Working as a full time actress in New York City has been a dream come true, in this past year I’ve met and worked with so many amazing fellow actors, directors, producers, writers and visionary’s and I’m so happy to say that I have many more projects in the pipeline filming over the next few months. This is just one of them ‘The Letter’ by The very talented Jerome Curtis and Lights On Films, check out the trailer here!
So monologues always terrified me as an actor until, that is I took a class with the wonderful Paul Fouquet of Alyssa Meyers Casting, four weeks later and I love monologues – who knew eh, this one is still my favorite – from Mike Bartletts play ‘Bull’ and the cutting and fearless character Isobel – after I presented it for the first time to class my feedback was simply ‘well you nailed that’ …..high praise indeed from Mr Fouquet
In stark contrast to the ‘all black’ theme at this year’s Golden Globes, at the SAG Aftra Awards held on Sunday evening, the star’s went for a much prettier aesthetic; pastels, delicate cuts, embellishment and beading were the order of the day but even though the gowns were pretty the women were still fierce. Led by Kristen Bell the first-ever host of the Screen Actors Guild Awards who took to the red carpet wearing a fuchsia strapless J Mendel gown featuring a corset-style bodice and drop waist with floral embroidery throughout. Bell accessorized the gown with Charlotte Olympia heels, a Judith Leiber clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry. She then changed it up a notch to take the stage in not one, but three different all-black looks. Bell opened the show wearing a plunging Reem Acra gown with a silver embellished neckline, which was paired with Brian Atwood heels and Beladora jewelry. Next up was a long-sleeve Reem Acra gown with a pink jeweled collar trim, worn with Charlotte Olympia heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry and to close the show a Yanina Couture gown with Giuseppe Zanotti heels.
Pretty in Pink and lavender ruled the red carpet; Margot Robbie might just be the prettiest example, wearing a Miu Miu gown with a feather plume at the waist covered in crystals and pearl detailing and a Jimmy Choo clutch.
One of my favourite looks was worn by Saoirse Ronan who wowed in lavender Louis Vuitton with sequin embellishment. Kate Hudson really went for the girly vibe In a pink and black heart patterned Valentino gown with a bow at the waist and a lace high-neck, in a case of more is more there was a whole lot going on in this ensemble.
Madeline Brewer In a similar vibe to Margot Robbie wore a strapless blush Reem Acra midi gown with pearl embellishment and Casadei red velvet strappy sandals. A bolder hot pink choice was demonstrated by Samara Weaving wearing this fabulous gown with cap sleeves, a bow waist and a low-v neckline. Millie Bobby Brown kept to her quirky style and paired her pink sequined Calvin Klein dress with a pair of Converse.
Shimmer and sparkle also featured heavily, dresses were encrusted with head to toe sequins, some of these must have weighed a ton! Nominated Mandy Moore wore blue sequin Ralph Lauren collection, while the always dazzling Nicole Kidman chose a bronze Armani Prive gown with a Harry Winston ring and earrings. Lupita Nyong’o was shimmering and feathered in Ralph & Russo and Halle Berry similarly sparkled in beaded Pamella Roland.
Embellishment was also big news; this Ralph and Russo gown worn by Allison Williams was beautifully beaded and fringed- the perfect 1920s Flapper Girl. Samira Wiley was celestial in Tadashi Shoji and Vanessa Kirby wore a stunning sheer Valentino gown adorned with hundreds of bright embroidered flowers.
The fashion was fun, diverse and colorful but as with the Golden Globes there was a much stronger message at play: women took center stage at the ceremony, not only in having a woman (Kristen Bell) as it’s first-ever host, but also featured an all-female line-up of presenters. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris championed the men and women who are members of the union calling them “agents of change.” and went on to state “Truth is power and women are stepping into their power, make no mistake, this is not a moment is time, this is a movement.”
Of all the months to move to the greatest city in the world, I chose February, possibly the worse month to move anywhere but hey if you can handle New York in February and still come out loving it then you know you’re a New Yorker. Fast forward and 8 months of living in this unbelievable city and here’s what I’ve learnt, call it an unofficial guide to moving to NYC…specifically the things they don’t tell you in the guidebooks…
* People are rude- like whole other level rude, but also on occasion unbelievably kind, don’t expect any customer service in stores, stations and especially the subway – that way when you get it you’ll be pleasantly surprised, after you pick yourself up off the floor from shock that is.
* You’ll have totally random conversations with people on the street, they’ll stop you to tell you they like your shoes, your hair, your earrings and randomly they’ll tell you, you look like Lady Gaga.
* Sex and the City totally glamourised living in New York, although Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone on Perry Street is pretty fabulous. A lot of the iconic SATC hotspots like ‘Pastis’ in Meatpacking or Patricia Field on Bowery have now closed so it’s getting harder to do the whole SATC tour.
* Grocery shopping is insanely expensive especially if you hail from Europe, I mean $5 for a lettuce or $10 for a deodorant. Never go to Wholefoods and make the rookie mistake of filling up at the salad bar – trust me you’ll get to the register and find your salad cost 20 bucks. There’s a reason New Yorkers call it ‘Whole Paycheck’
* Understand that bathrooms are grotty even in the nicest of neighbourhoods, even in fancy restaurants and they are also ridiculously small and don’t even get me started on the ones that have a shower over the bowl!
* For a long while unless your very wealthy it will feel like your camping, you’ll learn to live on the basics, and treating yourself will be a thing of the past. It’s called survival and you’ll get very good at it.
* Apartments in Manhattan are dark, the buildings are so damm close together no light ever gets in, oh and get used to people seeing you changing, sleeping, waxing or whatever else you might do in private, chances are the building opposite is like 20ft away and there’s always someone looking in, and when you catch them looking then don’t look away instead they carry on staring like your a low rent tourist attraction
* You will rarely get to be glamourous. Heels will become a thing of the past, seriously when you walk 26 blocks twice a day you’re gonna choose flats or sneakers every time. Everyone (me included) thinks they are going to land in New York and become Carrie frickin Bradshaw – dream on, practicality always rules in this city.
* You’ll never quite settle on the best place to live; Because no single place in NYC has it all, there’s always a compromise, I guess it comes down to what New York is for you – for me it was the brownstones and cobbled streets that have names not numbers: it was the west village every time, but then I went and fell in love with Brooklyn and a whole new love affair began. You won’t know how bloody amazing it is until you’ve felt the buzz of Williamsburg in early evening or breathed real air for the first time from atop one of DoBros skyscrapers, or sat in DUMBO on a sunny Sunday afternoon drinking Margheritas in the park overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge.
* If you have an accent you’ll do just fine, especially Brits, they have a whole Kate Middleton love affair going on and you’ll get to feel pretty special like your the only person in the world with a British accent and who doesn’t want to feel special eh.
* New York is hard and it’s hella dirty, it will for sure be the dirtiest place you’ve ever lived, you’ll learn quickly never to wear flip flips or open back shoes. You’ll also learn to not freak out when you step in what is most likely urine and also to not think too much about the random droplet that lands on your head from above.
* You’ll never be done finding new places and neighborhoods you love, New York is full of surprises like the fact we have beaches, and lots of them only involve a shortish subway ride – although if you ever venture to Coney Island and you absolutely should at least once – beware that it’s like Blackpool in the 80s on crack.
* Its a shoppers paradise – no I don’t mean all the big name shops and department stores, yes they are amazing especially at Christmas when shopping in Bloomingdales makes you feel like your in a scene from ‘Serendipity’ no I mean the vintage stores, the thrift stores, the consignment stores – hell if I’d have realized the kind of loot I could procure I wouldn’t have packed any clothes, instead I’d have filled up my suitcase with toiletries and home comforts, like Cadburys chocolate and Heinz Baked Beans – yep baked beans do not exist in this city!
* Cell reception will become a thing of the past, no matter which provider you choose you will invariably end up screaming at your phone in frustration when for no reason in the wide open you don’t have a single bar.
* Its old, the infrastructure is medieval, the subways are prehistoric, everything is slow and behind the times, it’s all so surprising and well, unexpected.
* Most days it is like living on a movie set, you’ll see buildings from your favourite TV show, I was endlessly impressed when I used to live round the corner from Monica and Rachel’s West Village Apartment, but I did think myself an fairly unworthy Friends fan when I realized I’d walked past the actual Friends fountain in Central Park tons of times without realizing it.
* You’ll eat a lot of 🍕 so much so that you’ll decide you’d be happy never to see another pizza again, but then you walk past ‘2 Bros’ and your peckish and it’s dollar a slice and you think why the hell not.
* You will never fail to be shocked at how much a glass of wine costs on a night out but you’ll learn that the smart New Yorkers get their wine at ‘Trader Joe’s Wine Shop’ and drink before they head out – seriously their two buck chuck (that’s cheap wine to you and me) is actually quite a decent drink, I go through bottles of the Merlot 😉
* You can be anything and anyone you want in this city, seriously there is no other place in the world so accepting so evolved so bloody full of potential and even on the days when your run down with it all and you think you’ve had enough, something random and amazing will happen or you’ll simply look up and see that skyline and think holy fuck ‘I live in New York’
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So after 6 months in the Big Apple and many wonderful acting classes later (massive thank you T Schreiber Studio) I am finally officially a working actress in New York City with my first stage show this weekend, off off Broadway! – the fabulous comedy ensemble that is ‘A Sketch of New York’ at the long reputed ‘Producers Club’ and numerous film and TV projects in motion – the life of an actor is looking good – long may it last…
my fabulous new Headshots by Matt Wilson…
So I finally got to live the dream and move to the place that dreams are made of…New York City…and apparently if you can make it here you can make it anywhere….
My full range of styling services are finally available in New York and the wider NY state area, so give me a shout if you’d like to discuss at-home wardrobe weeding and closet reorganisation, personal shopping and dedicated one-to-one styling advice for Special Occasions, Events, Weddings, Graduation or just because its Tuesday and you feel like a new outfit. So holler with all of your enquiries or just to say Hi… I can’t wait to get my hands on your closets!
Use the ‘Contact Us’ button or drop me an email directly to email@example.com
….and P.S a massive ‘Happy St Patrick’s Day’ to all my fellow paddy’s – my first NYC Parade is gonna be a good one!
Its a weird feeling finally seeing your own book in print after all the hard work that goes into producing it, I thought writing it was the hard bit but after all the edits, layouts, design and publisher liaison we are finally there! How to Catch a Love Rat is out now in all major bookstores and online platforms! So happy with the finished product the design is beautiful and the cover photography and artwork (me shot by BurstParty) is amazing!
How to Catch a Love Rat is available to buy online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa and many more.
To tie in with the subject of my second book ‘how to Catch a Narcissist’ I recently filmed this documentary with Vice Magazine. The subject of Narcissism is so current and this docu really digs deep to the heart of the issue – if you’ve never even considered what a Narcissist is or indeed if you’ve ever come across one (bet you have!) then give it a watch. Or head over to YouTube and search for the Spartan Life Coach Channel – Richard Grannon also featured in this video is an expert on the subject!
How to Catch a Narcissist – is a fictional take on the subject in the context of dating and relationships and will be out later in the year. In the meantime ‘How to Catch a Love Rat’ is out now to buy on Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Catch-Love-Rat-Self-Help-ebook/dp/B01JDI8KVK