and put in the ground work in order to make the show not just good, but fantastic.

Next was in front of the camera, doing a new segment that was completely unscripted called "Whats in Your Bag" This is an on the street idea where the presenter goes through a random persons bag, looking to see what people carry around with them, accessories etc. I had to just go for it and after getting the clearance that I could joke about with it all and basically take the piss, I did. I was fortunate to find them all laughing along to the segment. Phew!

Lastly was the script that I had been given like 10 minutes to read over and get stuck in my head. This was a little difficult for me, though the script I had prepared the night before came in handy and I went with a lot of that. Couple of takes and I was done and out of the door feeling very positive about myself and how it went, something that doesn't always happen after castings.

I have already received some positive feedback from my agent about how my casting went and they could be getting me in again very soon, so fingers well and truly crossed.

Its not even been a week since I landed back in LA and I have been out to 2 good castings, am back up football coaching, back hitting the gym and back feeling great.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

First Casting back in LA for JC Penny

My first casting back in LA and it falls on a Saturday! On a Saturday?!?!?! My favorite day of the week by a mile and a day that I have always seen as a "no work day". But I got over this very quickly (slightly pathetic I know). The castings in LA often have a very long brief to them. They use specific jargon to describe exactly what they are looking for or what they want you to dressed like. Below is the casting brief for today's casting:


Here is the Wardrobe brief:


Now, let me break all this down. The casting brief first of all asks to see all races, which means they have no idea exactly who they want for the job. Second of all, what does "Americana" mean??? I seriously have no idea what so ever. As regards the wardrobe, it was a case of researching these words, websites and TV programmes to try and distinguish what exactly they were after. I went for a side part in hair (something that all actors had in the programme "Mad men". And had a guess at old styled Americana with trousers, shirt and jumper. I looked smart so that was good enough for me. ha.

The casting itself was an hour wait, which was quite ridiculous considering the amount of people going into the audition room at a time. Sometimes the organisation is not the best at castings and it can often become farcical at times when models try to push in and be seen quicker and when the list of names isn't followed in the right order. Adds to the frustration at times when your trying hard to focus on what you need to get done.

The audition had a few parts to it:

1. State name and profiles to camera (the usual in most castings)

2. To cat walk side to side whilst music is playing, but smiling and having fun with it rather than a plain faced catwalk like you often see in the TV in the high end fashion shows.

3. To walk forward from the catwalk and act like your in a photo booth and getting pictures taken in different ways, cool, smiling, showing your personality off (sounds simple, but puts your improv skills to the tests and you need to ensure you drop any barriers that are holding bits in)

4. To talk about one of your most embarrassing moments. Which again was probably the casting directors way of getting to see your personality and how comfortable you speak and come across on camera.

This is an insight into the castings and what is often required when going for an audition. The most crucial thing for me and something that everyone needs to do is to lower their inhibitions, something that when I'm in a new environment I find myself struggling to do. In London its a completely different story, but here it takes a while for me to come out of my shell properly.

I'm off and running, which is the most important thing and every casting just increases your experiences and can be treated as a learning curve for the future.

(I will make an extra effort to take pictures of what I wear to specific castings with such briefs in the future, so you guys can let me know if I made a right or wrong choice)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Back in LA!!!

After being back in London for 5 months the time finally came to return back to LA, and what a great feeling it is to be here. It was great to be home in Essex with my family and friends on my doorstep and work has been fantastic too, but as I've talked about before I've always had unfinished business in LA and believe in myself that I will be able to achieve all I have ever dreamed about one day. Yes I went through hard times last year, struggling to get work out here, but I feel so much more prepared this year, I know exactly what to expect and I am a year wiser to focus all my energy on achieving my goals.

New pictures as you can see above and a better attitude this year will stand me in full stead for whats to come. Also, and extremely importantly after spending 5 months apart from my girlfriend, we finally get to see each other and build on our relationship. Something I always strongly believe that is needed in order to for other parts of your life to work out. It doesn't have to be a girlfriend, but having strong, positive influences in your life will always help you get the best from yourself. (Can you tell I've been reading some different books to my usual sport sport sport ones? ha)

It is incredible to be back and I certainly feel fortunate to have the opportunities out here. Something that I will not be taking for granted this year. Very importantly I will be taking advantage of the sunshine and the hot weather!!! ha. It's absolutely incredible! We are in the heart of winter and since I have been back the temperatures have been in the 80's (late 20's c for us English). Amazing what an affect weather can have on you.

This year is all about ensuring that I do not make the same mistakes I made last year. Prioritising work at all costs and everything that comes with it. This means getting back on a diet to reduce the heavy carbohydrate intake (no bread, pasta, potatoes etc) and hitting the gym hard and often to ensure I give myself the best opportunities to work in LA. I will be doing a bit of football coaching too to keep myself busy and active, which is made easier by the weather of course.

I definitely have an aim to take more pictures this year and to try very hard to update my blog on an every couple of days basis. So, look out for more on my adventures here, where as always I will show you all the good, the bad and the ugly side to my life.

New Year in Canada

It's been a while since my last post partly because of the absolute mayhem that's been going on the last 3 weeks! A 2 week stomach bug followed by 7 nights straight at the casino channel (something that should never be done!) before Xmas with my family and then to pack up everything and move back stateside. It started with an enjoyable trip to Canada for New Year, a country that I have always wanted to visit but have never previously had the opportunity too. So I was very excited about experiencing it, maybe less so to experiencing what temperatures that ere waiting for me when I got there! -17c was probably the peak, add maybe -5c for the wind chill factor and I was experiencing temperatures that I have never felt in my life. The term for describing being freezing has completely changed in my life after this trip.

I was staying just north of Toronto and was taken to the local bowling ally on one of the first nights! As you can see from the picture above, I tried cheating with 2 balls, even though they were pretty small! (no connotations intended) It wasn't the bowling that I was used to but fun all the same. I met my girlfriends brother there who is 14 years old and 6ft tall! But never having a brother growing up was always something I felt like I missed out on. Not having that competition in every sport or activity you play. So it was a nice chance for me to have this and I couldn't believe how competitive I got! I am kind of disappointed in myself for my overly competitive nature coming through considering I am 13 years older than him. Whether it was Bowling, Fifa 12 or Arcade games, I had to ensure I didn't lose! ha. Look below at the concentration on my face during the basketball game you get in an arcade...

It was a nice break away though for me, which has been a long time coming. Now, I'm sure a lot of you will be saying how ridiculous that sounds when I have spent so long in LA in the last year and a half, but I was there working, thinking about work and trying to get more work and not having a relaxing, stress free time. A bit different to my usual holidays considering how cold it was, but what a beautiful place and country Canada is. I was fortunate to see the CN Tower and to go up to the top which was one of the scariest moments of my life. See the picture below where I look like I'm happily chilling out lying back, when in truth I was absolutely s**tting myself as I was being held up by just glass panels (pf course which were safe, but still very scary).

The best of all for me on this trip was the opportunity on New Years Eve to drive down to Niagara Falls! One of the places in the world that I have always wanted to go to, and could not believe I had the chance to and on New Years Eve of all days. I have to say the place totally lived up to expectation and more. The falls were beautiful and completely picturesque as you can imagine. To see them during the day and then when they were lit up at night was phenomenal.

It was a perfect trip and a great way to get me started for the New Year ahead. Yes 2012 will be a huge year one way or another and I'm excited for whats to come. Next stop LA!