THE CLOSET ACTRESS:  Throwback To The Future

Welcome to the newest installment of The Closet Actress where my passion for acting and dressing up meet, kiss and have babies.

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THE BACKSTORY

I think it was my third year of grad school.  I decided to launch out and start auditioning, eager to use all that expensive technique I had gained in my three years of studying.   I auditioned to play a part of a diva Video Jockey/ TV host who was being followed as part of a faux reality show.  This was a short film written and directed by a beginner filmmaker.

I had a good audition.  In fact, the director called to tell me so. Only he did not offer me the part but asked if I would coach the actress that did get the part. Huh?!  Whaaat? She looked the part (model type) and I had the skill. Classic. It was such a mix of emotions. On the one hand, I was being acknowledged for my skill which sends me over the moon with unspeakable joy and on the other hand I was being rejected for my lack of long legs… which sucked. Feeling uneasy inside, I agreed to do it and rationalized my decision as noble, generous even godly.  But it sucked…

I know what I want. I’ve always known what I want. Somehow over the course of time I’ve second guessed and settled. It had become a part of the fabric of my decision making process.

Choose.

Second-guess.

Settle.

It happened with the sundry and big decisions–

Choose. Second guess. Settle.

I don’t know where this insane habit came from but I’d guess it’s probably from the depths of some childhood experience.

Anyhow, on that day I agreed to the filmmaker’s request to coach his choice actress when I really didn’t want to do it— I settled.

That’s why when something all too characteristic of that former time happened to me recently I responded with a big , fat, gracious…

NO THANK YOU.

It was a “throwback to the future” moment.  I had another good audition and was told so by the director.  Yet I get a call asking if I’d be willing to be “background”.  Whaaat?!  My mind raced to the time and space of that early compromise in grad school. The “sucky” feelings I had back then rushed into my “now”.  History was trying to repeat itself.  I had to stop it.

Thoughts of nobility and missed opportunity crossed my mind AGAIN.

However, unlike then, I know now I’m under no obligation to accept something just because it’s offered.  I’m also over believing the lie that I will be missing out on something if I don’t accept. These are nothing more than settling traps.

God has greater things for me than that.  He has greater things than that for all of us. I believe God has given everyone a customized vision for their lives. We see ourselves in a certain special way, doing a certain special thing by His design but often second guess those ideas, dismiss them and settle for something completely outside of that vision. It’s a subtle shift that much like that insane habit of mine becomes apart of how we wear life.   It takes courage to accept God’s personal vision for your life and even more to walk in that vision. That often means fighting for it. Everyday. Moment to moment. And when we don’t fight for it, we’re settling.

We are the guardians of God’s vision for our individual lives. 

Settling is a personal decision. Only you and God knows what that looks and feels like. Our battlefields will each look different. What was offered to me by the young filmmaker then and what was offered most recently were not awful things in themselves. It’s when I accept someone else’s idea of me against my “knowing” heart that it shifts to settle mode.

How could anyone successfully follow their dreams following someone else’s idea of them?

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I’ve never met a box I could fit in.

THE WARDROBE

If you remember, the last episode of The Closet Actress featured several forgotten pieces from my closet inspired by classic films or stage plays.

Well, the outfits featured in this new episode are a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s.  I chose these items solely because they perfectly complimented one thing:  My Shell Toe Adidas.  I have wanted these classic Shell Toes for years but never bought them.  They were too expensive. I didn’t really need them. Those were my 2 common excuses. But I finally got them for my birthday. (thanks hubby). Something I’ve always wanted!

Getting them was half the battle.  Although my husband bought the right size they were too big which meant I had to return them.  The store didn’t have the size I needed. So they suggested a boys’ size alternative but when I tried them on they just weren’t quite right. One sales guy told me something was wrong with me, not the shoes. Ha! That was my cue to go elsewhere which I did until I found a place that would order the woman’s size shoe I wanted.   I had to wait another week but I got the shoe I wanted. This is a minor event that serves as major reminder how the opportunity to settle presents itself anywhere, anytime, and with anything— you’ve decided you want. But alongside the opportunity to settle is the opportunity to fight for it. We get to choose.

I’m fighting. How about you?

How has God’s vision for your life been challenged?

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Feeling a bit nostalgic, click the links below to scratch that itch.

WARDROBE IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:

Grey and black tunic sweatshirt dress, Paraphrase

Baja-inspired pullover hoodie, Paper Crane  

Black knit leggings, Poof

Superstar “Shell Toe” , Adidas

80’S AND 90’S INSPIRATIONS:

“Walk this Way” video 

“My Adidas” video

Lisa Bonet

Molly Ringwald

Thanks for stopping by.  

-altesa

 

 

… to me.

As a child, my birthday happiness was dependent on the reaction and response of others.  I (was forced to) realize, as I got older, that dependence is unhealthy.

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It’s empowering to know your value and worth runs deeper than people’s memory, financial situation or Facebook alerts.

Your birthday’s special and valuable simply because YOU ARE HERE.  God saw it fit to grace you with the gift of life and all it’s treasures.  That’s enough.  Stop waiting and start celebrating… throw your own party even if you are the only one invited!  If folks show up, let that be the icing on the cake.

How do you take responsibility for your happiness on your birthday?

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Mommy Playdate

What started out as an idea for a cute Instagram picture turned into a full blown wedding photo shoot and what I am predicting a movement amongst mommies to relieve stress.  
Inspired by my friend’s Instagram post where she described a way cooler pretend play time with her boys after adding a doll that looks a lot like her to the mix of their testosterone-centric superheroes, I pulled my doll from the closet.  Bridal Barbie was given to me by my sister eight years ago as a wedding gift.  My husband owned a Tuskegee Airmen G.I. Joe that we picked up from a Goodwill nine years ago.   It was only natural for them to get married.  They have been living together for so long now, yeah, it was about time.

Boy did I have fun.

Along with my two boys, I pretended for a few hours while arranging these two love birds.  I hadn’t played like that in a very long time, not with dolls.  It was amazing how quickly my brain connected to the little girl.  Only now I was a little girl with a camera.  This simple act brought such joy to my heart.  This short lived moment will live for ever in my mind and in pictures. It not only lifted my spirits but reminded me of the power of images and play. When you place them together. Whoa Baby!  I foresee a lot more mommy play dates in my future.

There was a natural progression between set ups.  They became like real people with real personalities.  I was in full throttle play y’all.

I began to think of all the standard “wedding day” poses between bride and groom, like the “before” shots where couples each stand unseen on either side of a door holding hands to share an intimate prayer prior to the ceremony.  Or the “eavesdrop” shots where the couple’s private moments are captured.  Or the “reception” where bride and groom let their hair down in full celebration mode.  The ideas were endless.  If my boys had not begun complaining about food and something of the other, I would probably have a 1,000 pics instead of 250!  Don’t worry, I only shared a few on this post.

Check out the photo shoot. Do you think I can add wedding photographer to my list of skills?

The Before:

The After:

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The reception:


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The eavesdrop:

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and of course no event is complete pretend or real life without…

The selfie:

Hope you are smiling and inspired as I was to create these images and this post.

IG: @altesabaker

love,

altesa

THE CLOSET ACTRESS: Waiting to Exhale

THE BACKSTORY

You know how birthdays have a funny way of inciting reflection and possible depression.    Well, It’s about 2 weeks shy of my **th birthday and I had been reflecting and depressing, cleaning and shopping when I came across clothes in my closet l had not seen since before I had become a wife and mother to two– 8 years ago.  Naturally, I want to try them on. Of course to see if this aging lady has really changed.  Because if they still fit then that would mean, in my world,  I haven’t really aged or changed “physically” at all. (oh yeah!)  After praying and slowly slipping on the first dress, memories of a slimmer waistline flooded my mind.  If. I. could. just. hold. my. sto. mach. in… I could fit it.  (exhale). It worked.  I have to capture this moment.  Honey take a picture!

…and The Closet Actress Series was born.

I’m in the closet too. Me, the actress. Much like my forgotten but favorite digs, Me, the actress has been tucked away for so long for reasons I am not prepared to explore in this post. Perhaps the stills below would help to express the frustration behind that story. In any case, this series premiere of The Closet Actress is about rediscovering the forgotten.

It was my birthday and I needed a way to celebrate. Dinners and lunch with friends were on the list but I wanted something more. Purposefully more.  

THE WARDROBE

The clothes I am wearing in this episode of The Closet Actress are dresses and skirts I haven’t worn in 10 years.  I am proud to say they fit! not perfectly as in pre-kids perfectly but they never the less fit at least for an at-home birthday photo shoot with my husband.

I am glad to have created an occasion to take both the clothes and the gift out of the closet.

May you be inspired to rediscover what’s been tucked away and forgotten in your life.

Are you a closet actress, photographer, artist, writer, knitter? Do tell.IMG_5898

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Wardrobe in order of  appearance:

Green Circle Dress with Belt, MICA   

Floral Halter, Mario Balthazar   

Black Sleeveless, Rubi Rox  

Pleated Skirt, Mohji Kohji   

Film and Theater Inspirations:

The Birds, 1963  Imitation of Life, 1959

Raisin in the Sun, 1961  Grease, 1978

Summer equals Italian ice, lightning bugs, camp, late nights and cornbraids.

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.–LL COOL J

my hair was cornbraided every summer as a little girl until I begged for and got that first perm around 12 years old.  SMH! if i knew then what I know now…Full circle.

appreciation day

I used to have long thick natural hair and I miss it.
today,
i imagined a photo where i would showcase my hair as it is today. in recovery from heat damage 2 years ago, it has taken on a new texture, look and style that is not necessarily by choice. in the meantime, while it grows back, i take it in.  i told my husband what i wanted and he was johnny on the spot snapping away just minutes before he was to leave for work.  I love the results of this spontaneous photo shoot.  
Hair Style: Afro Blow out
Camera: Canon 7d /50mm