First off, I must give some credit to some retailers. Some of it's a little overdue but I now have free time for it so time for some shout outs.
The first one goes to Big Skinny Wallets. I got a wallet there from a Groupon deal. While I'm never wild about paying for shipping, this is the real thing when it comes to skinny wallets. Around the time that Groupon deal came up, I was looking for a thinner wallet. I traditionally have had the problem of smaller handbags & big, fat wallets since I carry more stuff in mine. Recently, I got the black leather handbag I'd been looking for since high school. Seriously, I saw one when I worked at JcPenney and was kicking myself for years for not getting it when I did. I was into carrying much funkier bags then; I still am to a point but I also like classic black leather done in a basic, modern style.
Basically, as a creative type I like a diversity in clothing & accessories to cover whatever mood I'm in or whatever look I need for a given event/activity. I've also been having problems recently with cheaply made things falling apart, including handbags so when I saw a sale on the Macy's website I figured it was time for an upgrade. As I may have mentioned before, we've been on a quality push. Basically, pay for quality if you can get it while keeping to a fair rate/taking advantage of sales.
I'm seriously happy with the one I got since I could finally get a little more in my purse. Plus, I don't have to put my check stuff in separate places & that's a great thing. I'm considering getting another one & my husband's even considering buying one off that site. I've also made sure to tell people about it, especially women since I know women generally love being able to carry more with the least amount of bulk possible.
Another site where I saw some cool stuff is Shabby Apple. Now I bought two silk dresses on there, including one I'm going to wear for a friend's event on the 4th of July (the Liberty Belle Spectacular, where if you want to see great burlesque performers and get a generally high class experience without pretension you should go to if you're in NYC; I swear, seeing their burlesque performers ruined us seeing other burlesque performers). I'm also not just saying that stuff b/c of my friend being involved in it; my husband liked going & he's not big on dressing up or even really socializing with people. He's hard to please when it comes to events, let me tell you. You'll also see some really great outfits if you go.
One word about Shabby Apple: I had to get their smallest size (XXS: What is a short way to say that? -2X?) but it does fit me. If you have your measurements, their sizing guide is accurate. The dresses weren't even super tight & if you like a more modest length, they're a little pricey but it is the place for you. I've read reviews on their products & I've read they are hit or miss with their merchandise but I will be reviewing the dress I got that has zero reviews at present. It was one of those dresses that seems like a perfect staple for my wardrobe. I may buy more on the site but haven't decided yet.
I don't like that you couldn't at least exchange their sale merchandize if the size was wrong & being a first time customer who usually has to try on a size or two to determine what size I wear in a particular store/brand, that bothers me but at least this was a useful $150 instead of being a total waste, right?
So, with these shout outs done (and I encourage you to check out these links & see if you find stuff you like on the sites) it's time for a lesson in movie/theater viewing etiquette.
I went to a film screening as part of a festival yesterday & read a status today from a friend who apparently went to a screening of "Magic Mike" where some woman brought a baby. This is a movie about a male stripper. So, for those of you not in this business or trying to get in here are some ground rules for movie viewing whether you're at a festival or in a big chain theater:
1. Don't bring children to a film that's not appropriate for their ages! When my sister & I were little, my parents saw National Lampoon's Vacation in the theater. We did not go; they left us with a sitter. I also can't see my sister taking her young kids to an R rated movie nor any other parent I know of, in fact. Who the fuck are these people to bring their children to this stuff?
For one thing, people paid good money for their tickets. I'm sure some of those people are parents who left their kids with a sitter & didn't come to the movies to hear your child (spawn might be more appropriate here) screaming, talking and causing a disturbance. None of the rest of us did either & if you don't enact some discipline I promise you someone in that audience will. Don't forget about that guy who got into a fistfight with a parent who wouldn't quiet their kids or adults who have hit other people's children over crap like that. If you want to be beaten or have your kids beaten over that, don't say you weren't warned. Oh, and the audience won't be siding with you; they will probably cheer for the person who hit you or that noisy child.
Now even if your child is well behaved, I still don't think you need to be bringing it to an R rated film. No filmmaker wants to be responsible for your child having nightmares because you were too shitty a parent to exercise some parental discretion & say "No, you can't watch the tear-jerking movie where the little kid dies. End of discussion." I'm sure some of these parents would try filing lawsuits against the theater chain, the major studio who put out the movie or in the case of a film festival, the festival organizers or the festival itself for accepting adult content.
2. Film festivals are generally not child friendly. Do not assume all the content in one will be child friendly because let me tell you, there's lot of indie film that's not appropriate for kids. When we were screening Cookies & Cream, I did tell someone I'd invited who had kids that unless she wanted to have to explain to her kids what a web cam girl is she might not want them to see it. There was no graphic content, no sex scenes in the film but indies do cover topics that parents may not want to discuss with young children.
You could probably take well behaved teenagers to most film festivals (heck, I think you may as well let them see R rated films at this point since they could get porn online just like that) but I wouldn't take a kid under 10 unless you knew about all the films & their stories. It's not fair to filmmakers to have to censor themselves & it's not fair to parents who do have some sense of what is or isn't appropriate for their kids to be exposed to. There are bound to be festivals somewhere covering films specifically for the child audience & if there isn't, someone could probably start one.
3. If you are in the midst of a program, don't leave until the entire program is over. Would you want people to walk out in the middle of YOUR friend's film? It is 100% disrespectful, just as disrespectful as walking in in the middle of the film & being noisy, whether you are sitting or standing. Of all the places you don't do this, a film festival is one of them. People are judged by the company they keep & if you want your filmmaker friend/family member to be liked, you don't need to make him/her look uncouth, classless and rude by doing this. You have to remember that you're being watched at all times and in all settings, especially in the entertainment business. Plus you never know where the next talent is or who might have a really good project if you're not giving other people's work a chance.
Many performers I know outright said not to leave when your friend's performance was done when they were doing shows. This is an even bigger offense in theater and live stage shows. I'll tell you this: had I not hung around for the roast of the head of the studio where I did my improv classes, I wouldn't have gotten to see an example of how a roast should be done. If NYC Bar did their "Twelfth Night" shows as this roast was done, there'd be a lot more accessibility & I'd personally have a lot more fun there.
You'd definitely better not do this if you're an actor & in general, it will endear you to no one. It's also considered snotty & that's not the foot you want to be showing folk when they don't know you or the person you're supporting.
4. If you're new to the entertainment business, you'd better be networking your little heart out. I still network and I've been doing this nearly 5 years now. Most people who have been in this field for decades even still network with people in the field since they know the up & comers have different mindsets and ideas that could be beneficial to them. There's also that whole guidance & mentoring aspect and most people like to feel appreciated as well as competent. There are many times when you don't in just about any sphere in life. You network EVERYWHERE (remember how people are always watching you?) but especially at a film festival.
Why should you network so hard if you're new to a business (especially entertainment)? Because it can make or break you. If you've got a good & unique brand, people start remembering you. These days, people have heard of me even if I don't know them and are initially talking to them. That gets interesting. If you are an ass, however, people remember that as well & it can hurt you. Most people I know in this industry don't want to deal with assholes: I sure don't & have never met anyone who wanted to deal with that.
If no one knows who you are, you are NOT going to win out on a job or consideration for work over someone a company/higher up there already knows is reliable, trustworthy, pleasant to be around, etc. So this means you need to be sticking around, talking to people & at the very least, not being a jerk to anyone since they might be working with a more established company or have a TON of useful contacts you aren't aware of.
If you don't want to do this, then don't pursue the entertainment field professionally. Simple as that. You will just crash & burn if you can't network effectively in it or at least get a partner who can do that stuff. There's no shame in having someone else network for you as a business owner if it's not one of your strengths but you will want to develop it so your partner doesn't end up getting all the contacts if you get into a dispute & that person decides to set up a competing shop.