Author Archives: admin

Wedding Ideas For The Christmas Season

Wedding ideas for a Christmas themed wedding is bound to be very interesting and fun. Think of walking down the aisle dressed in a truly festive attire and enjoying a wedding reception that is filled with all of the comfort foods associated with the season. Think cinnamon and spice, think mistletoe and berries, and best of all, think of a horse drawn sleigh on the way to the wedding venue.

The Invitation

It must be understood by all brides that Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year. Respect the coordination and travel of the guests who are coming in from out of time. The best time to send out the invitations, both email and slow mail is about eight to ten months before the actual date of wedding. This gives all guests enough time to coordinate their Christmas schedules, their travel arrangements and their accommodations. Reflect the theme of the wedding with artwork on the invitations like snowflakes, hollies, poinsettia, or a Christmas gift box. The number of months may be found extreme by many, but this is the maximum amount of time to warn the guests of the upcoming wedding.

Horse Drawn Sleigh

The horse drawn carriage is one of the favourite ways a bride is to arrive at her own wedding. However, this is a wedding set during Christmas so think about a sleigh ride instead of a carriage. Both the bride and the groom can arrive at their wedding reception after the wedding. This is not only a romantic idea but is the perfect setting for a romantic wedding picture.

Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice

There is no Christmas without cinnamon. Now think of a wedding set during the Christmas season. Imagine the wedding venue, no matter where it may be, smelling of cinnamon and spices. This is a warm spicy aroma that can comfort anyone and everyone attending the wedding. The wedding decorations can include cinnamon sticks wrapped with the flowers bound with ribbons that reflect not only the festive spirit of Christmas but the motif of the wedding as well. Think of burgundy, lace and tinsel wrapped around cinnamon sticks and fronds of mistletoe overhead. This is bound to set the romantic mood in place.

Mistletoe and Berry Decorations

The wedding venue and reception venue should reflect the mood of the Christmas wedding. Start thinking of garlands of pine interspersed mistletoe, berries, fruits and cinnamon sticks. The combination of attractive colours and aroma of both fruits and spices will definitely set everyone in the mood for romance and fun. Add some fairy lights entwined among the garlands to finish it off. For a final touch, add some warm coloured velvet ribbons to give the garlands a more formal and yet festive look. Create decorations on the table and buffet centrepieces that make use of the same materials, but this time, add votive or aromatic candles that should be lit once the couple arrive at the reception.

Wedding Party Favours

There are so many ideas for a wedding party favour. Think sweet and stylish that everyone would love to keep with them. Think of Christmas ornaments that have been personalized to document the wedding. Print the name of both the bride and groom on the ornaments so the guests can hang them up on their own trees at home. Another great idea for party favours are the Christmas aroma candles that can be brought home and lit when the guests dine on their own Christmas table. Tie tinsel ribbons with a sprig of holly or pine to make it look more in theme. Attach a thank you note with every favour to avoid having to hand write all the thank you notes after the honeymoon.

The Recap

Wedding ideas are all over the internet and wedding magazines. If expecting family and friends coming in from out of town, think of a group accommodation to house all of the guests. Also prepare for transportation for them once they are in town. The wedding should be treated like the traditional wedding fairs of old to reflect the holiday spirit of the wedding theme. The Christmas theme should be fun and traditional so plan it well ahead of time to make the whole affair as stress free for everyone as possible.

Classic Spring Wedding Ideas

Spring is a season of imagination, so you could match the most vivid colors together and let your wedding full of brilliant spring feeling. Here I will share 6 hottest spring wedding ideas for 2011-2012 spring season.

Pink themed wedding

Pink may be the most common color in spring season, so the first classic spring wedding idea is to use pink. After the wedding, you could send your guests colorful candy that packed with pink silk ribbon, or present heart shaped candles to the guests. Remember, to make your wedding most impressive, you should consider use fresh flowers along with the gifts.

Light Green themed ceremony

Can spring go without green? Of course, not. So for your spring wedding décor, you may use light green table cloth and match it with bright colors and create a garden like ceremony. Also, using other color, like light purple, chartreuse for decoration is a decent idea that most brides will like.

Yellow themed styles

After you decide the main color for your wedding, you could design a logo for the ceremony. Of course, the logo should include the main wedding color, the wedding styles. Most importantly, you can use the logo on the wedding invitation, photos or even the signing book.

Sky Blue themed ceremony

Besides pink, green and yellow, spring wedding idea could use sky blue as the main color. And may be the bride could wear darker blue dress, and the bridesmaids wear the same colors dress yet with different styles.

Green themed styles

If light green is not your taste, green color could also be used as the main color in spring wedding idea. Green wedding dress, green shoes, flowers matched with green plants. In words, any green décor are welcomed in your spring wedding.

Dark blue themed wedding

Elegant ceremony could be easily decorated with dark blue color. The bride could choose white gown, and the bridesmaid all wear in the same dark silk dress. To match the dark blue, some similar colors, like light blue, powder blue, etc. could be used to your wedding.

What to Look For in a Good Headshot

Ahhh. This is an interesting element to being an actor. And its odd that the resources out there to help us navigate the chaos are little.

Knowing what a good headshot is is like knowing when to shelve those high-waisted mom-jeans. It is a trend that is as changeable as any you read about in fashion magazines. Black and white shots? Or color? Horizontal framing? Or traditional vertical/portraiture framing? Full-body shot? Or 3/4? OR tight in at the face? Glossy printing or Matte? Border or no? Name on the front?, etc., etc.

And how much should you be paying for said photography? What’s expected of you in the session and what should you expect from the photographer? Do you go for a glamourous shot of yourself or a more candid, snapshot? Knowing what to do once you’ve taken that photo and have the print/disk in hand can be equally illusive and frustrating. Do you get postcards? Do you choose one photo or go for 3? Do you put one image on the final print or 4?

Today (early 2010) a good NY headshot should be in color, clean, simple, head and shoulders, with bright, clear eyes. I say NY, because the demands seem to differ slightly between NY and LA. So, as I am an NYC actress, I am going to stick with what I know and let the LA readers provide any alternate info through comments.

Now, regardless of what style you go in for, one of the most important factors in a headshot is that it looks like you. I know that must sound pathetically simplified. But you’d be surprised how many people don’t understand this fact. If you run out and get a make-up artist to completely glam you up like you were going to the Oscars, and sit in front of a photographer who over/under-lights you, then you finish up by having a retoucher remove EVERY blemish you have and over air-brush your skin, then your photo is not going to look much like the person who walks into the audition room. This is a number-1 pet-peeve of all casting directors and agents. It completely defeats the purpose of a headshot. All a headshot really is is a quick, visual reference for the casting director or other industry person. If they come across your photo and like what they see, how do you expect to get to the next level with them if you walk into the room looking like a completely different human being. Trust me. It is a complete waste of EVERYONE’S time. Not to mention your money.

Here are some pointers I’ve learned from personal experience that may help you the next time you are in the position to get a new pic:

Do your research!

Don’t just go with the first photographer you see. Or the one with a celebrity on his/her website. That doesn’t mean anything. Look at your friends photos. If you see one you like, ask your friend about their experience. This is important. Primarily because someone can have a pretty good shot, but it took 4-hours to get and the photographer was distracted and unprofessional. Look online at as many photographers as possible and mark down the one’s that you like in your gut. When you have it narrowed down to say 3 or 4, make an appointment to meet them. You can tell a lot by meeting them face-to-face. If you have ANY reservations at all, they’re probably not the photographer for you. In general, as an avid bargain-hunter myself, one of the most helpful things you can do to secure the best overall experience when you purchase any big-ticket item, is to CROSS-REFERENCE! Ask around. If you are in a class, ask people about the photographer. Google them for reviews. Luckily today there are reviews about everything so chances are you’ll get a good idea of whether it was a good experience to work with a given photographer. You can ask other industry professionals, but beware that some agents and such get a commission (percentage of sales) for everyone they send to a photographer (same is true for acting coaches, vocal teachers, classes, etc) so they might not necessarily be 100% objective.

Lastly here, photographers range from $200 – $1600. The old adage “You get what you pay for” does apply when it comes to photography. But so does the fact that actors are some of the most exploited people on the face of the planet. It costs a fortune to be an actor. But, just because a given photographer comes with a high rate doesn’t mean they’re any good. And, on the same note, if you find a photographer that is your dream artist but comes with a hefty price-tag you should save up every penny and go for it. If they’re good, then you’ll spend less on retouching and the picture itself may last you anywhere from 2 – 5 years.

So. You have your dream photographer. What next?

Wedding Ideas for Spring: Best Tips for Having the Spring Wedding of Your Dreams

Spring is the best season to tie the knot, because it is one of the most romantic times of the year. There are many great wedding ideas for spring that the bride would absolutely love. They say that nature is reawakened during this season. The flowers start to bloom and the grass begins to grow again. It is the perfect season to say ‘I do’ to the person you love, it’s a wonderful new beginning for any couple.

Wedding ideas for spring include location. There is something special about being outdoors in the spring, the weather is pleasant, the scenery is beautiful and everyone seems happier. That is why so many couples choose to have garden weddings during this season. You are surrounded by the vibrant colors and smells of nature. For a less formal wedding, it is a perfect blend of romance and simplicity. Another great outdoor venue is the beach. Beach weddings have been growing in popularity, because they are always fun and relaxing for everyone who attends.

Colors are also very important for this time of year, spring is a season that is full of wonderful colors. There are so many to choose from for a wedding theme, they range from bold vibrant colors to light pastel colors of all shades. Get ideas from nature, take a look at all the beautiful flowers in the spring and use them to create your own wedding color scheme. Remember, since it’s spring there is no need to hold back or use muted colors, go with colors that really stand out.

Since we are getting inspiration from flowers, let’s not stop at using them to pick out colors. Spring brings us so many beautiful flowers, it would be a shame if it were not a focal point of the wedding. It should be used to decorate the entire venue for both the ceremony and reception. Beautiful spring flowers include daffodils, which are popular because they can blend well with any color combination. Tulips are also preferred since they come in almost all colors. There are many more spring flowers to choose from such as primroses, roses, magnolias, daises, iris, and lily of the valley. It wouldn’t be a proper spring wedding without a lot of flowers.

Food also comes to mind when thinking of wedding ideas for spring. There are so many wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that are available during the spring. The menu should reflect the light and refreshing spring flavors. Serve your guests dishes that are full of wholesome fruits and vegetables, they will enjoy a meal that is less heavy yet still delicious and perfect for this time of year.

Wedding ideas for spring are pretty straight forward. Just take a cue from nature, it’s easy to simply look around you and get inspired. There is a huge shift happening when winter rolls into spring. Take full advantage of all the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the season. Whatever ideas you come up with, having a wedding in the springtime is sure to be delightful.

How to Start Auditioning

Auditioning is a process you should master a habit of today. This will be something you will have to do over and over until you reach the point you no longer have to be prescreened. A-list actors enjoy this perk stemming from their success. There are ways you can start auditioning like a professional yesterday. Auditioning is your job as an actor.

Before you even begin auditioning you should figure out the medium you want to work in. As an actor there are so many places of employment available doing a range of many different types of roles. If you’re into film and voiceover work, it’s best you have your journey in LA (That’s were most “Studios” are located). Commercial acting odds are increased in either LA or NY. New York City is still the Mecca of theatre.

You can pursue any genre in LA or NY but your chances are increased for the medium if you go were the majority of work is for that medium. It only makes sense. Some professionals may argue that. Like theatre, although you can pursue it in LA, NYC would be the place to prosper. Every sector has a prosperity zone, go live in that zone were the odds are increased.

Another plus to theatre actors is that they have the world, there are traveling theatre groups, cruise ships as well as Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway in NYC. Television Actors you have a choice, daytime television LA or NY, Primetime television LA or NY. But Film, film is still prosperous in LA. LA can tape year round ‘on location’, so it only makes sense. So step one would be living in the zone where your medium of choice is more prosperous and plenty.

Now that we have this figured out the next step is to have a professional headshot and resume. You should have a headshot that shows you off on your best days. Try to keep it simple with clothing and make-up choices. You want to come off as an intriguing blank canvas to be used in a production. Attract casting directors, directors and executive producers to you with a headshot that turns heads. Be the best ‘You’ in the headshot.

There are plenty of photographers in your town or near your town. Do you have a friend with a good ‘eye’? Well have them take a nice photo of you and get it enlarged to a 8×10 [nothing larger or smaller than a 8×10]. Since your just starting out, there is no need to go crazy and get a glamour photo session. You just want to get ‘started’.

So let’s assume step two would be to get a headshot of you to start marketing. What’s the next step?

Now… you have to get work. If you have no prior work, get started! Join a theatre group; you can start in your local theatre house or community center, most theatres host independent acting classes and theatre groups, visit them and find out what they offer. [Soyouranactor.com has a free directory of theatre groups in NYC] You can also get started by doing extra work. Join websites like actorsaccess.com, NYCasting.com and actorsfirstny.com.

Actorsaccess.com is a free to join site [pay per submission] that hosts casting breakdowns for LA, NYC, Toronto, Texas and more. If you’re in NYC you can join actorsfirstny.com for free casting breakdowns for film, theatre and some industrials in your inbox weekly and/or daily. There is also nycasting.com or lacasting.com that is affiliated with Central Casting, the biggest background-casting agency in the USA.

NYCasting.com also known as ‘Castings Network’ is a monthly subscription site but if you visit a Central Casting office in LA or NYC you can get a free profile on the Central Casting part of the website. The free profile will be mostly major primetime television and film casting breakdowns.

The ‘free’ Central Castings profile will host a digital picture of you; with the pay membership you can post your headshot. A NYCasting.com or LACasting.com profile without visiting Central Casting offices will get you breakdowns for web series, independent and student films and some television; principal and non principal roles.

Please visit centralcasting.org for specific hours you can visit. There are special days for Sag and non-sag, men, women and minors. Craigslist.com under ‘gigs’ in the ‘talent’ section is also a gold mine for major casting breakdowns. Be aware of scams though.

Once you live in your acting medium city of choice, get your headshot taken and reprinted on 8×10 sheets and accumulate theatre and/or film/television/commercial credits you will then be able to tackle bigger principle roles. Start preparing for your principal roles by taking classes for your medium of choice. If you’re into film take film-acting classes, theatre, take theatre-acting classes and so on.

If your not acting, be studying acting and preparing for your principle roles. Do meet ‘n’ greets with industry professionals, seminars, free acting related classes and keep auditioning. The more you do the better your odds of success.

You’re profiles on actoraccess.com and nycasting.com will land you auditions. The more you submit for the higher the amount of auditions you get. Keep submitting, keep submitting and keep submitting. That’s the first step to auditioning. Everything else mentioned in this article is just laying your foundation. Bonne Chance!

Fundraiser Auction Entertainment Ideas – Portrait Photos and Boothomatic

Three of my auction fundraisers this past year have had professional portraits offered on-site. The photo offers guests a remembrance of your benefit auction. Portrait photography works especially well for charity auctions which tend to have co-workers attending, such as corporate and hospital foundations. Guests look spiffy, so the photos show employees in their best light (all the better, considering those photos may show up on the company intranet).

This auction idea works for four reasons:

– The activity allows company departments and smaller teams of co-workers to have their photo taken together, which is a nice touch.

– A photo with a traditional background seems more professional with your co-workers than, for instance, a backdrop of Las Vegas.

– The photos allow for more flexibility later, such as if the company’s foundation wanted to include a photo of the work team in an issue of the company newsletter, or even in a proposal for a prospective client.

– When individuals have a portrait taken, the finished headshot can be used for business cards or on the external company website.

Near the entrance to the silent auction is usually the best location for the photography station. The photographer will show guests where to stand and offer basic instructions to capture the best angle and shot. For group photos, the photographer often takes a hands-on approach to ensuring everyone is in the photograph. Guests are given a photo, often housed in a cardstock black frame.

The developed photos are displayed on a table near the check-out area so guests can take their photo as they leave. Photos with groups of people are developed multiple times so each person in the photo can take a copy home.

In short, this is a good activity for fundraising auctions. The big perk is that you can use those photos in a multi-purpose way long after the event is finished.

A second photo option for charity auctions

I read an article from BizBash’s newsletter entitled “The Photo Booth That Can Capture the Whole Party.” http://www.bizbash.com/newyork/content/editorial/16574_a_photo_booth_that_can_capture_the_whole_party.php It talks about a new portable photo-booth AKA, the Boothomatic which rolls around the party, enabling guests to take photos wherever they might be.

After reading the short article and checking out the photo, here are my immediate thoughts as to whether the Boothomatic would work in a benefit auction environment.

My immediate thought is that this is something for a younger crowd. I can see as where Generation Y or Generation Z would totally get into this! But I don’t envision most of the guests at my benefit auction (age 40+) comfortably jumping in front of the booth without encouragement from an outgoing photographer.

I’m still unclear after reading the article as to whether a photographer supervises the booth. If he does and if that photographer is a gregarious type who can comfortably corral guests for photos this would work. But if the booth is not supervised, my crowds would ignore it.

In many hotels, the Boothmatic would work fine. But if the auction is to be held in an unusual facility such as a historic home or even an outdoor garden, I’d consider alternative forms of entertainment. You’ll want a venue (and a floor!) that allows the booth to roll unencumbered.

I love that photographs of the event are available for download from a website! They also offer customized packages. My only concern is that once again some of my less savvy older guests won’t understand how to download photos from a site. Those same guests *would* take home a photo of themselves if it’s printed onsite, but they would be less likely to check a website in the days following the gala.

The price in New York is apparently $2500 for a 4-hour rental. I don’t know NYC rates well enough to gauge if this is in-line with other forms of photo entertainment or not. But given that there are no printed photographs available to guests onsite, I would hope that the Boothomatic would be less in price than something, say, like portrait photography.

Copyright (c) 2010 Red Apple Auctions LLC