It's 2016! I'm looking back over the past year and feeling grateful for a lot. One incredibly fortunate thing that happened to me in 2015 is a photo shoot with Joel Marsh Garland. You might know him as a member of the Orange is the New Black cast, but he is also an AMAZING photographer.
I met Joel when I was in college doing a reading series called hotINK at Strasberg, NYU. A professor of mine Lorca Peress organized the reading series so that professional actors came and acted in readings with us students. The idea was to help us meet people working in the industry. They eventually shut the program down due to I don't know, university politics? But it worked it's magic and I got to meet Joel Marsh Garland.
He and I stayed in touch through social media over the years, and one day we ran into each other at an audition. Since graduating I've gotten into a bit of modeling and since Joel and I stayed in touch via social media he knew about my modeling. He told me he was beginning to explore photography and asked, would I like to shoot with him? I said yes.
I knew we came away with some great shots but I didn't realize until long after the shoot, when I was in front of another persons camera, the gift Joel had given me. During our shoot he asked me questions, got me telling stories, and really listened to what I was saying. He opened me up, in a really good way. To the point where now when I'm in front of another camera I feel a freedom I'd not felt before. Shooting with Joel, I learned to expose my heart, let it shine through my eyes, and talk to the camera with my body.
So one of the things I'm truly grateful for in 2015 is that Joel Marsh Garland wanted to shoot photos with me and that I said yes. I'm also grateful for the hotINK reading series from years ago, and it's true what they say folks, stay in touch with people you've worked with. You never know how your paths will cross again or how you can help each other.
Thank you, Joel!!
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I am an advocate for gender parity in the entertainment world and write, act, and produce with a mind to facilitate that change.