building a brand

I can think of moments walking down a street in New York thinking yup, feeling good. It's strange, but I think true, that a pair of jeans that fits right can really change your day, or a hair cut that makes styling easier, a new mascara, a lip color (I'm still pretty timid there), choosing a heel instead of the same boots I wear every day. Who am I and how do I create a look that represents me?  

What is my brand? 

I read an article recently in Elle magazine that made me think about this question a lot. There were features on women who were successful in several industries, including politics, entertainment, news, writers, fashion, etc. One girl, a news reporter, who happens to be a fiance of a friend, was featured! She's a twenty something who's job requires her to have a public image and she talked about this idea of building her brand. She is 'forced' to look at herself and make decisions about what to wear and how she presents herself every day. And a part of that is being very critical about pretty aesthetic things. But it was neat to read her talking about how important it is to figure out what kind of professional she wanted to be and then to determine whether what she was putting out there represented that professional. Was she wearing things that made her look older or less approachable? Everything from necklines, to hair cuts, accessories, you name it.

And I thought, wow. I mean, as an actor auditioning, you have to think about what you're going to wear 'in the room'.... what kind of show is it, what can I do to help myself feel good in the room and catch someone's eye. But what if that thought was extended into the rest of my life? I don't work a 9 to 5 right now, but even my boyfriend who just changed jobs, thought a lot about the dress code and how he wanted to present himself in this new environment. I am amazed by people who have what seems to be effortless style. And am sometimes frustrated with my own wardrobe, why do I have so many shirts I don't like to wear? But what if those people have been doing a lot of homework? And they've made real choices about what they want to look like, present to the world, and then they take steps to create that wardrobe. Every day we have an opportunity to build our brand. And our brand is us! If I want to be taken seriously as an artist and as a person and have some continuity over who that is, maybe its time to think about what I'm putting out there not just when it comes to audition time, but all the time.

Spring seems like the perfect time to experiment.