7 Things I learned this year

I learned some shit this year. Thanks, 2019.

  1. Self care. It should be a regular thing. Not a once-a-month ritual of taking a bath and properly shaving my legs. Earlier this year, I had a very bad habit of getting sick all the time. And that could have many root factors and more serious issues at the core-but fortunately, I don’t think it does. When I finally started making sure that I’m getting enough sleep & started taking some basic vitamins, I stopped getting sick. And i don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been a hot minute since I’ve even felt the slightest cold. I’m also learning that it’s important to take mental, spiritual and emotional time as well. I end up spending a lot of my time with the people I care about in this world, and sometimes I put myself on the back burner. Without realizing it, I don’t give myself enough time to relax, meditate, and process things so I end up losing my shit at some point. Self care = alone time & there’s no reason to feel guilty about that.
  2. How to say no to things that just aren’t my responsibility. I’d love to be able to help everyone with everything. And I definitely think there’s something to be admired about the people that cover shifts and stay late at their jobs & go above and beyond on every project…it shows a true sense of responsibility. And grit. But, only if you have the rest of your shit together. If you’re saying yes and then overloading yourself, you just look like a dumbass & feel like a mess (aka me AF). Know what’s within your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual limits. Yes, do go above and beyond-but only when you can afford to. And at the end of the day, there’s no sense in feeling guilty for saying no and understanding your limits. The fact of the matter is: if it’s not your responsibility, it’s not your fucking responsibility.
  3.  How to say no to things you love. Prioritizing. As much as I’d like do everything and work everywhere and learn everything and exist in multiple places at once, I’ve learned to fight my fomo and make choices that align with my goals. It’s super hard and feels incredibly awful but unfortunately there’s only so much time in a day & you gotta make sacrifices in life. I’ve found that this becomes much easier when you focus on appreciating what you have from your choices rather than focusing on what you had to turn down. And sometimes you have to say no to things because you have other goals in mind, even if an absolute time conflict hasn’t occurred yet. For example, I cut back on one of my “real-life” jobs to give myself more time for modeling and acting. And within 2 weeks, I got a phone call for a reoccurring creative gig. Sometimes you gotta give the universe space to work it’s magic. 
  4. How to give people their time. It’s easy to get caught up in the fear that when people step out of your life, that they’re gone forever. Fortunately, that’s just not fucking true. It’s that bird analogy. If you love someone let them go, if they love you too, they’ll come back one day. Or you could cripple them and they’d stay forever. But that’s not the healthiest option, is it? Sometimes people need space, sometimes you need space. Most times it’s really hard to see that in the moment where the space is created. It’s very easy to just get butthurt about it. But from what I’ve learned, you just gotta let it go and realize everything’s not about you. And it’s okay to love people and miss them, but sometimes time apart allows for growth. And that’s fucked if you take that away from them. And from yourself. & even if it seems like you don’t know if you’ll ever see them again, you will. And youll pick back up right where you left off. Cuz life is good and you love each other. I’ve experienced this a few times this year with people I consider myself very close with. And our bonds are even stronger now. It’s a good feeling. Patience is a virtue. If that’s relevant, Idk if that’s relevant, it just sounded good. I gotta google that. 
  5. How to chill the fuck out. This one I’m still working on quite a bit. But there have been numerous instances where i feel my face get hot and my breath gets ready to run rampant… & then, I stepped out of the moment just long enough to let my body reset before a full-blown anxiety attack occurs. I’m a spaz. And if you know me, you know this. And this spazzing nature of mine stretches all across the emotional spectrum from depressed to overjoyed. I’m very emotional. Which is great for my craft. But it can be a little much for my real life. I’m working on my skills for controlling my emotions so they don’t control me. Yoga and meditation have helped a lot. But I also have to give credit to my amazing supportive boyfriend. I think he’s gotten a lot better about dealing with me and my anxiety. And his efforts and greatly appreciated. It’s easy to say the wrong thing and get me really spiraling out of control. However, & especially lately, he’s been really good at reminding me to check-in with myself and take a fucking breather. And he does so in a way that doesn’t make me feel ashamed of myself. Which is important. But also, sometimes for this lesson, I just gotta smoke weed and chill TF out. 🤷‍♀️🤣
  6. Just make your own cool shit, damn it. I’ve literally been fighting these conforming feelings all my life. It’s been an ongoing battle & slow af understanding of the concept of balance when it comes to falling in line with society & culture, & just doing my own damn thing. The beauty of it all is that I can stick it to the man as much as I want, but if want to exist in a specific community, I have to somewhat play by their rules. As an artist, to break into the creative industry, you have to make some sacrifices. Unfortunately, some of these sacrifices have included quality and story-telling. Quite frankly, I’m just over that shit. I know I have to be somewhat flexible, but I just can’t sacrifice good quality content anymore. I’ve been very fortunate to make some really good pieces this year, but I’ve also found myself reflecting on some not-so-good pieces that I’m honestly just not very proud of. And it was enough for me to learn that it’s time to focus on story-telling and if that means just collaborating with other broke artists, then so be it. Returning my roots here cuz I just can’t eat the sugar-coated bullshit & flavorless kool-aid any longer. I don’t want to be praised for my shitty work. And i don’t want to make shitty work anymore. I guess I’m just done with selling out. Even though I haven’t really sold out that much or I wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck 😂
  7. Family first, bro. I’ve always truly valued family and that includes the people in my life that I consider “my people” as well. My boyfriend, his family, all my close friends from FL and growing up, and a few good people now that I’ve added from LA. I’d do anything for them. This is not a new lesson but more of a theme this year and something that I was reminded of. I’m a very ambitious person that can get caught up in my goals from time to time but it’s important that I take time away from all of that to just be supportive for my family and my people. Boundaries are important too, but at the end of the day, all of these arbitrary numbers and physical achievements I’d like to reach don’t mean shit if I don’t have my people by me when I get there. So if that means stepping away from those goals for a few days to be there for the people i care about, so be it. Fuck it, man. I love my people and I love my passions. A happy balance can be found as far as lifestyle choices go but when your fam needs you, they need you. And when you need them, they’re there for you too. 

Cheers to fucking up! Can’t learn anything if you don’t screw up in the first place. Hopefully these lessons really sink in my head for 2020. I’m looking forward to making new mistakes, taking bigger chances, and going on more adventures! Wish you all the same!

-K xoxo

LApocalypse Series: Entry One.

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A little bit of a late post here, but I worked with one of my favorite photographers (Carrie <3 ) again & worked on some concepts that align perfectly with my "LApocalypse" photo-series! It was an amazing, beautiful, fun, long day shooting together with help from our sidekick, Andrew!

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It was such a great day hanging out with awesome creatives & playing with guns & smoke bombs. And by playing, I mean, safely handling. lol. lol but really.

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How about this awesome fucking shot? Carrie is a visionary and a magician!! She made me levitate guys!!! One of the coolest shots I've ever seen!!

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Oh and "fake" smoking some cigarettes too.

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There were literally so many awesome shots that it was hard to pick which ones I wanted to use for the blog!!! I'll be posting other ones/repeating favorites on instagram as well so be sure to check there if you just can't get enough, like me!

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I'm so pleased with the all the photos we created & she even through together a LApocalypse video!!! It's always such a pleasure working with Carrie and Andrew- I hope we get together for another fun project soon! <3 <3 <3

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Afterwards Carrie was way too generous and bought us dinner & drinks at an adorable Mexican restaurant with great service, drinks, and food- I'll have to get back to you on the name (gosh, I'm the worst). But the burritos and margaritas were bangin'

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Almost forgot to end the set with the classic Carrie shot to wrap it up! lmao Love her so much! Don't forget to follow her on instagram too! @cafrancesphoto

Also below is one more quick cool little vidoe she made where you get to see a little BTS action!

Long Beach can’t handle us.

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TLDR: I've made a friend in Long Beach! & She's also from FL too ;p Look at us being all cute playing dress up & taking pictures! Follow her insta to see more!!! @_enyastewart

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Once upon a time, I did background work for a commercial at the Long Beach aquarium & I met this lovely lady named Enya! Come to find out that we both live in Long Beach & don't have any friends down this way. Three cheers for Long Beach loners!

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But now, we have each other & this is just one of the many shoots/creative projects that we'll be throwing together!

All of these were taken on our iPhones & on location... at my house in Long Beach lol

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Also s/o to @emily.norcia for unknowingly providing us with wine for the night because she left it in my fridge lmao <3

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Gotta throw in this mirror pic with completely different outfits because this was the reality of the night & omg it was so much fun!

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Also s/o to the Huji app..if you haven't used it & you like goofing off like us, you should. It will rock your world.

We didn't have to buy anything or spend any money on this shoot & I am extremely happy with our shots!

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Thank you @_enyastewart for the super fun night & newfound friendship!!! Looking forward to more creative adventures in the future!!!

Bad girl’s club ;]

TLDR: DIY photoshoot night with one of the baddest babes I know ;] Thanks for all the hot pics beautiful @xxhannahwhitingxx <—follow her on insta


Super-overdue hang out sesh/slumber party with my girl @xxhannahwhitingxx <3 The day started with me driving up to her neck-of-the-woods & helping her record some slate videos (something that’s now on my to-do list)…naturally, this turned into us grabbing some deliciously unhealthy and completely satisfying food from the taco stand across the street from her apartment.

Then, she introduced me to a fabulous thrift store called “Out of the Closet” where I snagged some excellent pieces for a photoshoot I’ve got coming up & a nice light green JCREW button down for my bf! From there, we grabbed some Shock Top, picked up Jekyll, and headed down to my place.

And finally, to round out the night, we indulged in some of favorite our favorite bad-girl activities including…eating Domino’s & contributing to the cowspiracy...

[[S/o to my fans that watched me seductively eat pizza from the beginning in a @stepdadfla music video]]

… &drinking Coca-cola & slowly killing our bodies and the environment. (But it sure is delicious, especially if you splash it in whiskey!)

And the main event for the night…playing dress up & taking pictures!!! I’m so happy with how these turned out! & I can’t thank Hannah enough for these amazing shots that we took on our iPhones! She also introduced me to an app called Huji which has the filter we used when we took these pics!

Photo credits: @xxhannahwhitingxx

Wardrobe styling credits: @xxhannahwhitingxx

Make up artist credits: @xxhannahwhitingxx

We definitely got some super cute pics of each other but it would be nice if we could take some more together! Any photographer friends that want to collaborate on a fun shoot with us-hollerrrr!

Looking forward to seeing her again & (no doubt) shooting with her again! It’s always a good time with my Hannah girl, I’m so fortunate to have her in my life <3 What trouble shall we stir up next? Here’s a clue…bubbles will be involved! What kind? Not tellingggg!!! Better check back next time! =p xoxo, Kelly

The Reality of Self-taping!

TLDR: Self-tapes can be annoying or they can be fun-up to you. You’ll enjoy acting more & book more work if you have fun with it and make it professional!!!

  1. It’s a self-tape. At the end of the day, traditionally, you need some kind of device to film you, a tripod, some kind of lighting that makes you appear somewhat like yourself, a blank wall/backdrop, two copies of your sides, and another human being to act with. YOU NEED THESE THINGS. I’ve done self-tapes without all of those things as well multiple times, but if you actually want a decent self-tape, it requires these things. So figure it out. I have a cute little “creative space” nook that has two big windows and I’ve left the third wall completely blank. I have a stool and mutiple chairs and a stack of boxes where I place my tiny little tripod-attached to my old iphone (camera device)-directly on top (adjust number of boxes accordingly). The one major thing that I’m usually lacking is another human being. Eventually my nook is going to be upgraded with a real tripod, a fancy camera, a ring light/professional lights with those umbrella-thingies, a few different colored papers/backdrops, a sweet-ass microphone, soundproofing capabilities, and a desktop Mac with all the latest photo/video editing capabilities…oh, and a bomb-ass bean bag chair. (s/o to Emily and Conner for bean bag inspo!!! I’m on the hunt for a good one!)
  2. It’s an audition. You have to be prepared for an audition. That means, read your freaking sides, memorize your freaking sides, learn wtf is happening in the scene, what’s your relationship to the other character, blah blah blah. Do your homework. Your “reader” shouldn’t be doing all of your homework with you. If they are a good friend & willing to work with you through all of that-s/o to them. But no one should ever expect someone to do all that with them. I would definitely consider asking a friend/partner to help you “read” or “rehearse” as a separate favor from the “help me record an audition RQ” favor. This also means deciding what you’re going to wear and how you’re going to do your hair/make up beforehand, if that matters. Separate. Favor. All of these things can take some time.
  3. It an audition! Auditions are good things-things to be celebrated and appreciated! I have a tendency to dread auditions. It’s starting to grow on me, though. In this industry, especially if you’re new to film, I think you have to learn to love auditioning. Coming from a theatre background (where I worked with a lot of the same people) I didn’t have to audition very much & I was never really excited for my auditions…unless I actually took the time to prepare a fun bomb-ass monologue. Sometimes monologue auditions are just so much freaking fun. Anyway, the reality of this industry is that, as an actor, you’re going to have to audition a lot. In fact, that’s your job. Your JOB, as an actor, is to audition. And audition. And audition. Charles Howerton (s/o to Charles-what a talent & joy to work with!!! <3) told me that at a hysterical staged reading of (the hilarious and extraordinarily well-written) The Five Dollar Shakespeare Company By Matthew Leavitt (s/o to Matthew Leavitt for inviting me into your theatre family and trusting me with your art) at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood (also s/o to Jamie Zwick for thinking of me for that project & getting to work with you again!!) Learn to love auditioning because, whether its a theatrical monologue for your favorite show or a self-tape of sides for an unpaid-student film, it’s an opportunity to act! Which is great, cuz that’s what we love to do right?!
  4. Don’t be a lazy actor that just thinks about your performance and nothing else… Kelly. Get creative with your filming! This is your little movie, your little self-tape. Obviously, it has to be appropriate to what the script/audition calls for and the performance is what we’re trying to showcase here, but-you’re setting up the scene. You and your partner will work out focusing the camera and all that jazz…but you don’t have to just sit or stand and deliver lines. You can add some blocking & definitely you should figure out your eyelines if you’re looking at other shit in your scene. And editing! I mean, please do not go crazy with editing, but if the audition calls for slapping stuff together, slap it together with your flare. I had an audition I did by myself because all I had to do was repeat one word a bunch of different ways & the way in which I specifically put different deliveries of the word next to each other in post is what helped make it funny. Did it have to be funny? No, but I saw an opportunity there so I ran with it.
  5. Not-doing self-tapes means not-booking gigs. You actually have to do all of the above and submit on time in order to get the freaking gig. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say that to anyone, but unfortunately, I have to say it to myself, so it makes the list. I don’t know why I normally like in-person auditions way more, but that’s changing. I have let so many of my self-tapes just slide on by me without even attempting to tape them. What a dumb broad. Self-tapes are super popular nowadays-nobody cares if you don’t have a place to shoot it or if you suck with technology or you don’t have any friends-figure it out, truth is, none of that is probably true anyway. A lot of productions have (at least) their first round of auditions online through self-tape. In reality, that means no driving through traffic, no getting your shift covered, no spending money on gas and parking-so appreciate that, and just do the damn thing.

You don’t have to have the fanciest equipment or set up, but you do have to have some kind of set up & if the script calls for another character you need to have another person (none of that do-it-yourself-and-leave pauses/reaction-facial-expression-moment-to-add-lines-in-by-voice-over-in-imovie-later nonsense. Yes, I’m guilty of that.) If you actually prepare and get on board with another actor, it can be a really fun process! So if you’re like me & you’ve been being a total brat about self-tapes, get over yourself-call a friend, have some fun & book some work, bitch!

@cafrancesphoto appreciation post! <3

TLDR: Carrie is an amazing artist & beautiful woman that took these incredible photos of me up in the Angeles National Forest (where we even found a waterfall) ! 🙂 Enjoy the pics & more projects to come! Follow her insta @cafrancesphoto & here's her website https://www.cafrancesphoto.com

I met Carrie after one of my performances in "Time Stands Still" at the Lounge theatre. Almost every night I had to rush right to work afterward so I didn't get to meet many people but I'm really glad I had the chance to meet her! We exchanged contact info & she reached out to me about a little collaboration project involving a fairy/witch/nature-inspired type aesthetic photoshoot up in the Angeles National Forest! I was really excited to get some great shots with Carrie and enjoy a little nature adventure but the day absolutely surpassed my expectations!

I also got to meet Andrew, a friend of Carrie's that helped us out during the shoot! He was super sweet and helpful and carried everything including lights, my boots and towel, and even me at point when I was trying to get down from this tree lol... & he brought this sword that made me feel like a bad ass!

Today I met up with Carrie at an adorable little restaurant called "Aroma Cafe" in Studio City & we chowed down on some yummy ass food! I got the breakfast quesadilla! (I'll have to do a separate post on "Aroma Cafe" next time I go there. So good. and so cute! Very Key-West-ie!!!) Sitting down one-on-one with her was so nice because-well, first of all, she's just the sweetest thing ever-but I really got a better understanding of her artistic view and deep appreciation for women, actors, artists and all human beings in general. She's so creative, kind, respectful, and inspiring-I'm really honored that she wants to include me in her future projects!

There were so many great shots-I still can't believe we found this waterfall!!! Carrie and Andrew were so patient with me even though my eyes were super sensitive in the light and I was a cold little baby in the water lol

I really just had so much fun hanging out with both of them & making some cool photos! & what an amazing nature adventure!! And look at all these fairytale pictures I have to add to my portfolio & make me feel like a real-life princess! Thank you so much guys <3

Also, did I mention, Carrie is hilarious & so much fun! Apparently this shot here is a tradition in her creative photography process! hahaha I love it!

Follow her insta @cafrancesphoto & here's her website https://www.cafrancesphoto.com