Learning an Accent

Learning an AccentConvincing and correct accents are an incredible way to expand your potential as a performer. However, where do you even start? With around 6,500 languages in the world and each with their own dialects, it is pretty overwhelming. Don’t let that stop you. Here’s how to do it!

Know Thyself

What roles are you landing? What roles are you auditioning for? Chances are there’s a through-line. Isolate that and you can isolate the accents that will serve you best. Do you do a lot of Shakespeare? Aim your sights at the dialects of England. Are you a fan of Chekov? It’s time to finally master your Russian.

Popularity Contest

Next, find out the most widely spoken dialect of that language. The more common the dialect, the more likely it is someone from that country will speak it, meaning the accent is far more valuable in the performance sphere due to its high percentage of usage.

Jump In

Now it’s time to start practicing. With language, the best teacher is immersion. Watch videos of native speakers. Listen to their songs. Mimic how they say things. Do this every day. In addition, find your trigger—a word or phrase that helps you immediately jump into that accent.

Find a Teacher

Once you’ve nailed the accent as best as you can manage on your own, find professional help. This is typically in the form of a coach but can also be someone you know who has the dialect you’re aiming to master. Either way, you now have immediate feedback from someone able to hear the flaws you don’t. After that, it’s all about repetition. The sooner you can speak the accent without thinking about it, the sooner you can add it to your list of talents.

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The Portfolio Building Job

The Portfolio Building JobNo matter what industry you work in, you need a portfolio. This collection of your ability to successfully perform work related to your desired profession is how employers decide if they want to give you a chance or not. With the right jobs, you’ll be able to entice anyone to give you a call back.

The Job

A portfolio building job, though it may sound like something for beginners anxious to flesh out their portfolios, is actually something that anyone at any professional level may take on. It is a job that you use as a stepping stone to hone a skill you want to improve for your resume. Typically, these jobs put you in a role that is easier than what you’re used to, but the skills it provides increase your personal value.

 

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How to Goal Set

How to Goal SetArt, engineering, medicine—every professional achieves greatness in their field due to goal setting. But what does that even mean? How do you set goals that lead you down the path you want to take?

The End

Before you can even hope to get to your destination, you have to know where you want to end up. Pick out what you want your endpoint to be. It can be as grandiose as performing at the Grand Ol’ Opry or as simple as landing a paid gig. Don’t limit yourself but don’t pick something that would be so intimidating it causes you to quit before you start.

The Middle

With the end in mind, next, you need the major, achievable steps along the way. The easiest way to do this is to work backward. If you want to sing at the Opry, you have to be a country singer. If you want to be a country singer, you have to be discovered. If you want to be discovered, you need an agent. If you want to get an agent, you have to apply. Now you have a fleshed-out roadmap. It may not list all the details (such as time frame), but it gives you achievable goals that logically lead to one another.

The Beginning

Now it’s time to start. What is the first goal that will lead you down your path? Go after it starting today. Be sure to always remain flexible. While you might not land an agent immediately, you could land small singing gigs here and there. These then culminate in a portfolio that makes you desirable to an agent resulting in a pick up later. In the end, there are many paths to your goal but they all lead to nowhere if you never take that first step.

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Accessorizing for Winter

Accessorizing for WinterIf you love accessories, you no doubt love winter. The only season where it’s acceptable to wear your entire closet for each outing, there’s practically nothing you can’t do. Here’s how to make the most of your winter wear wonderland.

Haute Hats

Any fashion is a good fashion when it comes to winter hats. So long as the color scheme and material match the rest of your look, you can wear whatever you’d like. Bucket hats are perfect for those felt pea coats while wide brims compliment tighter-fitting warm wear. For those that enjoy hats as accents, look to match the hat and the purse so the style carries over regardless of if you’re wearing a coat or not.

Stylish Scarves

Another accessory that completes any winter outfit is the scarf. Thick or thin, scarves can be as useful or as decorative as you need them to be. When paired well, this piece of clothing will tie the entire outfit together, meaning you’ll want to invest a few different options, including neutral colors and loud prints.

Nice Necklaces

Necklaces are a fantastic way to add sophistication to any outfit, especially when so many winter tops tend to be nothing more than a single color. If the top has no neck, wear a collar necklace to add some flair and style. If the top is a turtleneck, pendants are the best option.

Glorious Gloves

Gloves are a must in the colder regions. When deciding which ones you’ll wear, take a look at texture, style, and color. Like your scarves, gloves can be statements or they can be classy accents that help bring out other parts of your outfit.

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2019 Men’s Winter Fashion Trends

2019 Men’s Winter Fashion TrendsThe fashion votes are in and this year’s men’s winter wear is all about being loud and proud with bold, stylish choices. From neon to velvet, this season is one of the most versatile.

True to the Trench

Trench coats are back in this season after taking a short hiatus from the front of fashion. However, instead of making sure yours is fitted to your form, opt for oversized. This year, a fitted form is achieved by adding a belt to the waist to create shapes.

Perfect Puffers

Along with the trench coat that is classically long, puffer jackets are also back in force. Unlike previous iterations where the jacket was designed to end at the waist, the current design runs long, hitting the knees or feet. Colors are not limited and neither are patterns.

Bold in Black

Sometimes called funeral suits, it’s all about foregoing color in favor of a tailored, all-black ensemble. While loose look can be rocked, that is much harder to pull off than one fitted to your unique form. If you’re looking to really make it bold, aim for unique materials, like velvet.

Very Velvet

Speaking of velvet, this timeless material is back in force for suits. Purple, brown, blue, and even multicolored options were sent down the runways this season. However, you can’t simply wear a small splotch. If you choose velvet, you have to choose everything in velvet, save the shoes.

Noticeable Neon

When not in a professional setting, load up on bold, bright neon. Pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets—you can wear an entire neon suit and you’d be the height of couture this season. That being said, the real secret lies in choosing patterns that use big, block colors together. Avoid small, subtle patterns.

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Winter Fashion Trends

Winter Fashion TrendsThe leaves are almost all fallen and pumpkin spice is giving way to peppermint. Fall is quickly on its way out, leaving winter in its wake and the new fashions that come with it.

Casual Capes

While capes are often delegated to fashion eras long past, they occasionally make their way back to the forefront and this winter is it.  Aim for a heavy, warm material with muted colors and patterns. Browns and blacks are favored as well as a length that runs to the knees or hangs longer.

Cascading Coats

If capes aren’t your thing, no worries. Long coats, nearly dragging on the ground, are a perfectly fashionable option. The best part is that the coat design is completely up to your preferences. Like a lot of buttons down the front? Prefer belts? Maybe you like a lack of clear clasps. All are ideal.

Perfect Plaid

Plaid is rarely ever out, per se, but when it’s in, it’s in. Skirts, pants, and full suits are all being crafted using this timeless pattern. Whether you enjoy bold patterns or conservative colors, any type of plaid is acceptable. That being said, don’t be afraid to dress yourself in business suits of nothing but this pattern.

Tempting Tulle

For all of those holiday parties, look to invest in tulle. Though certainly not to be worn as outerwear, this material is a great way to show off a soft, feminine indoors look that won’t get too stuffy if the heat is running on full blast. Color-wise, pastels are always a safe way to capitalize on the look’s natural softness.

Boss Boots

Motorcycle boots are back. Cycling through fashion every 10 years or so, these staples are fashionable regardless of season or vehicle choice. They can also be as decorative or as subtle as you want. Tall, short, buckled, or bare, there is no going wrong with this black boot.

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Great Gifts this Holiday Season

Great Gifts this Holiday SeasonWith the season of gift-giving fast approaching, it can be overwhelming trying to come up with gifts that everyone will appreciate. Worry no longer. Here are the best guidelines for gifts.

Gift Cards

Arguably the most priceless of all gifts, gift cards are the way to go when you don’t know what to get anyone but want to make sure they find something they like. The only research you’d have to do is figuring out what stores the receiver visits. For a special treat, find out places they’d like to visit but don’t and gift them a truly decadent present.

Happy Hobbies

For friends you know more about, buying a gift that compliments what they’re really into is a wonderful way to spark joy. Do they have a dog that they adore? Find them a doggie collar they might not otherwise buy themselves. Do they host wine-tasting parties? Get them a unique bottle opener that can also serve as a point of conversation.

Inspired Creativity

If you’re a handy person and often create stuff, crafted gifts are always a holiday favorite. The first step is to simply decide what it is you like to do then extrapolate. If you’re a chef, put together some special spices or dry meals in a jar. If you knit, make cute winter wear. Nothing is more special than a gift that clearly took time and effort to make.

Useful Usuals

Finally, if you find yourself at an absolute loss as to what to get people on your list this year, pick something useful. Everyone uses pens or pencils. Magnets or sticky notes or coffee mugs are all things people use on a daily basis. As a plus, you can always personalize these and use them as a marketing tool.

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Skin Care for Healthy, Glowing Skin for Winter

Skin Care for Healthy, Glowing Skin for WinterWinter comes with many exciting things, from holidays to cozy evenings in front of a fire, but what it doesn’t bring is fabulous skin. No matter where you live, the cold does nothing but wreak havoc on the pores with its harsh winds, low temperatures, and dry atmosphere. Don’t be the victim this year. Take charge and keep up your healthy, glowing skin.

Drink Water

Hot cocoa and eggnog are only a few of the decadent drinkable desserts that flavor the season but it also means we drink much less water. Unfortunately, this is no way to keep that radiant glow. Though you don’t have to cut those winter favorites, be sure to remain diligent when it comes to downing the only liquid that will keep the skin supple and hydrated.

Moisturize

Winter is notorious for being the driest season and nothing makes skin look blander than a lack of hydration. With water working from the inside to counter this, it’s up to you to provide exterior protection. Moisturizers, especially those with vitamin E, replenish the lipids, or fats, found in skin cells that help them hold healthy shapes. The better those microscopic bits look, the better you look overall.

Get Outdoors

You can certainly achieve a glow with a bronzer, but nothing looks better than a natural glow. Though it’s tempting to stay locked inside all day, remember to get outdoors for at least 30 minutes. This will promote circulation and increase your personal glow, something that can’t be bought in a store.

Oil Up

Before heading to bed, wash your face and then apply either almond or coconut oil in a thin layer on whatever amount of skin you want to keep supple. This oil locks in your natural moisture while providing you with a healthy shine.

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Building Your Brand

Building Your BrandWith social media dominating every market, the term “brand” is inescapable. It’s what your presence is. It’s what you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. It’s how you make yourself marketable and profitable. But how does one even go about building this seemingly amorphous concept?

What Is It?

A brand is how the world perceives your business. Sometimes it’s their perception of you when you are the brand, like Tyra Banks. Otherwise, it’s a company, like Amazon. It’s your look, it’s your style, and it’s your reputation.

How Do You Build It?

While the task of building a brand can seem Herculean, it’s important to remember that the easiest way to begin building one is to start. A lot of brand creation lies in the process of discovery and you can’t achieve that until you begin uncovering things in the field. That being said, here are some steps you can take to research where you can pick your starting point.

What’s your mission?

Why are you doing what you do? What are you hoping to achieve? Craft a mission statement for yourself and you’ll have crafted a cornerstone from which to build the brand. The clearer the statement, the easier you’ll be able to figure out what works for your brand and what doesn’t.

What’s your voice?

This aspect is often overlooked but should always be given a lot of consideration. How you communicate with the world, from the language you use to the hashtags, all work to build your voice. Though this may take some practice in terms of development, once you find this, you’ll have built the framework around your cornerstone.

What’s your pitch?

Finally, develop your pitch. In ten words or less, why should people care about your brand? Nail this and the only thing left you’ll need to truly make your brand shine is time and perseverance.

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Acting Audition Etiquette

Acting Audition EtiquetteAs an actor where personalities are a huge part of auditioning, etiquette becomes an extremely invaluable toolkit. It teaches you where to draw your line so that you don’t go too far and ruin your chances of landing a part.

Do Your Research

Read the play. Get to know the casting director. Study the production company. Then take this information and use it to craft your resume. Preparation in theater is an essential skill directors expect their actors to have. By doing this for the audition, they’ll see potential in you and respect for the craft.

Show Appreciation

Whether you’re called back for a role or not, always send a response to any email you receive. Didn’t get cast? Thank them for their time. Invited back for a second showing? Thank them and confirm the meeting. Appreciation goes a long way. It is a quick way to recognize that they didn’t have to go out of their way to contact you but they did. It also paints you in a positive light for a potential future audition.

Follow Directions

If you’re asked to arrive with two monologues and a piece of the play memorized, show up with those requests fulfilled. It might seem like common sense, but there are actors out there who believe they can simply show up to every audition and wing it. Nothing will make a casting director throw away your resume faster than purposely ignoring their simple requests.

Be Polite

As with most auditions, you’re going to be sitting in a room of other actors and actors are, if not anything else, very talkative people. However, talking all the time can really pull people out of their pre-audition routines. Assume that most actors in the room with you want to be left alone to focus and throw out nothing more than a polite “hello” before preparing yourself.

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