As far as acting though, it was great filming with a friend and especially the scene that we had together, trust me it's literally crazy insane. I almost had the opportunity to have my sons in the movie as well but time didn't permit, I had to get back to Atlanta for the next day.
On the following Sunday I filmed Will Work for Food. This short is directed by my friend Mike Mosley of Reel Gods Productions. Filming with him, Mike (Taylor) and Sara was fun. Lots of joking around and laughter but also some great, great acting and directing. I love these types of environments and look forward to working with all of them again.
All and all, as I always say, I'm blessed....WAAYYY UP!!!
Watch Me Work~~
Let me tell you why Viola Davis' Emmy acceptance speech had me crying real tears.
If you haven't seen her speech, watch it below.
As a black woman who is trying to make it in this world of acting, especially starting out, you have to depend on others to see something in you, to take a chance on you, to give you an opportunity. It is at times hard to want to keep working. I see soooo many castings similar to --->seeking Caucasian Woman - 5'5-5'8 - blonde or brown hair, etc and I get extremely frustrated because of that. I'm not frustrated because of the casting (white women have to work too), I'm frustrated because of the abundance of castings (black women have to work too).
This takes you to what media considers acceptable which turns into what society considers acceptable and then turns into what we ourselves (black people) consider acceptable.
When I was young, I went to an African centered school, where all of the teachers and all of the children looked like me, where I actually learned my history beyond MLK and Rosa Parks, where I was told that I was beautiful. Once I left that school, my confidence began to fade because I no longer felt beautiful. With everything that I had learned about how powerful we were as a people, the things that we'd brought into existence in this world and that I could be just as powerful and bring into life just as much and more; my self confidence was based on beauty and the fact that I no longer saw it in myself. I cried tears because even in my adult life, I sometimes look at other women, in this case actresses who are trying to make it just like me and say to myself you have a better chance than I do.
My mother told me before not to tell people my insecurities because they can and sometimes will use them against you. It's true, I've had that happen where someone did take something I told them I did not like and turned it into a jab at a later time. BUT, I look at the ambiguous girl with the narrow nose and chin, doe shaped eyes and oval face and at times and only for a moment I get jealous because she is closer to what white media considers beautiful and what they are willing to take a chance on. If at some point they're casting an AA woman, it's likely to be someone like that...or even a brown (caramel toned) woman but she has to have those features. Me-I'm completely black without a doubt, my complexion and everything from the shape of my nose to my jaw line and even the shape of my mouth, from my shoulders to my posture, really everything except my ass lol. And while I can look at someone who looks exactly like me and think they are beautiful, I look at myself and I see what that casting director is not looking for and for all the reasons s/he is not looking for it. This isn't new though, I've felt this even before deciding to be an actress.
...and so I contour my nose, chin and face because that's what is acceptable.
I remember telling a friend that majority of the major black women in film and television fit the standard of beauty because although their complexions are different, their features are basically the same - narrowly brimmed noses and oval faces that end at pointed chins and slim jaw lines.
So I cried real tears because I'm waiting for the exception to become the rule...
Hesitation will get you nowhere...
It's been said and in my case it's been proven. I recently submitted to a project where there was an intense sex scene. I was hesitant because I am still not severely confident in my body appearance and that lack of confidence came through in my words. I made my self consciousness known to the casting directors. They advised that I take a day to think about it and get back to them when I have made a decision.
I thought about it and laaate the next day I sent an email to let them know that if they felt that I was right for the part, I would gladly take the role. Early in the wee hours of the next morning, I received a response that read...
"Your(e) fearless and we like that. Since I knew you were hesitant and we didn't hear back from you, we decided to cast someone else. I'm sure we will work together in the near future and thank you."
So, that turned out to be an opportunity missed for me. I let my own doubt get in the way of what could have been something great.
The kicker was that although I submitted to this project, they advised me that I had already been recommended to them. At one point during our conversation, my work was brought up. I asked, "Oh you've seen my work" and was informed no you were recommended.
Lesson learned, hopefully...
Sometimes I get somewhat frustrated. I sit and think I wish I would've started earlier, back when I was my only responsibility. A lot of times things come up, whether it be auditions, call backs or shooting and I want to be able to do it all.
I sometimes want to be that struggling actress who has a waiting job with flexible hours or other waitresses that can cover my shift when something just so happens to pop up. I think of how much easier I'd have it if I could see a casting in Florida or Tennessee and up and go because I don't have anything else going on at the moment. If I were my only responsibility, I'd submit to tons of roles, even in NY or LA because I'd have that savings account padded a little thicker to where I could afford to work as a local for the time period. The fact of the matter is, I have two little bodies that also depend on me.
Being a working mother who is trying to live a dream is a very hard somebody to be. But won't he do it...I'm managing! I can't go to every audition and every shooting date won't be convenient for me because I'm not a waitress, I'm a supervisor in the Technology Solutions department of a Health Management Company. I can't afford to call out of work to make $8-$10 an hour working as an extra when my job's base pay is more than the time and a half that being an extra pays and kids cost money.
I can't do everything all the time, but like I said previously, what's meant for me is for me. Even with the limitations I have, I've been able to work and land speaking roles for several independent projects, I've audition for Tyler Perry (well Rhavynn Drummer actually, but same difference), I've attended red carpet premieres and took lessons from Carl Payne (Cole from Martin) and David Talbert (First Sunday and Baggage Claim).
I've accomplished so much and I'm so proud and I know I have so much more in me so I have so much further to go. I can't stop because of those two little bodies. So what can be seen as my limitations are two of my biggest motivations and without them I may not have been on this road in the first place.
This video speaks volums...it's not the whole video. He goes on to explain the ingredients being setbacks, failures, anger, heartbreak, etc (things that you would look at in a negative light) when mixed together make you into the person you are in the position that you are in. They make your life what it is...something beautiful. My children made me who I am at this moment - a GO-GETTER!!
If we are Facebook friends then you probably know that I, along with some of my cast mates from Handsome Enigma and Vampire G, were hosts at Jungle Nightclub in Atlanta during Labor Day and Atlanta Pride Weekend. This was my first time "in the Jungle" and I must say it was an extraordinary experience.
Outside of the fact that the club is an LGTB nightclub, it was basically like any other that I have been to. The music was live, we had our own little section so we were live and the environment, meaning the people...yaaasssss honey!!!
At one point, we, the cast, had an opportunity where the DJ cut the music and we could talk to the crowd about our projects as up and coming actors in Atlanta and that's when shit got REAL...
...but that's none of my business though lol!
Let's focus on the positive, the message is out there. Handsome Enigma and Vampire G are out there. EJ Peterson is OUTCHEA. I'm so pleased with the way things are coming along for me.
Not to mention, earlier today Cypher Avenue, a blog for Gay and Bisexual men did a write up on Vampire G. I saw my name on a blog, other than my own blog, for the first time. Talk about excited; I'm Geeked!
Check out the link to Cypher Avenue Blog write up---->here.
Stay Tuned Yall
Yesterday I attended the private screening for two projects that I had the pleasure of being a part of H.E. The Film (Handsome Enigma) and Vampire G. Both projects, each depicting someone's walk in the LGTB community, were directed by KL Allen who I have worked with one a previous project called Perfectville. While Vampire G is a fictional look into your average Nick's love life with the help and criticisms of his friend with a Twilight twist; HE focuses on a hidden truth of domestic violence in the LGTB community and how or if you can break the cycle when it's something you witnessed first hand growing up.
The screening took place at Landmark's Midtown Art Cinema. There was such a huge difference being able to see myself on an actual movie theater screen, a sign of things to come God Willing. Most of my cast mates were able to make it out for what proved to be an epic event for all of us.
The ever entertaining, Diamond Kesawn hosted the event with Shar Bates covering the red carpet. And damn does it feel great to walk a red carpet, especially when you know you're walking toward something greater than yourself.
I feel like I am really stepping into my destiny and I'm patiently waiting for my big break, but in the meantime I am enjoying every minute of my journey surrounded by individuals who are working towards their own destined greatness.
Be sure to check me and my amazing cast mates out when you can.
Aislin Petran in #VampireG
Mona Jordan in #HETheFilm
#EJPeteron in This World of Make Believe
The back story: Once Upon A Time long long ago (meaning months ago), I had auditioned for a part in a short film that I ended up not getting. I received great feedback from the casting associates though about my ability to take on the character and portray the emotions in the script and they made it known that they would keep me in mind for any future projects.
Well yesterday, my number was called, actually texted!! I received a message advising me of an opportunity for a short film and it was mine if I wanted it...WHAT? No audition needed...WHAT? I was told that they definitely knew that they wanted me for this project...again WHAT? Can you be available for a table read tonight...HELL YES! From that, Candice Shapel was born.
The point is, in this industry, you are not going to get every job and you're not the best fit for every project. The ones that are meant for you though, they are for you. No matter the situation remain professional and do your absolute best; that's what I did and for that I was remembered.
Imagine my joy in receiving that message. I feel like I could possibly be going somewhere in this very strange world of acting. So people, be on the look out for me!!!
So I've been cast as Keri in an upcoming webseries called Relationsh!ts. LOL, I love the name...It's deals with the good and bad of relationships. Keri is the lead characters girlfriend.
I'm extremely excited about this opportunity and also very nervous. This series will include not only my first on screen kissing scenes but also some sexual situations. With these scenes comes my first partial nudity (underwear) scenes *eek*. I'm pretty much in shape, but I still have some kinks to work out, so I'm on it hard. Hopefully by the time filming begins, I'll be satisfied with my progression. I just can't seem to change my diet...so I've decided I'm going to start a meal prep routine with a local Atlanta prep company.
So everyone --- WISH ME LUCK!!!
Today I am pleased to announce that I have officially signed a contract to be represented by Leslie and Gwen with Reel Sisters Talent Agency. I am very excited, because although I have made some strides in acting on my own, I am confident that from this point forward and with the assistance of my new agency (lol that felt great to write) I will go even further.
I remember thinking that I didn't need an agent, saying to myself that there is nothing they can do that I can't...then reality set in. Think of the connections that your agent would have as opposed to who you may know. Think of the knowledge of the industry that your agent will possess over what you may think you know. I decided that for me an agent was way more beneficial.
Thankfully Reel Sisters saw something in me and decided to take a chance. For this I am appreciative and looking forward to everything that my future holds.
I'm finally getting my site off the ground and my hope is that as I move forward in my journey, you all will take this trip with me. I haven't decided that this blog will be updated daily, weekly or just whenever I feel the need, but I will be sure to keep you posted on my development as an artist.
Although my main focus is acting, I will include all aspects of EJ Peterson!!
Get to know me!
I want to allow all of you to join me on my journey!