20 Months Past Due

No, the title of this post doesn’t refer to some abnormal gestational period, a severely delinquent bill, or a critical need to update professional head shots – although I desperately need to do the latter… send recommendations. However, after doing some quick math, I realized that my last blog was posted in May 2015, and gee, A LOT has changed since then.

Through analyzing this (mentally/emotionally required?) writing hiatus, I’ve come to realize that sometimes life delivers unexpected turns and pauses, and at times it completely changes course. With that, as long as we’re here for the ride, it never stops moving. So, here I am! After encountering a few potholes, some temporary road blocks, and even dead end streets, my internal GPS has rerouted me back to this part of… well, me; the part I like to share with you with the intent to inform, entertain, and ultimately inspire.

Initially, I felt overwhelmed by the onus of getting my readers up-to-speed, so I decided the easiest way would be to create a little list or timeline. I didn’t want to bore you with very lengthy paragraphs, and I could actually only remember a few proud or happy moments; sometimes we allow one or two major downers to overshadow all the good. Because I couldn’t recall many moments that I wanted to share, I decided to flip through my photos to jar my memory and then to create a picture collage. I immediately became surprised and grateful for so many forgotten victories and beautiful moments the past year or so has brought me.  I must have been on auto pilot for quite some time!

For the aforementioned reasons, I encourage you to do the same. Whether or not you’ve encountered any dramatic life changes or even setbacks, take time to reflect on the recent past. Don’t just try to think of the good, actually take time to write down any positive times. I’m almost certain you’ll begin to see that life is not as dismal as it may seem at times. There are so many blessings woven into our burdens.

Without much more ado, below are a few snapshots of some of my proudest and most humbling moments – including that one time when I GOT TO PERFORM IN A SHOW WITH MY SON JARED for his debut acting role!!! That is by far my most cherished memory. Take a look!

IMG_5565.JPG

From Left to Right: Hello Josephine – JPAS; Grand Prize Winner Performance – WWII Museum; Domestic Violence Monologue – Butterfly Society; Sister Act – JPAS; Christmas in Paris Solo Performance – The Vintage Lounge; Season Announcement Party – Rivertown; Soulful Sounds of Christmas – New Venture Theatre; Monologue Performance – For The Love of Dance; Jared’s first Broadway Show! – Motown in New Orleans

,

IMG_5569.JPG

From Left to Right: Ain’t Misbehavin’ – New Venture Theatre, Big Easy Entertainment Awards – Orpheum Theatre; LSU Geaux Global (Spent a month in South America!) – Santiago, Chile; Ragtime (Jared’s Debut) – Cripple Creek Theatre; Performance with Sam Chesterfield – The Office; Director of Rasheeda Speaking – New Venture Theatre; 2nd Chance (Short Film) – A Carlton Staidum Jr. Production; Best Musical Award 2016 – New Venture Theatre

My hope is that I continue to share this journey with all of you and that you are inspired to chase your dreams knowing anything is possible if it’s for you, if you work for it, and if you persevere through any and all circumstances. Again, there are so many blessings in your burdens. Until next time…

So much love,

April Louise

From Actress to Director!

Image

Hello All!

I hope this post find you rested and rejuvenated after a great Memorial Day Weekend; wherein we took moments to remember and honor those who gave their all for the freedoms we share.

Now that things have begun to slow down for a second (with the end of the school year a.k.a. my day job… for now), I can finally reflect on this month’s big event: My Community Theatre Directorial Debut! If you can’t tell, I’m still beaming!  Many who know me have asked how this experience was different for me since I had performed as the lead role in this musical in 2013 and 2014 winning Best Actress in a Musical both times! Was I really ready to let the role go? Who would become Eloise? Could I follow the directorship of Greg Williams, Jr – under whom this musical won Best Musical for 2 years in a row? Would other actors, singers, dancers, performers, etc. trust me with their gifts and talents? Well, here’s a little inside look…

FullSizeRender-1

This year New Venture Theatre partnered with Gloryland Baptist Church to saturate the community with the arts from another perspective! What better musical to accomplish this task with than Shout!: A Good News Musical?! This original gospel musical has become revered and admired throughout the city. When I was asked to direct it this year, for a moment I also toyed with the idea of performing as Eloise again. What?! Yes… I think I had a bit of separation anxiety as Eloise was my first community theatre role, my first lead role, my first musical role, and the reason I earned two of my three NewV Awards! I still love her so, but after careful consideration and discussions with Greg, I was determined to find a new Eloise so I could focus solely on seeing my visions come to life as a director! I wanted to find someone who would tell the story and inspire others to take it further. And, if you were able to experience the show, you know I found her!  Along with Eloise, I found a wealth of fantastic performers who clearly conveyed “The Story of Us” (a shameless plug for one David Sylvester Jr.’s originals) and gave their all every single night! Baton Rouge has a wealth of talent waiting to shine!

Being a director is far different from being an actor! There are SO many pieces that must work in tandem in order for the show to be meaningful and memorable along with being professional! My list of responsibilities included casting the performers, solidifying my vision for this year’s run of the show, working with the crew to ensure that we were all on the same accord, visualizing and clearly conveying ideas to the scenic designer, blocking the show, of course – directing the actors, and so much more! It was definitely a task wherein I learned so much about myself and working with others. It is so critical to take an inward evaluation while daring to do something new! Always endeavor to learn something from everything you do… even when you’re the teacher! My job was made much easier because of the skills my cast and crew possessed! I worked with a host of creative and fearless geniuses! I was so in awe of the talents that each participant possessed and I remain thankful that God allowed me to be placed in such a humbling position.

The most enjoyable part of this experience, aside from seeing my ideas coming to life on stage, was being in a position to extract and enhance talents from some performers that they didn’t realize the abilities they had! Now, it was so great to see the seasoned performers give their absolute best every single time, but, there was something magical about watching a first time performer learning and growing and glowing with pride right before my eyes! After sharing what has worked for me as an actor and teaching new ideas from a few resources Greg passed on to me, I was able to see “aha” moments in the actors as all aspects of the show came together and my visions were realized! It was an experience that I did not want to end!

One of my main take aways from this experience was to trust the vision and just breathe sometimes. 🙂  It’s easy to forget what comes along with being a performer when you’re in the directors chair. The sheer commitment a performer makes during the run of a show is to be admired and appreciated!  There were certainly times that I and would begin to become hyper-focused on one aspect of the show, but with a cast and crew so great, things always came full circle and worked out! What an exciting and fulfilling process and what stellar performances came from all of our beautiful collaborations! Such a moment of fulfillment came from this experience and I cannot wait to do it again!!! (Yep, shameless plug for myself to anyone needing a director soon!) Anywho, for the moment, I’m continuing to learn and grow as The Burgeoning Actress so stay tuned to all social media outlets for what’s next! Hint… I’ll be taking to the stage again in about 3 weeks!  Until then…

Many blessings and much love,

April Louise

Where Have I Been?!

Hello there!

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted my last entry here, but life has been quite full! If you’ve missed any posts on any of my social media sites, take a peek at the links below to see the big events that have happened so far this year! I’ll begin to keep you in the loop a bit more here and through my YouTube Channel as well! Enjoy!

Grand Prize Winner of the One Night Stand Competition!!!

Performing at the 24 Hour Musicals in New York!!!

April Louise directs SHOUT! A Good News Musical 2015!!!

Many Blessings and Much Love!

-April Louise

2015: A Continuation

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a few days late, so… Happy First Monday of the New Year, everyone!!! Better? Better.

I hope this post finds you well, in good spirits, and with great expectations for yourself and others. I also hope that you didn’t wait until 2015… to start planning for 2015. Kudos to people who can make and keep resolutions, but I’m just not that type of gal. I prefer to start things when the time is right and follow through with the plans as God allows. Hence the title of this blog mentioning that this year is simply a continuation of events that started in the previous year! Now, I surely hope to reach some new milestones in my acting career and personal life during this year, but first, let’s take a peak at what happened during the final months of 2014.

October 2014
-Big Directorial Debut! – One of the most rewarding ways to expend my talents is to pour them back into God’s kingdom. Giving the members of my church (young and old seasoned) an opportunity to use their talents to bless others through theatre is gratifying and humbling simultaneously. Our first full-length production was open to the public and was a HUGE success!!!

November 2014
-SAG-AFTRA Invitation!!! After performing as a principal character in Tenured (A Tv Pilot) my SAG info finally came!!! Major step.  Major.

December 2014
-Short Film – Lead Role – Booked! Details about this
-MLK Event – Writer/Director – Booked! Honoring the Four Little Girls of Birmingham
Ready For Love rendition – nearly 3k views on Facebook! Hmmm… to sing or not to sing… and record it. That is the question.
-Best Actress in a Musical Award at New Venture Theatre… again! That makes 4 nominations and 3 wins in 2 years!!!
-Started rehearsing for Ain’t Got No Home! The show runs Jan 16th – Feb 8th in Westwego and Covington!
#News Anchor/Reporter Contract – Signed! Catch us daily on Youtube! 
-Facebook Support Page Started!!! Please like The Burgeoning Actress if you haven’t already.  I call it a support page, because the word “fan” kinda creeps me out. 😛

The aforementioned events will all help to set a foundation for, and greatly enhance my 2015. I’m learning that in this industry you can never put of for tomorrow, what you can do today.  You should’ve probably done it yesterday…

So, what is your goal?

What step(s) can you take to today to get closer to achieving that goal?

No matter how menial a step forward may seem, it is a step in the right direction.  I urge you to find out what you are passionate about and pursue it fully.  Don’t wait for a specific calendar date to begin working.  Sure, keep your resolutions, if you’ve made them, but also resolve to seize every moment you can and use it to propel yourself toward your destiny. Keep me updated as you pursue your goals. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time… Many blessing and much love!

April Louise

Comingtogetherness.

Lovers of poetry might recognize that the title of my post is borrowed from the pivotal part of poet Mari Evans’ piece entitled Who Can Be Born Black? In her poem, she speaks of the unique beauty of the African-American experience; especially when unity is at the heart of it.

One month ago, I experienced a kind of “comingtogetherness” that, as seen on TV, appears nearly obsolete. I’m speaking of the unfeigned coming together of African-American women; and even more – African-American actresses. The entertainment industry is certainly a competitive and selective one so the idea of “every man for himself” is not just a well-known quote.

So, what does the black female actress do when there seems to be a shortage of roles that fit or that are… honorable? When our story needs to be told and retold or when homage to an African-American great needs to be paid? When there is a desire to do away with so much competition and a hope for more harmony and oneness? Actor, Director, Educator Bianca Siplin conceptualized and brought to fruition an idea so great, that I’ve developed even more of a longing for this type of “comingtogetherness”. Hence, the reason I’m still excited and writing about the experience a month later.

On October 2nd, 2014, 4 local African-American actors and I were able to celebrate the life and legacy of August Wilson by using our gifts… together.  We shared our time and talents in the days prior to the project’s release and entrusted both to each other. We learned what we needed to learn and worked hard to ensure that what we produced would be something that would make us and others proud. Bianca chose Oct. 2nd to release the project as it was the date on which Wilson passed away. In the presentation, she elected to show a variety of female monologues from plays that were included in Wilson’s “Century Cycle”; wherein each play is set in a different decade with the intent to show the Black experience in the 20th century.

Please click the following link to view our tribute: August Wilson: A Tribute to Your Legacy.

In Color: August Wilson (no photo rights are owned; no copyright infringement is intended); Actors from Left to Top Right: Bianca Siplin, Dorrian Wilson, Shanna Marie Burris, Oonarissa Bernard, April Louise

To take you a bit further into the birth of the project, I decided to include a portion of the interview I conducted with Bianca. Take a look into the mind and heart of the one responsible for fostering this beautiful comingtogetherness.

April Louise:How did you get involved in acting, directing? What inspired you?

Bianca: I’ve been acting in plays for about 16 years. I fell in love with it in high school and knew instantly that I wanted to act for the rest of my life. I went on to pursue my BA and MA in theatre. I was simply inspired by telling stories. I hated reading at a young age, but bringing characters to life fueled an energy within me that made me want to read and learn. I got into directing after I learned everything about the stage from technology to stage managing. At that point I wanted to put everything together.

April Louise: What has been your biggest achievement yet?

Bianca: My biggest achievement is bringing theatre to underprivileged kids and kids who don’t have art programs in their schools because it gives them a creative outlet. And for some, ambition to pursue acting.

April Louise: Why August Wilson?

Bianca: August Wilson wrote some of the most powerful characters and he didn’t sugar coat his texts. He challenged American Theatre by writing Black dialogue that many African-American playwrights avoided.

April Louise: What were the challenges associated with this project? the greatest reward?

Bianca: …the fact that I’ve never directed or edited on film before. I just have visions for projects and I used what I already knew about directing, rhythm, and pace and transferred it to film. The greatest reward was to work with so many talented women who were just as ambitious as I was to do “work.”

April Louise: Give one main tip for upcoming African-American female actors/producers.

Bianca: Be organized, prepared, and consistent. And in the words of Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true!”

April Louise: When can we expect to see more of your brilliant ideas come to fruition?

Bianca: Around January/February. Great projects and collaborations are coming up!

So, there you have it folks! This is a certainly rewarding experience that I will never forget. Now, what are you doing to foster a coming together? 🙂

Til’ next time…

Many blessings and much love.

-April Louise

Self-Taped Auditions: 10 Tips & a Blooper Reel!

Sooo, I have a LOT of fun auditioning for theatre and film and I thought you all would get a kick out of all the stuff that DOESN’T make it to the final audition video. I could not include lines from or information about the script/role/production, but I laughed from my core after watching the outtakes so I thought I’d share them! Click the Link and enjoy!

April Louise Audition Bloopers: Episode 1

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.50.15 AM

Listed below are 10 tips that might help you book your next role! These are things I’ve learned from experience coupled with the wisdom of a few great people, including my agent, who’ve helped me along the way! And, a definite shoutout goes to Miss Shanna B.!

MOST IMPORTANT: Always PAY ATTENTION to what the Casting Director instructs you to do and do EXACTLY that.  (Anything listed below is GENERAL and is therefore trumped by what you read in the each specific audition breakdown.) Again, these are only GENERAL and can change at any time!

  1. If using a phone, situate the phone horizontally so the camera shoots it wide. Professional recording equipment is welcomed but not required.
  2. Slate with confidence and charisma (if asked to slate). (This often only includes your name, location, and role.)
  3. Shoot from waist or shoulders up.  Make sure you are centered in the shot and stay in the frame or area that is being filmed. I mean… the audition is about you… right?
  4. Make sure your background is clean and clear.
  5. Ensure that the area is well-lit and your face is clearly seen.
  6. Learn and execute lines as well as you can. I wouldn’t recommend reading from audition sides during the audition or deviating much from what is written. Speak clearly, adjusting volume as needed.
  7. Don’t look directly into the camera. Looking slightly off to the side is suggested.
  8. Make sure the person reading lines for other characters is off-camera; heard but not seen! The reader doesn’t have to be great but should read well enough to allow you to deliver an effective performance. (My husband reads off-camera for me and is always asking if he got the role. *insert side-eye*)
  9. Wearing solid/non-distracting colors seem to be preferred. Pick something that works well with your skin tone.
  10. Label files and send them as instructed BEFORE the deadline!!!

Bonus: Bring the lines to life!  Have fun! Keep trying!

Sites to consider for more audition opportunities: http://www.actorsaccess.com, http://www.letitcast.com, http://www.backstage.com

Many blessings and much love!

April Louise

NEWS ALERT… April Louise, 2014 Stage Door Idol!

I’m simply reposting a recent news article from Nola.com! Enjoy reading!

Stage Door Idol winner achieves dream through Canteen’s summer singing competition

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 9.55.34 AM

Showing a determination to chase her dream, a former second-grade teacher captivated the audience at the National World War II Museum’s Stage Door Canteen Tuesday (Aug. 12) night to take the title of this summer’s Stage Door Idol.

Singer April Louise won the final round of the annual summer-long vocal competition with a stunning rendition of “God Bless the Child.” Channeling Billie Holiday right down to the white gardenias setting off her hairstyle, Louise also brought her own vibrant style to the classic standard.

Louise gave an assured, confident performance, beginning with that bluesy mood and underlining passages with a hint of gospel before unleashing a powerhouse jazzy belt that brought it all home. In her post-song interview with affable master of ceremonies Jimmy Murphy, Louise made an effusive connection with the audience and judges describing her journey from the classroom in pursuit of her dream of performing.

It was an inspired declaration of encouragement.

In addition to receiving the title of Stage Door Idol 2014, Louise won a $1,000 cash prize co-sponsored by the museum and World War II veteran Lou Soroe, a longtime supporter of the competition. She also will have the opportunity to perform with the Victory Six in concert at the museum.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 9.58.46 AM

Now in its fifth year, the Stage Door idol competition began in June with 44 contestants chosen from the initial auditions. In the preliminary rounds held throughout the summer, the six finalists were chosen.

The singers were accompanied throughout the night by the bold sound of the Stage Door Canteen’s house band, the Victory Six. One of the most swinging ensembles in town, the band knows how to get the audience in the mood. Under the direction of trumpeter Jay Hagen, the band – pianist Tom Hook, bassist Steve Braun, drummer Cori Walters, Rex Gregory on sax and woodwinds, and trombonist David Phy – provided the high energy that propelled the entire evening. Hagen also created the distinct arrangements that fit each of the contestants singing styles.

The judges for the final round were singers Leah Chase and Lena Prima, radio personality Scoot Paisant, and author Leo Honeycutt. Their choices weren’t easy, as each of the finalists delivered terrific performances.

The competition concert opened with the lone male among the finalists, Taylor Miller, offering a bold reading of “Some Enchanted Evening” from “South Pacific.” He showed a bright tenor voice, with especially pleasing, well-rounded top notes.

Jessica Nicole Jordan followed with a sweetly lyrical rendition of “You Go to My Head,” giving the torch song both a velvety sultriness and bright sound. In addition, she completely captured the look of the era, in a sleek black satin gown, appearing to have stepped straight out of a 1940s supper club where Cole Porter might have been at the piano.

Jade Coates gave a pure, classical sound to “Over the Rainbow,” offering a warm reading that showcased a well-trained and controlled vocal technique.

Ashley Roberts proved to be a solid singing actress with a daring, expressive take on the smoky “Angel Eyes,” taking on the role of a waitress waiting for her man as she left the stage and engaged the audience directly. With a bold, exciting voice, she connected with the audience with a sizzling performance.

Grisela Jackson closed the competition part of the evening with perhaps the best pairing of song with singer. Her lush reading of “I’ll Be Seeing You” showed why that standard could serve as a theme song for the Stage Door Canteen. With a deep rich sound, she conveyed both the hope and heartache of the many goodbyes expressed throughout World War II. She also displayed a charismatic and genuine presence that drew the audience in to be embraced by her impassioned singing. In addition her voice showed a pleasing range and nicely controlled vibrato, with deepened the emotional impact of the song.

While the judges’ votes were tallied, the audience heard last year’s Stage Door Idol, jazz performer Quiana Lynell, sing her winning number, “When You’re Smiling.”

In addition, the audiences heard an excerpt from the Canteen’s hit show, “Jump, Jive and Wail,” featuring pianist Hook and Cristina Perez, one of the lovely Victory Belles, singing a rousing rendition of the Louis Prima hit, “Hey Boy! Hey Girl” It was a lively reminder of the quality and caliber of entertainment regularly offered at the Stage Door Canteen.

Intrinsically Motivated to Dream Big (IMDb) :)

Yeah, a better title for this post might have been “Stop Wasting Time!” But, I had to cleverly allude to the fact that I’d mention my recent IMDb news in this post!  Anywho, keep reading!

I am naturally a little bit of a procrastinator. Ha! Ok…wait…my apologies. Even typing that was funny. I am usually a huge procrastinator. And…until recently, I was ok with it. I simply adopted the notion that “I just work better under pressure” and excitedly contentedly completed my tasks at the eleventh hour. Although I have certainly been found to work very well in time sensitive situations, most of the stresses I endured while attempting to meet numerous deadlines were caused by my own tendency to put things off.

Since I have become “The Burgeoning Actress” I’ve learned that procrastination JUST DOESN’T WORK! One eye-opener was the day I decided to run 50 errands before going to a city-wide audition in the New Orleans area. When I arrived exactly 1 minute after they had stopped accepting talent, they politely told me I couldn’t audition, allowed me to leave several copies of my résumé as a courtesy for my effort, and bid me adieu. I. Was. Crushed. I was prepared to blow them away with a dramatic monologue, a comedic monologue AND 32 bars of a song from a broadway musical, which is what they asked for! But, they also asked for me to be on time. If you are familiar with the character “Smokey” from Friday, “I cried in the car” makes perfect sense to you.Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.17.39 AM

I knew the rules, I begged for leniency, I got denied, I learned my lesson. Well, I began to learn.

I guess I needed another gentle reminder because recently I had a dream that I met one of my greatest inspirations, India.Arie. I’m a big believer in dreams, people, so stick with me. As I’ve stated before, I always try to learn something from everything! In my dream, I FINALLY got to have a conversation with her! For those of you who don’t know, one of my highlights of 2013 was getting to see her in concert at the House of Blues! Well,when I met her in my dream, I was totally unprepared to show her exactly how big of an admirer I was. Everything was in disarray. I couldn’t find any of her quotes or song lyrics I had posted on social media, any clips of me singing or playing her songs, or any people who tagged me in India.Arie content because they knew how much of an admirer I am.  In the dream, she did he same as the theatre crew did; politely dismissed me and went on her way. Fortunately in the dream she and I were eventually able to rectify the situation as she was pleased that I had learned my lesson so when I awoke, I was more motivated than ever to ensure that if I truly believed something would happen, I would make preparations for that thing to happen.

Listen up people, I URGE you to avoid justifying why you are waiting to do something by making the proclamation I did. Maybe you do work well under pressure, but trust me, life will create enough curve balls for you. Don’t impede your progress by creating stress and chaos for yourself.  If you truly believe you will one day land a leading role, prepare yourself for that moment. If you believe you will own your own company, prepare yourself to do so. If you believe you will fit into a “too little” dress by the end of the year (speaking from experience), prepare yourself to do so! Start preparing now no matter how big your dreams are!!!

I totally believed that this year I would begin earning Film/TV credits for more than background roles. So, last year I set up my IMDb account, got professional head shots (by Ashton Leigh), and waited several months. Lo and behold, two weeks ago, my credit for my role in the pilot for a new TV Series, Tenured, was added to my IMDb page without any hassle. Why? Because I had already made preparations for it to happen. Don’t be afraid to DREAM BIG! But, if you make that choice, make preparations for your dreams to come to fruition! The motivation to do so should be intrinsic, coming from within. Don’t base your dreams on what is simply acceptable or encouraged by others. They are YOUR dreams! Find your motivation and make your dreams your reality. Ok, I should go so I can make preparations for my 1st day back at school with an ENTIRELY different job for this school year; more on that later! Until next time…

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.29.07 AM

Many blessing and much love!

April Louise

It’s Happening!

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 4.05.30 PM

It’s really happening. I’m reaching my goals and realizing my dreams.

This week has been a very eventful, hilarious, exciting and most of all progressive one!  I’m currently sitting inside the Mahalia Jackson Theater awaiting rehearsal and reflecting on what has become one of the most fulfilling facets of my life: performing. (Insert deep cathartic sigh here.) I can’t think of a more appropriate place to compose my thoughts and share them with you all than this theater.

“Who’da thunk” my first time visiting this beautiful edifice would be as a performer rather than a patron. I stand… well, sit here in awe of the majestic beauty of the building and more so of all who have graced the stage before me to share their gifts with others; just as I will on tomorrow. This weekend’s production is entitled, “Lord, If I Can Help Somebody.” Befittingly, this is my earnest desire whenever I sing, act, dance move, speak, perform, etc. Whether it is through laughter, tears, imparted wisdom, or the likes, I simply want to help, touch, inspire, encourage, comfort, heal, and educate someone with my gifts.

This production is definitely an inspirational one. I’m excited about encouraging others to destroy barriers and help others no matter who or what… all while maintaining a dainty disposition and a British accent. 🙂

NOW, that my current situation has been covered, let’s look at my BIG adventures in Texas earlier this week! Sooo, I finally crossed over the background actress border! Woohoo! (I say finally although I’ve only done background work twice lol.) Anywho…yes, ladies and gents, I recently got cast as a character in a new comedy series!!! Go on and clap, I’ll wait! This week I met with an amazing production team, cast, and crew and filmed for a couple of days! This hilariously coarse show is bound to tickle and maybe even dislodge your funny bone! I’ll be sure to update you all on the details when possible! To make this deal even sweeter, I also signed my first SAG contract! Look it up! That’s a major deal for a burgeoning actress such as myself! All of these steps are propelling me toward my future and I’m grateful for each movement forward.

In order for things like this to happen, I’ve had to 1) take risks 2) make myself available 3) weigh my options and trade-offs 4) give my all 5) take a second to celebrate and 6) repeat!

I’ll definitely take a bit of time to delve into these 5 things in my next post because they can definitely be applied no matter your chosen profession. Ok, I think they’re making the call for dress rehearsal so I better get going.

Until next time,

Many blessings and much love!

April Louise

 

Becoming Billie Holiday… Well, A Chocolate Version :)

Lady Day

Time traveling 70+ years into the past should be an easy task for a girl with such an “old soul” as mine! I’ve always enjoyed people, places, and things that evoke err… vintage feelings and nostalgia. So, when I received an email to audition to become the next Stage Door Idol, I felt right at home! Auditions were held in the Stage Door Canteen at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. I know! Exciting, eh?! Each singer had to prepare a piece from the 1940’s in hopes of making it to the Semi-Finals!

After a bit of research and asking a couple of friends for their insight, I selected a song by the lovely Billie Holiday, donned a lacy black dress, warmed up the vocal chords, and performed a cappella for the judges during auditions. And, whaddya know… I made it to Semi-Finals!!! Woohoo! So, from here until July 15th (and hopefully, prayerfully until August 12th for Finals) I’ll be working on becoming Lady Day; or at least the most authentic representation a 1940’s singer I can muster! I say “becoming” Lady Day because I’ve learned that this competition is seeking far more than just great singers! It is one that requires its contestants to take audiences on a little journey into a part of history that changed the world.

A chocolate girl born in the 1980’s must definitely do a bit more character development in efforts to convey these melodic messages clearly. So, as I prepare for the next round of the competition, I invite you all to come out on July 15th to cheer me as I compete against 8 other contestants! This competition is open to the public so ALL are welcome to become a part of the audience! And, yes, THE AUDIENCE GETS TO VOTE!!! So, take a little trip into the past with me! Find out what I’ll sing, how I’ll look, and ultimately how I’ll fare in the contest! Here’s a bit of additional information for those who are interested in attending:

Place: The Stage Door Canteen at
The National World War II Museum
945 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Date: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm
Admission: $5.00 at the door

I’d love to see you in the crowd!

Many blessings and much love,

April Louise