Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Roundup

Hi kids!

It's Amber again. I've been busy busy busy! I have a few other online profiles where you can find me now:

Most of my bookings and new videos go up at my new website:
You can find me on facebook here:
You can find me on IMDb here:
And you can hit me up anytime of the day with industry questions here:

I'm still alive and working! Much more info to come. And I really appreciate the comments. I have discovered the amazing resource and inspiration that is the Working Actress. I'm saddened that she no longer regularly updates it, but it's still encouraging to flip through her ups and downs on auditioning and bookings.

What are your goals for the new year? One of mine will be to integrate blogger/tumblr and my new website.

In the mean time here are some awesome resources for those actors just arriving to LA!

That should tide you over for now, hot stuff.
XO - Amber

Cassie Jaye is still alive and gorgeous (not that it matters how ridiculously good-looking she is). She has graduated from acting and has become an award winning filmmaker. You can see her newest documentaries here. You can find her on twitter here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I booked my first commercial!!!!!

Let me tell you about my first audition for a commercial.

I was asked a few days ago by my agent to put myself on tape for a hair product commercial. I had about 2 days to do it, but I wanted to be one of the first ones to submit to casting. I wanted to be fresh in their minds.

I'm not going to disclose the name of the product, but you will see it soon enough.

I was asked to put myself on tape, showing my hair and talking a little bit about myself, so they could hear my voice. I pondered over how I should do this all day.
I took Cassie's commercial advice, and looked up other hair commercials, most of it from the same hair company I was auditioning for, to understand the style they preferred. I noticed they focused on just the actors' hair A LOT, so I decided to showcase my locks and just smile and giggle and *try* not to feel too cheesy...

On my way home from my soul-sucking day job, I rushed to the salon, made a last-minute coloring appointment and got my hair Debra-Messing-red.
After ensuring my hair was sexy and shampoo-commercial-ready, I ran home to film myself while my hair was still.... fresh (for lack of a better word).

I had my husband turn on all the lights in our apartment & try to find enough white space to film next to, while I fretted over which shirts complemented my newly tomato-colored hair (I ended up with a power-cleavage black Tee).
We filmed me slating where I was from ("Hi, my name is Amber and I'm from Atlanta, GA. This is my audition video. I hope you like what you see!") and smiling my face off whilst flipping my hair in the most compelling way possible.
After taking about 10 shots, I felt comfortable with the last one, so we sent my agent the last 2 videos to choose what to submit to casting himself. (It always helps to have another eye!)

The next day I am encouraged to hear good feedback. They love my hair but they want more. They need to wow the head of the company. They want to use me as their "Glamour Girl" (What does that MEAN?)! I am instructed to take a longer video, flip my hair more, look glamourous, more make up than last time, more hair...

I wanted this commercial so badly.

I went BACK to the salon and paid for a $40 blow out, just to ensure my hair was SEX-Y. I thought, if I'm going to do another video, it has to look even better than the first. I have to KNOW I did absolutely EVERYTHING I could have done to one-up the other 100 girls auditioning. (I bet no one else went to the salon to ensure it's quality, much less TWICE.)

My husband (God Bless being married to an actor!) helped me choose a blue top that made my red hair stand out, and we filmed again.

Here are some of the out takes we DIDN'T submit, because they were awful. He kept messing around in the beginning and we had to goof off to keep me giggly and smiley...

In addition to the videos we took, I sent a bunch of photos from photoshoots I had done in the past to wow the head of the company (since I am out of state, he needs to triple check that I will look right on film). I also had my husband take snapshots of my hair (front, back, sides, all over!) to show them the length.

I hope SOME of this information was helpful on how you self-tape. I am by no means an expert, but in the interest of sharing my experience, hopefully this can prepare you for feeling less awkward on your next self-submission.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

While You Wait

Good news is, we have been busy.
Bad news is, we had to put blogging on the back burner.

We started this blog because we were sick and tired of waiting for something to come our way. Also, we wanted to create a community of help, advice, support and a general sisterhood attitude. We still want work and we still want to share as much as we can. Since starting this blog, I (Amber) have gotten engaged, married (yes, Cassie was my bridesmaid!) and lost my day job in Century City (Beverly Hills), and moved to Las Vegas.
Cassie has explored new work. She has since learned painstakingly how to edit digital films, bought a professional video camera and started her own production company, Jaye Bird Productions.

Now to catch you up to speed to today!

I could literally talk about how proud I am of Cassie all day. She made a small experimental short film to practice her skills as a film maker (as well as add to her reel). She made her first documentary titled "Daddy I Do" which premiered at Idyllwild Film Festival and won Best Documentary. Her short documentary on hunger in the US, "Faces Overlooked" was featured on YouTube's homepage, AND "Daddy I Do" was accepted into the oldest, most prestigeous film festival in the world, CANNES!

Getting married forced me to put acting on hold for a year. Now that I am getting my new life
together, I cannot wait to move back to LA and pursue acting and casting.

I have made a goal board this year (It's something we try to do every New Years).
Some of my goals are:
-Pay off my AFTRA fees (check!)
-Set up a home printer/scanner for resumes (check!)
-Become SAG eligible (check!) (more on how I found out I was SAG-e on this amazing blog: )
-Get a reliable car (almost have the downpayment! My last car was totaled)
-Pay off Credit Cards (half way there)
-Learn Photoshop (I have a teacher, just not a way to get to him yet.)
-Move to LA!!!!!!!!

While I was working my butt off and saving in the desert, I had more time to search for
resources to use in the future. So I made a list of books recommended
to me by working actors, CDs, agents and friends. It's always hard to find updated, RELEVANT books
on acting out there so I hope this helps! (in no particular order:)

-Desperate Networks by Bill Carter (the inner workings of how TV works)

-The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck (Acting technique by one of the most respected ALIVE acting teachers out there)

-The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor by Larry Moss (acting)

-How To Stop Acting by Harold Guskin (acting technique)

-True and False: Heresy & Common Sense for the Actor by David Mamet (acting technique)

-A Practical Handbook for the Actor by Melissa Bruder (acting technique help)

-Acting In Film: An Actor's Take on Movie Making by Michael Caine

-Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi (a great book on networking and starting your career!)

Most of the these books have been recommended to me by the fine people at the
Inside Acting podcast on itunes (it's free and if you are an actor, download NOW!)
Also a few books are from twitter followers and The Working Actress (see her amazing blog here:


PS- What are some books on acting, casting or networking, that you have read and loved?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

While You Audition - 3 Little Known Ways To Beat Not Having A "Real Job"

Are you like me, stuck waiting in between not having a "real job" with a 401k and hating every serving job you get to pay rent?

While being stuck out in the middle of nowhere (Las Vegas), I am forced to wait out the horrible economy that happens so often when a democrat is in office. *sigh* Alas, I digress...

If you want to act, but live in Nevada, (or outside of LA), you NEED to move to LA.
Sorry, but the sooner you get over this horrible, inconvenient truth, the better.

However, until then, you have to survive.

As an actress (or actor), you have to do more than that. You must be healthy, active, and continually evolving. Even while you wait under the Hollywood radar, you better be paying off credit cards, working out, or learning something useful for when you do come back.

Here is how I get around having extremely limited resources that come from not having a "real job" (i.e. health insurance, paid vacations, 401k & room for advancement):
  1. Dental Plans. Can't have a killer headshot with a jacked-up grill! Nevada (as well as other states) have dental PLANS which help you to get your teeth x-rayed, cleaned, and fixed. Dental Plans are different from Dental Insurance in that you do not pay a monthly fee, nor do they act as an insurance by taking care of certain costs. Dental Plans will allow you to see (a provided list of) Dentists. The catch is you must pay same day, you cannot bill it to your insurance, because it isn't insurance. Dental Plans give you a discount on normal procedures. I paid about $138 for both my husband and I to get the Avia (recommended to me by a friend, so that's why I chose that plan) Dental Plan. Our coverage is for a year, we can change dentists if we want (as long as the dentist accepts Avia Dental Plan, which a lot out here do) and there is no waiting period! A regular cleaning is about $70. Avia Dental Plan got me a cleaning for $16. Rates vary, but it is still very helpful. You can get your teeth cleaned, cavities filled, even get braces, at your own pace. More info:
  2. Free Clinics. As a woman, you have more needs medically. As an actress, you don't need to stress about how long you can make it without a doctor's visit. You can almost always find a free clinic to get preventative healthcare. Like, for example, get tested for STD's, HPV and pregnancy for free at a planned parenthood location. If you tell them you are unemployed or broke, they make everything free or discounted (they will not give annual exams: pap, breast exam or birth control for free, but they can make it very affordable.) I recommend also checking out your college if you are going to school, they will usually give out cheap flu shots, vitamins and test for illness. You do not need Health Insurance for any of this! More info:
  3. YouTube. Do you need to look a cut above the competition? Of course you do. I used to love going to Gold's Gym in LA. While I'm out here in the desert, I do NOT want to go outside more than I have to. Plus, I need to save money. As an actress, you need to stay in shape if you want most leading roles. is the second largest search engine after Google. Why? because people want to SEE how it's done. I constantly google quick work outs that don't require equipment. You can change it up and work out on your own time. My favorite personal trainer for quick but challenging work outs on youtube is this european chick who is actually really nice despite her Maxim-appeal:
What are some ways you have kept a 9-5 job at bay while auditioning, or waiting to audition again?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quick Tip: Camera ready

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't have much time but just to let you know we're still alive here is a quick tip for actors and actresses.
*Don't wear all white or busy prints to an on camera audition, it looks bad on camera.
Here are 2 examples from old photos of me and my man, sorry, not professional, but you get the idea. I would never wear this to an audi!!
See this fabulous-chiquita-banana dress I used to rock? You don't wanna distract from your face like this. ^
See how I blend in the white background? You will to. Chances are, you will be reading in front of a white wall.

*Stick to neutral or flattering solid colors, pink (looks good on every skin tone) blues, greens and black all usually look great. Also note unless you are a blonde you will probably look washed out in yellow. And everyone looks hung over in grey. Unless you really did get sleep the night before your big audi, avoid grey.

Hope this helps! Also I joined! If you're an exhibitionist like me, check it out, it's free:

What's your quick tip for looking better on camera?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Be happy for others, kids!

I just wanted to take a quick minute to congratulate ijustine (of internet fame. If you don't know who she is by now, wiki/google her or go to!

I met ijustine on the set of a MTV real world: The Island challenge and Buffalo Wild Wings commercial last year. She was quiet, sweet and helpful around set. We spoke briefly and she said she wanted to be a TV host, not an actress. I think that's great. She knows what she wants and goes for it. She has done a TON of online hosting, youtube videos and has a great teen following. She went to school and learned to shoot edit and make her own videos. I really respect that.
Not everyone is naturally as fearless as she is, but I just wanted to use her as an example.
She caters to a tech-loving, young, goofy online crowd. She keeps all of her work PG (that must be extremely hard, I couldn't do it.) and it has gotten her a lot of opportunities. Most recently she guest starred on one of my favorite shows, Law and Order: SVU. The episode airs in November and the rest of the info is on her video:

Congratulations ijustine! Please continue to root for fellow actresses success.
(whether it's TV, theater, radio or a news anchor, we can be supportive of others by sharing the good news!)

More updates to come soon!



Monday, October 5, 2009

Beauty on a Budget

Frugal beauty tips for the struggling actress...

One thing I've learned from my 5 years pursuing acting and trying to make ends meet, is ways to cut back spending on beauty products.

It's INSANE how much we spend on keeping ourselves "audition ready"! From expensive haircuts and highlights, to manicures, to fake tans, to teeth whitening... money depletes FAST when you're trying to look good... so I've found some ways to consolidate my beauty products budget...