Hellooo. Thank you for the comments, FB messages and emails in response to my request for how I come across on this blog and/or your impressions of the blog!! I drafted that post, dumped it and then wrote it again. Because I knew that I was dropping my 4/1 revelation and I wanted your impressions without that new information in the mix. It was a window of opportunity that I could never get back and I’m glad I went thru with the post. I really do appreciate all who took the time to share thoughts.
I moderated the comments in the feedback request post so you could feel free to say what you wanted. I might use some of the descriptor words, without your names, in personal marketing material. I never planned to publish the comments and still won’t. I was going to address some specific questions and points that were expressed, but decided I’m not going to do that either. I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m singling them out, even if I don’t mention their name. My general response to the variety of questions is that I don’t have plans to quit blogging at the moment. My attention is divided by other things in play, so posts have been fewer. Plus the issues with fit, quality at many stores, blah blah. It’s just not inspiring.
I has answers! to what I think some would be asking if after 6.5 years — a headless blogger (me!) revealed her face last year and more recently, her occupation. Well, when I started blogging no one signed up for anything with their ‘real name.’ So I didn’t. You didn’t sign into apps with your Facebook profile. You didn’t link one thing to another. Heck, MySpace hadn’t fully waned in popularity. And people still read email. The times were different.
Gigi is a nickname that we used around the house so I signed up with that, had fun going around fashion blogs in Blogger and ended up starting a blog. At the same time, technology was growing exponentially and the types of acting jobs I went out on/booked started requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Sometimes there were NDAs, but not often. There has always been the unspoken understanding and etiquette that you simply didn’t talk about jobs until the product and/or finished project was released. For those of you who thought I worked in law, defense or something else requiring a high degree of confidentiality — I applaud your imagination, but I’m not hiding any secrets on that level.
The prevalence of NDAs in the acting world has increased in the past few years and as social media grows, the more the corporations crack down on what they want revealed or not. In the past couple of years, I’ve heard of a number of actors being fired from jobs for posting about their gigs on social media. Social media has greatly changed the acting industry, and the blogging landscape. Headless bloggers became fewer, thousands of blogs died and everyone started signing up for apps and websites under their ‘real names,’ At the same time, as social media has grown, I’ve needed be even more private about work. Sometimes I have to sign a NDA before I’m allowed to audition or even see a script. Secrecy involving scripts has been the norm in the film industry for years. I was surprised to see the practice extend to almost all of the jobs I work on — commercials, corporate industrials, print jobs.
Agent: You have an audition for a car commercial!
Me (thinking): BMW? Subaru? I would wear something totally different for each.
Me (out loud): Cool!
Agent: You have an audition for a special project! It’s a big campaign.
Me (thinking): Campaign for whom? Doing what?
Me (out loud): Ooohkaaaay.
These days, there are a good number of times that I don’t know even what company the product is for, but I go any way, hoping I’m the right look/talent/height/voice for what remains a mystery until I arrive, until the callback or til forever. Because sometimes we audition and the information is never released to us. Particularly if the project “goes away.” Which means they decided to scrap the concept, re-wrote the concept, maybe they got a celebrity, or perhaps are going to shoot in another state/country, etc… We don’t always find out why a project goes away. But like I said, I’m all hopped up to audition for things when I don’t even know what they are. It can be an odd existence.
I never ask for details. I just decide what I want to wear based on what they’re asking for e.g. business woman, 25-40 and try not to worry whether it’s for a startup, an established company, or any of the other variables that would influence how I approach the audition or what I wear to it.
As far as this blog and before social media dominated, I simply decided to not say anything about my work. Period. And keep that way until I decided otherwise. I’ve checked in with my agents once or twice/year, letting them know that I’m still blogging and how it’s progressing. We always discussed whether I should reveal myself or stay anonymous. At one point we were talking about how the neighbor was finally revealed on Home Improvement. For those unaware of the 90s show, the neighbor character only talked to Tim Allen’s character over the backyard fence. We only saw his eyes on each episode. For years! He finally revealed his full self during the final episode. Although the reveal was cool, it would’ve been kind of cooler had his full face had remained a secret. Once the Internet arrived, he would’ve been identified of course. But until that point, someone would have to read his name in the credits and pull up microfiche in a library to find a photo of him.
My life (all of our lives!) continues to change. I continue to learn more about blogging/social media. Trends continue to change rapidly in the blogging world and in the acting world. These are factors in my blog content. I decided to go to BlogHer 14. I’ve taken other seminars online. George designed my logo last year (banner at the top). I made a website design change the year prior. We’ve all seen the change to blogs in the past few years. I’ve just decided to keep doing things the way that work for me and do new things on my own time. My site could be slicker and more visually appealing, but I haven’t had made the time to take that on yet. Many of you notice that I haven’t gone down the path that newer “fashion bloggers” have taken. In some instances I don’t even have the option as in I’m not being given c/o (free) products. I work with affiliate links to monetize, but no sponsored content. I’m sure my being a headless blogger prevented inquiries about partnerships.
In the past 2 years, I’ve been very busy, behind the scenes, debating the sponsored content route, if I should make efforts pursue it and if so, how. I’ve often debated doing outfit photo shoots. Not a simple capture of my gear like I do from time to time, but a full on shoot. Long ago I learned that doesn’t speak to me in a way that requires the effort it needs to make those photos happen. I do so much prep for auditions/jobs, plus the fitting room pics (I usually take a min of 100/per time I try-on) that I don’t feel like kicking leaves in the street to get a cute shot of my gear. Not putting anyone down who blogs that way. It’s a personal choice. We do what works, right? I tried a shoot in the woods and it was arduous. I left in tears, hated and never published the pics. At any rate, I do hope that fact changes in the future. I expect that at some point you’ll see me laughing at my toes while standing in front of a brick wall. It’s on my blogging bucket list. lol And even if I have the opportunity to Do Some Big Time Things with brands, I hope to keep my voice in tact.
I has more answers! But after falling asleep trying to write this at 1:30 am this morning and now being late to pick up my nephews & niece for a spring break day with them, I have to go. Hope you continue to stick around as I share. And review, of course! Ok. I can’t resist. I will address one request and that is review other retailers, please! Girl, I know. I want to review other retailers. I think about going to Loft all the time. At least I can bop over to Loft, right? I have unpublished photos from J. Crew, Loft and Macy’s. Hundreds. I have huuundreds of photos from last year that didn’t make it to reviewland. I’m still trying to get the Crohn’s/anemia thing under control to get more energy. If I can get more energy, I’ll be able to manage my time better. And hopefully share more reviews and tons of content like you’ve seen from me in the past.
ETA: I forgot to answer what I think another big question might be: Why share now?
As blogging and social media has changed, I’ve watched bloggers get jobs that actors (I!) used to get. Regular tv commercials (:30, :60), video product reviews by bloggers — which are essentially commercials, print ads (I do those, too), voiceovers, hosting gigs and more. There was a blogger on Dancing With the Stars! Companies and shows want us to bring an audience now. Bloggers got gigs because they have an audience. Now, the need for social media has trickled up to the higher levels where the most talented actors aren’t getting series regular roles. Well, that’s always been the case. Talent is not always the deciding factor. Now, the actors with the highest social media presence sometime win jobs over others. The fame seekers are having a field day. If you can build up followers, even if they’re only following because you show your butt (or whatever that girl is famous for), you can get work. And lots of it. To me, fame has always been a byproduct of being in a visible job in entertainment. It’s not something that I’ve pursued or wanted to pursue. Quite the contrary. Once everyone see stars getting coffee and pumping gas because They’re Just Like Us, it’s difficult to separate those images from roles in tv and film. Not being a fame whore has probably kept me apart from some opportunities, but I am able to sleep well at nite.
Oddly, I thought of shutting my blog down a number of times because I was concerned that it presented multiple conflicts for me. Other times I thought it could help me, career wise. I vacillated quite a bit, but blogged consistently because I love it. I love acting, too, of course. One of the downsides is waiting to be chosen. Feeling like I don’t have control over whether I’m hired. I don’t have control. Shooot, I don’t even have control over whether I’m called in for an audition or not. I can only do things that increase my chances and not drop out of the game. With my blog, it felt like something I have control over. If I write, I can publish. Or choose not to. No one is deciding whether my writing is worthy for publishing or not except me. I can share as much or as little as I want. It’s been a comforting illusion of control. But trust that I have never assumed I’ve been completely anonymous. Anyone can be found. All the while I’ve been watching acting & social media converge and instinctively knew I had to make a choice. Last year after an actor friend told me that he was asked, on an audition, how many social media followers he has…I realized my future step was undeniable. Share. Share what I do. I can’t control the outcome, but I can combine my career with blogging and see what happens. And here we are.
Ride with me.
Ooh, and thanks for all of the music recs on Instagram!