Actors

❤ Digital

How To Make Magic Happen In Front of The Camera


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Tamika Doubell + Modelling Tips
Photo by Kevin Ruth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy a lot of modelling in my time. I’ve done work for clothing, lingerie and swimwear brands across South Africa. I’ve done work for hotel groupstelevision shows, automobiles, photography student projectseditorials and beauty shoots. I’ve been to Top Model UK in London as well as shot for fashion events in New York and Johannesburg. I remember my first “gig” was modelling a Phillip Treacy hat for a fashion event and I was very nervous. But after 3 years in the industry, here are some basic guidelines I can give any aspiring models. There’s no hard and fast rules, but these may help you.

Cara Delevingne Quotes

+ Take comfortable clothes

Photoshoots take a long time to set up. Arrive in comfortable stuff that’s easy to slip on and off. You’ll be wearing it while they do your hair and makeup. Soft button-up blouses work, as do easy tracksuit pants and slops. You’ll change into these for lunch break and when you go home. As for what to wear underneath; nude bras and nude g-strings are a safe bet. Make sure you know what you’ll be modelling because if you need a backless bra, you don’t want to forget it!

+ Pack low-calorie snacks

Believe it or not, you get really hungry posing! It’s stressful finding the perfect position for lighting, as well as to show off the garment in the best way. You’ll want to have water and snacks nearby to see you through the day and to keep you in a good mood. You don’t want to be grumpy because you’re hungry, do you? Nice ideas: nuts, fruit, salad, crisps. Bring a kitbag with all your stuff in it.

+ Have a few stock poses you know you look good in

This is work and time is money. You can’t waste everyone’s time figuring out how to stand/sit/lie in order to look your best. All women know their “good side” and what angles work best for them. This is a strength. Play it up. Before you arrive on set for the shoot, practice taking photos at home in different poses figuring out your best side and best poses. Be aware of what shows off your assets and the clothing/jewellery/make-up/product in the best possible way.  Use the timer on the camera or ask someone close to take of you. Of course if you have some experience in front of the lens, you’ll have a good idea of how to “pose” already.

+ Bend your body into positions that dont feel natural

Usually the positions that don’t feel natural are the ones that make us look the slimmest! If what you’re doing feels weird on set, it probably looks great on camera!

+ Have your headphones and good music on your cellphone

Setting up takes time. You’ll find yourself ready with clothes and makeup and have to wait. You’ll be waiting for the photographer to sort out his lighting. You’ll be waiting for other people doing the shoot with you to be ready. Either way, you want to keep upbeat and positive. Having good music and headphones with you is a must.

+ Get lots of photos while you work

It’s always handy to ask someone to snap you working. This is good for your morale and great for your marketing down the line.

+ Don’t do anything on social media while you work

Remember, there’s no rush to post anything anywhere there and then. Rather be professional on the day and concentrate on the job at hand. Any “update” can wait until you get home. It can wait until the job is over and you have time to sit and update on your social platforms, as well as interact with your audience.

+ Always credit your photographer, make-up artists and hair stylist

When you post the photos, it’s important to credit the photographer and the make-up/hair stylist. If they have social platforms, link back to them.

+ Make sure you’re within your contract

Legally  you may be unable to post the photos or say anything about the job until the campaign/film/photoshoot has been officially “released”. If it’s a big job, you usually sign a contract with the company to keep everything secret until they say you can release stuff to the public. That makes sense.  Keep professional and wait until it’s okay to release your stuff. This includes behind-the-scenes photos and photos with fellow artists/performers/models.

Blue Bikini + Blonde Hair

Blog

What is Your Truth? (Part One)


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Firstly, here's what it's not

In my acting classes at the New York Film Academy, we were often taught about embracing our inner truth. I never understood the concept. I originally thought it was just an acting thing! My teacher was strong, loud and confident. She was sure of herself and what she liked and didn’t like. She had so many stories about her days in acting class with Bradley Cooper! She was in touch with an incredible inner “knowing” of who she was. It was a core strength of utter authenticity. Over and above her clothing, there was an X-factor. It transcended a 1 dimensional existence. It was mesmerising! It was attractive! I wanted it! As the months rolled on, I threw myself into her teachings and soon came to a total understanding of the word “truth”. It wasn’t just an acting thing, it was a human thing. I ‘got’ that if we could learn to be free in our own unique footprints, we’d be so much more victorious in every day life.

So what is “Truth”?

1. It’s Not a Brand

If you’re going to try and contain your inner workings, human psyche and organically fluctuating creative spirit (also known as being a human being) in a box labelled “brand”, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

When it comes to business, there are things to a brand which must be in place. They are super relevant and should be well-planned. But publicists globally have now started a trend toward extending that concept to the personal human being. To be honest, I did enjoy reading the Personal Branding for Dummies article on developing your private brand!

Personal branding has become a huge money-making realm. Coaches in it teach us to:

+ calculate every part of ourselves precisely.

+ manipulate ourselves to portray a desired “angle” to the public at all times.

To me, that’s not branding. That’s a forced existence. It also opens up the can of worms of living for others. Can we be free in our own thoughts, feelings and emotions if we are living for others?

2. It’s Not Boxing Yourself In

Why do we have to harness the expansiveness of the human spirit to limit it to a specific way of being?

– a logo

– a colour scheme

– a fashion style

– a haircut

– an attitude

– a music taste

– a behaviour

– a profile on a social platform

I believe in giving people the freedom to come and go as they want. I believe it’s everyone’s right to decide how they want to do stuff. I personally like innovating constantly. I believe its a good way to be effective. When we box ourselves in to do certain things, we shadow the multi-faceted prism of human nature. We run the risk of putting a blanket over our natural glow which changes all the time. As individuals, we aren’t a business. We have an ebb and flow of likes and dislikes. We don’t have to box ourselves in the way businesses have to.

A Brand is the “design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers.”

– Wikipedia

3. It’s Natural Distinction

We all like distinction. But we must remember that we don’t need to do any work in trying to be distinct. As humans from totally different backgrounds, countries, personal histories, families, religions and cultures, we already are distinct. We can simply stand in that. We don’t need to try harder to stand out more. We are already individual just by being here. No one else has our story.

I wouldn’t be looking at this topic if it hadn’t come up as a theme in my own life. Many people ask me about how I crafted my “brand” and I have no idea what they mean. I’ve always gone with the flow of my spirit and what it likes, when it likes it.

The whole idea of personal branding highlights the importance to me to draw the distinction between being human and being a brand. It’s my belief we should do away with the pressure of “branding” ourselves if we’re ever to live naturally and freely in the world.

We want to live naturally so we can be empowered in ourselves; so we can be happy. I think people can confuse themselves by trying to assign adjectives and labels to their being. Some spend hours crafting their behaviour and appearance across all their portals because they think they should. It stops being healthy when it comprimises your sanity.

4. It’s Your Own Style

I have friends who are actors, writers, designers, musicians, bloggers, models. They’re people with good talents first and foremost. They’ve started:

– dressing in a certain way to be “appealing”

– posting updates on Facebook about topics they’re not really into

– instagramming certain things

– speaking in a certain way

– tailoring their Facebook pages to be a certain “look”

There’s a part of them that feels they have to. But it sounds like a lot of effort to stage themselves for the world. Rather cultivate your own style of talking online; post about what you really like. I value the power of branding and marketing/PR strategy in the workplace. But when living as a personal entity, I see more power in authenticity. We can have many tastes and celebrate our varied preferences on a daily basis. There’s no need to label any of it, or change it to suit the world. It’s our individuality that makes us special.

At castings, I see people come in having changed their hairstyle or “look” because their agent said they must be a different “brand”. They change themselves. They try to be someone they authentically aren’t. It’s a disservice to their natural strengths, which no one else has. People can make the mistake of thinking fashion defines them. It doesn’t. You can choose to be classic and simple this week, and next week wear a scruffy sundress with messy hair. One of the constraints personal branding puts on people is to stick to a certain fashion. Fashion can hide who we really are. A lot of time can be saved when we realise we don’t need to focus too much on the tactics of branding as the world knows it in our personal capacity. Simply have core principles and the rest is fat on the bone.

5. It’s Your X-Factor

If I think about it, let’s look at it practically. My husband one day won’t fit in to any “brand”. All I know is that the essence of his spirit will transcend what he’s wearing, what he’s driving, what music he’s listening to, how he acts, what his website looks like, what his instagram looks like, what he tweets or how popular he is on Facebook. My impression of him will be superior to all that. His business is one thing, his human-ness and personality is another. That’s his X-factor. His business needs a brand, he doesn’t. I know he will change every day. His tastes will evolve according to his truth, his fashion sense will transform over time, his values will change, his passions will vary. His simple, elegant “way of being” will fly in the face of any personal brand he meticulously crafted once. He won’t overthink his existence. And I won’t be able to put my finger on why I like him.

6. It’s Your Common Sense

Some things to me are common sense, not brand buzzwords. Things like:

– Be authentic

– Treat others with respect

– Stand out in your own way

I also believe we all know these things on a instinctive level. There’s a deep X-factor which is all of you that you cannot force or change. You can try to dress it up or manipulate it to stick to an “angle”, but that wouldn’t be truth. That wouldn’t be your common sense.

7. It’s Changing Everyday

When you put labels on yourself, you create a need to be loyal to “consistency” which brand building entails. This is pressure. As human beings, we are naturally inconsistent. Things are happening to us every day which shape how we think and how we do things. What I feel today will be different to what I feel tomorrow. To force yourself to be the same all the time could be suffocating. To force others to be the same is also suffocating. That’s a huge disservice to the mind. We should all give ourselves equal permission to flourish.

When you agree to trust and surrender to who you really are on a daily basis, you’ll have a deep contentment. You’ll stop needing to control yourself or others. Business is the only thing that needs a “spin” on it.

Truth begins with knowing who you are this morning and that you will grow and adapt by sunset. It’s enjoying your personal way of being and of doing. It’s not trying to understand it, it’s going with the flow of it. It’s being proud of it. My teacher knew that.

– It’s Not a Brand

– It’s Not Boxing Yourself In

– It’s Natural Distinction

– It’s Your Own Style

– It’s Your X-Factor

– It’s Your Common Sense

– It’s Changing Every Day

My teacher embraced these things. As a result, she was whole. It made her energy irresistable.

Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.

– Rumi

Photo: Death to the Stock

Blog, New York, USA

South African In: New York


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After studying in New York, I arrived home in South Africa inspired and changed. I love New York! Every single day felt like I was in a fairytale. The flight to New York from South Africa is 14 hours. I can honestly say I was welcomed into the city with open arms. I’d always imagined New York to be an intimidating place. I was thinking “Sex in the City” and famous stars like Beyonce and Jay Z walking the streets on the flight over. Not to mention that it’s the financial capital of the world – the Wall Street Stock Exchange sounds scary. But I was pleasantly surprised with how friendly the people were and how do-able the city was.

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❤ My Work, Blog, Modelling, New York

Photography Thesis


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I’m currently helping a photography grad student at the school with his final thesis project …. portraits & body shots. Can’t wait to see the pictures when they’re done 🙂 We shot at a studio in SOHO, Manhattan, and I think we ended up shooting until midnight from being there in the afternoon! I did my own make-up for this. I used Rimmel ‘Special Eyes’ Black Eye Liner, Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara, Clinique ‘Precious Posy’ Blush, Maybelline ‘Pink Quartz’ Lipstick and for my foundation I used Estee Lauder ‘Pale Almond’ Futurist.

Shoot with NYFA

My Life in Africa

In class with someone famous :)


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I’m so thrilled to be in class in New York with well-known soapie star Jorge Consejo, who is most famous for his roles on various TV soap operas in Mexico on the “Telemundo” Network.  It’s such a pleasure working with him in class – I’m learning a lot! Now he is moving to New York and setting his sights on working in the film industry here. I have no doubt he will be very successful!! Check out his Twitter and his official website.

Blog, New York

Highline Ballroom


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Another amazing nightclub I discovered this weekend was the “Highline Ballroom” in New York City at 431 W 16th Street. I went for “The Good Life Saturdays” and what a party it was! I absolutely loved it. I can highly recommend this for a great night out – the music was amazing.
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