Video

My Gig for Macy’s

12 Apr

Here’s a video from a gig I did for Macys.com with Clinton Kelly of “What Not to Wear” from 2010.

Sad thing is, I STILL don’t know how to dress myself. Sorry, Clinton!

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“I Can’t Believe It’s Happening to Me”: The Badoo Project!

10 Apr

On March 24th, 2012, I was photographed by celeb photographer Kenneth Cappello (who has worked with Justin Bieber, Zooey Deschanel, and lots of other big celebs) for the Badoo Project, a 3-day photograph-athon of 1,000 New Yorkers for the U.S. launch of social networking site, Badoo. They had Nick Cannon hosting on the first day, a DJ, a ping pong table, professional stylists, hair & makeup artists, and 4 famous photographers with the task of taking the “ultimate profile picture.” Out of the 1,000 portraits, a panel of judges would choose 22, and another 2 would be chosen by the public via Facebook “Likes”.

I’ve never been someone who has been “lucky,” at the very least. I have, however, had times where I was at the right place at the right time, and I suppose that’s “luck,” but I had to work very hard to put myself in those situations where any kind of “luck” could possibly occur. And when I heard about this “contest,” I thought to myself “No way!”, and I mean, out of 1,000 people??? ME?!?

Well, I decided to start campaigning for votes, and my high school days of running for student government came out. (Those of you who went to high school with me might remember my campaign slogan “Vote Teresa, She’s Better Than Pizza,” coined by my clever friend Danny Elstein! Though I had a feeling that calling myself “Better Than Pizza” might not work for this occasion. Though that little slogan did help me WIN the election my sophomore year and I ended up as treasurer!) In this case, I wrote a song and made a little YouTube video to try to get more votes:

 

I contacted everyone that I knew via Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. to get their vote, and to my surprise, I had garnered over 4K+ votes in only 4 days!!! All of my friends really came out and supported me like they never had before, and the amount of love I received was astronomical! AMAZING!!! Even the Brooklyn section of the NEW YORK TIMES supported my Badoo Campaign!

http://fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/the-day-a-full-body-aural-experience/

On April 10th, 2012, the 26 (instead of 24!) finalists for the Badoo Project were officially announced:

Revealed! The 26 Winners of The Badoo Project – Badoo News.

And guess what? I WON!!! I was one of the 2 “Peoples’ Choice” winners! Out of 1,000 New Yorkers! HOLY CANNOLI!!!

Peoples Choice Winner - Teresa Hui

Check out all of the finalists:

http://theproject.badoo.com/final.phtml

I definitely have all of YOU to thank! This contest really showed me just how amazing all of you guys are, even the ones who I don’t know at all, supporting a complete stranger for a contest to end up on an NYC billboard! You all ROCK! Each and every single one of you!!!

I would like to extend a special thanks to Paw Dugan and TWITTER for helping me out tremendously in beginning of the contest to kickstart my votes! Wow. Just WOW! Love you guys!!!

Also, I have some amazing, beautiful, talented and wonderful friends who were also in this competition, and every one of them deserve a billboard! All of these lovely people WILL be famous, and you don’t need a contest to do it!

The Badoo ad campaign premieres in NYC on April 30th! Stay tuned! 😀

P.S. I chose that title for my post because I feel kinda like Kelly Clarkson.

My Thoughts on This “One Union”

3 Apr

On March 30th, 2012, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists merged and became ONE UNION. The new name for this one union: SAG-AFTRA.

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I know that a lot of you are hoping for a more creative name.


CONGRATULATIONS to all of my SAG and AFTRA friends! We are now ONE voice in the entertainment industry! Hopefully this will bring more jobs, better contracts, and so on, so forth. For those who were one union or the other, it probably felt good to not have to pay additional money to join the other union. For those who joined SAG recently and wished that they waited, well, my thinking is that you’re probably in a better position, since you already got yourself placed in the pool of SAG actors before the influx of AFTRA-only actors got into the mix.

What are MY thoughts on this whole merger thing? Well, back in 2010, after about a month of working in the industry, I received my first AFTRA waiver from working as background on an Onion News Network gig. I was excited and happy about it, and absolutely THRILLED! Lil’ ol’ me? Working a UNION gig this soon??? Aw schucks! 🙂

Well, then I became a dreaded “Must-Join” (which means that you need to join the union before you can work another job for that union), and I couldn’t submit whenever there was an AFTRA project, unless I was willing to join. Being somebody who always wants to “earn” what they get, I decided that I wasn’t going to join AFTRA until I booked a speaking part. So a year after I received my AFTRA waiver, I was called by director Frank Mosca for a PSA that was being pitched to FOX. A month later, it was picked up! That was my first AFTRA Principal Contract! The PSA was titled “The R-Word”, or now, it’s better known as “Not Acceptable” R-Word PSA”. It was my first national commercial, and it premiered on May 24th, 2011 in the last 10 minutes of the season finale of FOX’s “Glee”. It was pretty neat! The PSA also starred Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter…and ME!

So BOOM! There’s my gateway to AFTRA! With SAG, I had been eligible since October of 2011. I had received 3 SAG waivers for doing background work, VERY quickly, all thanks to Grant Wilfley Casting. During the time of my “OK-30” (the time period where you’re eligible to work union work without having to join yet), I was fortunate enough to book more SAG work, including getting upgraded to DAY PLAYER for a SAG indie film, “That’s What She Said,” starring Anne Heche and directed by Carrie Preston. The film actually ended up getting accepted to the Sundance Film Festival this year, and I will also get to go to the New York Premiere at the Soho International Film Festival! Totally excited! And if it weren’t for being in my OK-30, I would’ve never gotten the opportunity for the upgrade!

You would think that the day player contract would be a good enough reason to join SAG immediately, right? Well, not really. I booked a lot of work as a principal for non-union commercials and industrials, as well as other feature films. Some people think of “non-union” as un-professional. Well, it’s not true. Some of the BEST gigs I’ve ever worked on were non-union, and I wouldn’t have traded those experiences for the world. Also, non-union commercials are run EXTREMELY professionally. The only real difference is the pay and certain little things that are under a SAG contract. Otherwise, totally legit work.

I will confess. A part of me was somewhat “scared” of the merger. I enjoyed getting lots of calls for auditions and booking non-union principal work. I enjoy being a WORKING actor. I enjoy NOT having to do background work to make a living. I had heard from some of my SAG friends that it got way more difficult for them to book work and even get called in for auditions after they joined. Yikes!

Well, I decided that I would join SAG once I booked that gig that would “seal the deal.” So that to me meant booking a principal role in a national network commercial or a day player role in a feature film or episodic. I had gotten auditions for national SAG commercials, and even a callback on my first try (for a New Balance commercial), but no booking. I wanted to EARN this SAG card, dammit, so someone needed to book me!

And then the merger went through. A part of me wanted it to, but a part of me who was still hellbent on earning all of my achievements didn’t quite. I DID vote “Yes” to the merger, so I was part of that 86% of AFTRA members who voted FOR it. Am I glad that I saved $2,335 on joining SAG? Yes. Am I scared of the additional competition in an already crazy competitive field? Well, I was. But after a meeting with my manager, I know that in order to progress, I NEED to keep on moving FORWARD. Staying non-SAG felt like it was helping me, but if I wanted a meeting with a legit agent, I would NEED to be SAG. I have great commercial agents, and get sent out a good amount, but it’s time to step it up. After being SAG-eligible for 18 months and not joining, the universe decided it all for me.

My name is Teresa, and I am a VERY proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

Bring it on.

Video

“Not Acceptable” R-Word PSA

3 Apr

My first national commercial! This PSA also featured Jane Lynch and Lauren Potter from FOX’s “Glee.”

Acting, Weight Loss & Body Image

23 Mar

Ok, I promised you all that I would be better at blogging this year, sooooo…here’s a second blog (I know, I know, I should really blog more frequently, but this is still an improvement from last year where I blogged ONCE!).

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that weight has been a struggle for me my entire life. I was a chubby kid who became an obese adult, and one day I decided to just DO SOMETHING about it and start working out, eat less and just lose the freakin’ weight.

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Running off the pounds. A never-ending quest for the finish line.

I lost 100lbs at most when I got myself down to my lowest weight. As a woman, as well as being someone prone to weight gain, I go up and down the scale. One week I might be 10lbs up, and then the next week I’m 10lbs down again. Sometimes even up or down 15lbs if my body and eating habits get drastic. Or at my most extreme, I’ve been able to gain and lose 30-40 lbs in a short amount of time. This is called “Yo-yo-ing” and I highly DO NOT recommend it!

Being in the entertainment industry and being a full-time actor now, weight is something that’s on your mind about 99.9999999% of the time. Everyone’s either scared of gaining weight for fear of losing work, or LOSING weight if you’re a plus-sized model who makes their money from being curvier. Ironically, I was on-hold for a huge national print campaign with a famous photographer and I actually made myself GAIN a little bit of weight to make the weight requirements! Unfortunately, I was released from the hold, and still stuck with the weight that I gained. Granted, it really wasn’t a lot, and I’ve NEVER actually stayed at this lower weight for an extended amount of time in my life EVER, so I really shouldn’t be complaining. However, in an industry where you’re either smaller or bigger, it’s quite difficult to be in “no man’s land” as I like to call it.

I’m not saying that being a size 6 or 8 (which is what I wear now, which is NOT the size 20 that I had once worn) is at all “obese” or even overweight. However, in this industry, it’s is TOUGH to feel like you’re thin when all the actresses in Hollywood are size 0s. Even Jordin Sparks, who was a big spokesperson for body acceptance when she was bigger, has now distanced herself completely from promoting that and is now a size 2! Raven Symone has also lost a significant amount of weight, and though she gets annoyed at people for all the back-handed compliments (something that I had to face a lot when I had lost the weight as well), you know damn well that she loves rockin’ those hot pants!

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OH SNAP! If I had Raven’s legs, I would TOTALLY rock those as well!

I’m a true New Yorker, and I’m an actor, and a classically-trained musician and singer, which means that I’m all kinds of neurotic. When I read about Jordin Sparks and Raven, I seriously lost sleep over it, because I wanted to get down to that size. I’m a pretty happy person, but no one is ever truly 100% happy, and in regards to weight, I always feel like there’s more to lose. I find myself staring at myself in the mirror in the morning, picking apart at every flaw, every area that needs more work, envisioning the person that I want to look like.

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Don’t lie and say that you don’t do this too!

I’m not anorexic and not bulimic in any way, shape or form. I love food, and the idea of puking my brains out doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. Though I heard that  bulimia apparently gives you AWESOME abs! (Ok, I’m kidding. But hey, Katherine McPhee was bulimic in the past! Fine, bulimia is BAD!)

I love working out, and I love being strong. People are always amazed at the way that I run on the treadmill at the gym (though I would love to get faster), because I’m constantly pushing myself. I’m EXTREMELY fit in terms of fitness. One thing that I am, and that I will ALWAYS be is a term that the amazing Marina Kamen had coined and that’s a “food-a-holic”. I LOVE FOOD! Ok, that’s an understatement. I adore it, live for it, crave it, yearn it, lust for it, etc. I swear, I salivate at pictures of good, delicious, tasty, yummy FOOD. When I see people post of pictures of incredible food stuffs on Facebook, I WANT IT! And BAAAAAAAAD!!! That’s better than any kind of adult-material for me. Seriously. Food is AMAZING. Fortunately, I don’t dig junk food at all (tossed that habit over a decade ago when I first started losing weight). But I definitely am a foodie, and will always be a “fat girl”, no matter what.

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You have no idea how turned on I get by this photo! All that yumminess is glistening! GLISTENING!!! OH.MY.GAWD!!!

So why am I blogging about this? Well, I know that me and my friends have had discussions about the topic of weight, and it’s ALWAYS relevant. As women, we will probably never truly be happy with ourselves in terms of weight. I had a conversation with a good friend last week about it, and even when we were at our thinnest, we still felt like we needed to lose more weight. Then looking back at old pictures, to steal her term, we were “bangin'”! Even if I were to get down to a size 0, honestly, knowing the way that I am now, I will probably still feel like there’s a little something here and there that could be tighter and trimmer. With all the celebrities out there with those skinny bodies, we’re so conditioned to view that as “ideal.” It sucks, but it’s true.

However, one thing that I will do in my life is try to not beat myself up too much. It’s easier said than done, but it will be accomplished. The weather’s getting warmer, so most likely, I’ll crave more salads and veggies rather than carbs, so I can cut some of the added weight. And thanks to these awesome money-saving websites that I’ve signed up for, I’ll be adding additional dance classes and kickboxing to my workout routine. The great thing about working out is that endorphins ROCK, and make you forget about your problems. Who needs alcohol when you can have a shot of ZUMBA???

I will always be a work in progress. However, 2012 will be the year that I will love myself, truly and completely. I am a healthy and fit person, and I should think that I totally rock. I think that we ALL should feel this way about ourselves. In an ideal world, weight would be nothing but just a number. And that number for me is a 20-piece sushi platter with a side of spicy mayo.

Nom nom nom…

New Blog!

24 Jan

Howdy!

Today is Chinese New Year, so GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! This is the Year of the DRAGON, baby! Sounds pretty cool, eh? 😉

So for the new year, which I hope to be fill with happiness, health and prosperity, I also decided to create a new blog! I’m hoping that WordPress will be user-friendly, as well as reader-friendly. I will do my best to update my blog more often this year, and have it chocked full of news and updates on my performing career, as well as some entertaining musings if my heart so desires.

I hope that everyone has been having a great 2012 so far, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store!

Here’s to happy blogging! 🙂

Red is a lucky color!