Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A day in the life of me! - no day is ever the same



I had a couple of requests recently asking me to describe what a normal day for me over here in Los Angeles consists of. I will try my best to do this, but people need to realise that not one day here is the same as each other. Working as a model and tv host, or even an actor, days can often change so quickly and you need to ensure you are completely flexible to adapt to any changes that may happen. For example, I have just booked a job in Vegas, which I found out about a few days ago. I was due to fly out today but the shoot has been delayed for 2 days, so I have to just adapt to this change and make the most of the delay (if possible). I will try my best to describe a more regular day here.

MORNING

8:00am - 8:30am ALARM
- Now I have a very loud and annoying alarm I must admit, but I am afraid to change it incase I don't wake up, as I have been known for this in the past ha. Often I don't need to get up this early, but I find myself getting lazy if I just wake up when I wake up. It wastes the morning which i always feel is the most productive time and when I am at my most energetic.

Breakfast
- Worryingly my breakfast used to consist of 2 slices of toast with butter, and this was every morning. Some mornings I wouldn't even eat breakfast, neither particularly great for you. But now I have a bowl of cereal, healthy cereal (if what they say on the box is true!), and not forgetting a cup of tea! Yes, sticking with my english roots and will not go a day without one. None of this starbucks or coffee bean mentality, just sticking to a nice cup of tea!
- During breakfast I will catch up on all the news back home, reading the sun website (don't judge me) and also catching up on all my sport on the skysports website too. This is a morning ritual for me. I will also respond to any messages from friends or work messages and emails that may have come in too. Thrilling hey?! ha

GYM
- After breakfast, if I haven't got any castings in the morning I will head straight to the gym. It is a 15 minute walk to the gym from where my apartment is here in Hollywood. I have to say its a nice walk down the hill, past the Capital Records building and the W Hotel, also past the Pantages theatre too, so its very enjoyable. In I go to the 24 hour fitness on Sunset Blvd for my workout.

(People that know me most know that I am not a gym freak, I certainly like to eat my food, whatever form it comes in ha. But I am looking after myself when I am in the gym, so will give you an idea of what I am doing right now. It's a bit different due to my recovery still from my knee operation last year).

- 45 minutes to 60 minutes on the eliptical trainer. A tip, to make sure I stay on there and for the time to pass faster, I link my ipod up to the screen on the machine and watch 2 episodes of a tv show that I have on there. Often Inbetweeners, Entourage or 24. This helps me concentrate on that, rather than the hard work my body is actually doing.

- 10 minutes on the ab bench - routine of mine to differ my leg positions and I do 450 crunches in sets consisting of 50 reps. (No lie - it sounds a lot but it's not as bad as you think, just keep your mind occupied)
- Pull ups, so good for your body, using your own body weight to your advantage. 3 sets of as many as I can, usually no more than 10 as they are solid! ha. After a set of pull ups I will do 12 tricep dips, and then hanging ab work. Its like a mini circuit to work on different muscle groups.

- After recently learning how to do jump rope (or skipping as we like to call it), I incorporate that into a circuit again to work on a variety of muscle groups. 2 minutes jump rope, and I am getting better at it!
I do Bicep curls with a low weight but high repetition of around 36, varying the exercises on this.
I will do shoulder presses, again with low weight, high reps of around 50.
Press Up's of about 20 - 30 and varying the positions and use of equipment to adjust this throughout the sets.
AB work, which includes the Plank and work with the medicine ball including the 'alphabet' exercise and other great ball work.

This circuit routine will usually take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how strong I am feeling ha ha.

- Sometimes I will finish with a 15 minute sauna to relax and have a sweat out!

- After my 15 minute up hill walk back home, looking up at the Hollywood sign which mesmorises me everytime I see it, I will have a protein shake, something that only in the last month or so I have started to incorporate into my diet.



LUNCH

- With my effort to take away bread from my weekly diet, I have started to vary having a chicken breast with cucumber and a Tuna salad as my lunch. Not that exciting, but again is the healthy choice.

Castings or Job Hunting

If I have a casting of course I would be preparing for it, whether thats picking out what I need to wear to match the description or learning lines, this would be the time for that.

However, if I don't have a casting then my day will be completely clear. It is so important to fill these days off, as it's not a holiday, or a rest day. Often I will go online and search through websites for at least a couple of hours, looking at what jobs are out there, whether presenting or modeling, or if something different comes up that I like the look of. I will scan through old emails, keep in regular contact with my agencies too and ensure I am responding to everyone I need too.

House Chores

I know my Mum and my Dad would not quite believe this, but I am the one doing all the housework at home. Yes the cooking, cleaning, washing and washing up are all my duties! It makes sense, as my girlfriend is out the apartment a lot with her work, and I have a lot of free time often, so its important that I do that. Plus, it keeps me occupied and stops me getting lazy and playing football manager or tiger woods or something (I might play them on occassions...;-))

DINNER

Preparation of dinner for the two of us. Varies between something adventurous, like salmon, small dutch potatoes, with salad and a pesto based sauce (woooooooo), or could be spag bol, or pizza, whatever is in the freezer or fridge ha ha.

EVENING

One thing a lot of you won't know about me is how tired I get in the evenings. It really hits me after dinner and I will often do nothing but chill out completely in the evenings. I am completely into my basketball at the moment and my evenings are now filled up with some bball action. I am a huge Lakers fan now, not sure if you have seen my tweets on twitter, but they are becomming more and more like my Arsenal ones ha ha.


You can see that my mornings and middle of the day are a lot busier and a lot more happens then rather than at night. I guess its the routine I have slotted into at the moment. I walk the dog during the days, which gets me some regular fresh air, which is important on weekly days off, when everyone else is working. I also do soccer coaching 3 days a week too, which adds more much needed variety to my schedule. But any day could change as quick as a light switch and I always have to be prepared for this to happen. Time for me to pack for Vegas now! Oh I didn't mention it earlier! I will do in my next post.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Confidence in Castings in Key



It's been a really quiet couple of weeks since booking my first presenting gig and I am just finding myself waiting for the channel to launch and for everything to start flowing. That is a dangerous mentality and something that I needed to snap out of quick! After a cancellation of a bit of work, I found myself extremely happy with that as I had 4 castings to go to on Friday. As I discussed previously, castings in LA can be frustrating and it's something that I have needed to put to the back of mind. After a few words from my agent here, I realised that instead of complaining about them, I need to change my attitude towards them and just go for it. Let my personality shine through, so the clients can truly see who I am.

Somnetimes things work out and after a schedule change in my favour, I was free to go to the 4 castings, and felt a flood of confidence come through. I was keen to make the most of being around and to ensure that I make the most of the castings. To feel confident like that is such an amazing feeling. When you walk into a room and you really don't care who else is in there, as it is all about you. Focussing on you and the task in front is so important and I truly had that. Yes its getting deep again ha ha but these are things I truly am starting to believe in a lot, and all that "positive energy" that people often talk about too. It works.

The castings seemed to go well and involved the usual routine here to go through. No complaining, I just went for it and I have to say there were some fantastic casting directors as well, who really got the best out of me when I entered the casting room. It is very important to have a good relationship with the casting directors, as they are absolutely key to success here.


All in all, a successful day was had.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My First Presenting gig in LA - DJ Locator



On Friday I had my first presenting gig here in Los Angeles. I have been looking forward to this moment for a long long time, something that I have been striving for since moving out here. On Thursday night I had the script sent through for the project and found out what exactly I would be doing and presenting. I had 2 scripts to prepare through as the DJ Locator. Simply enough telling people where big DJ's will be playing during each week. I started to panic slightly as the script was pretty long, but fortunately it would be on a TelePrompter.

Recently I brought myself an IPAD 2, one of the main reasons was that a friend of mine told me about some teleprompter applications. Perfect for practicing the script. It's also perfect for preparing for future auditions and to be able to practice my presenting skills. This is something that is absolutely vital in order for myself to improve as a presenter. So, the script was loaded into the app and I spent the evening practicing it and trying very hard to feel natural in front of the teleprompter. The key to it is simply looking like your not reading anything, and when you are unfamiliar with the script that is very tricky. I had to make sure I was suitably prepared, but not over prepared.



So, there I woke, 7am in the morning, barely slept at all, partly because of nerves and excitement, and partly due to my 3 lbs dog literally pushing me off the bed all night! Ready quickly changed and then time to look over the script once more. I was actually feeling a lot more confident and ready to go in the morning, which is very different to many others. I arrived at the studios, a smaller studio in Burbank, which is just north of Hollywood, and walked straight in and met the director and producer of the channel, who I saw when I first cast with them a couple of weeks back (see an older post). They were so nice and friendly at the casting and were extremely welcoming when I met them here.

I sat down straight away and had to go over the script with them as there were changes they were making to it. Bare in mind this was my first job where I have had to prepare an actual script to read fluently, word by word too. My previous presenting experience has always been unscripted, which many say is harder, but for me chatting s**t I guess comes naturally ha. We worked our way through the 2 scripts and made it a lot more fluent, so I was comfortable reading it. Hair, Make-up and styling time next, yes I said make-up! Fortunately it didn't take too long this time, its always a personal worry when you are sat in a make-up artists chair for longer than 5 minutes! Hair was messed around, but eventually looked exactly the same way as when I turned up to the studio ha. And clothes wise I was in a white shirt, black tie to start with, but very casually worn.



On set, the crew were ready and waiting and were all very friendly indeed, that's when you know its going to be a good day. I met the client on set too, an interesting guy to say the least, but someone that I knew when I got on his good sign he would be great. And that's exactly what i did. Now those of you who know me, will know I like to have fun, laugh and joke around a lot, especially when I am working. I always want that mix of fun and serious during shoots or whilst I'm presenting, as it makes time go by better and helps create a great atmosphere to work in.

It took a lot of time to get going, as the production team were sorting out the correct camera angles and lighting for the shoot. For me, there was an added awkwardness to the script and that was graphics! Doing 2 things at once has never been my strong point, ha ha. I had to fake that I was pointing to a location on a 3D map and twisting a cog to move to another location. It was tricky at first, as we had to ensure the timing was spot on, but finally got the hang of it after "TAKE 10" ha. That was the part that I had to get used to, the number of takes we were going through, and to make sure I didn't get myself down if I slipped up at all, though it wasn't always down to me I might add! ha. We got there in the end then a change of outfits to a t-shirt, jeans and jacket look and script 2 was flown through, much more efficiently than the first one and that was my lot! First job ticked!!!


After I had finished, which was just before lunch, I wanted to find out more about the channel ad simply enough find out what my prospects were for more work. Fortunately, I didn't have to bridge the subject, as the client straight away spoke to me about my plans to stay in LA and the fact that he wants me for a weekly installment and also the opportunity to travel on location! I was so excited, but played it cool of course when he told me that! The locations I was talking about in my script were, Santiago Chile, for the Lollapalooza festival, England, Germany and Montreal to name a few! How amazing if I got to experience some of these places as well! So, the future looks bright, i just need to ensure I keep looking at other opportunities because you never know whats round the corner.


The One Beat Channel launches on March 1st and will have the link up and running as soon as I know it. I'm sorry the pictures have no relevance to the job, as waiting for them to be sent through, it just helps break up the post! ha - ENJOY