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Meet Amazon Eve, The World’s Tallest Female Model

Erika Ervini is one of the tallest models in the world. Known as Amazon Eve, she is an American actress, TV host, fitness trainer, and model. She stands over six feet eight inches tall. She is so unique in the industry that her Web site has millions of hits and she has been featured on news outlets across the world.

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She was born in Turlock, California, and lived in the small town. Growing up, she was surrounded by cows, peaches, grapes, and almonds, but she did not have the life of a typical farm girl. For her eighth birthday, she was given a microscope and chemistry set by her father. It was his ambition that she followed his footsteps to become a conservationist and scientist. As a student, she excelled in science, but she found her passion in writing and theater. Most of her time in the 1990s was spent on stage.

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By the time she was fourteen years old, she was already almost six feet tall. She was bullied by her classmates, but she survived and soldiered on to get a college degree in theater arts and business management. After getting her college education, she went on to study law and exercise physiology.

As the subject on constant teasing, Eve felt like a freak and totally alone. She hid from the world in her own way. She worked in a law office for six years. She soon learned to be more realistic about her body and fitness goals, thus she began to develop a positive body image of herself and the way she looked. She studied at the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and she became a personal trainer.

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She has had some success working as an actress, but she gave up that career path when she realized she was always given roles as an alien or a monster. That kind of discrimination did not do anything to help boost her self-esteem.

It is her career as a personal trainer that has enabled her to have a healthy body image. When she found out about the world of Amazons, her life changed forever. She was introduced to a career that has brought her to Asia, Europe, Australia, and other parts of the United States. In November 2009, she was featured on Zoo Weekly in Australia. That really launched her career and led to many people viewing her videos online. In 2011, she was crowned World’s Tallest Professional Model by Guinness World Records.

Apart from being exceptionally tall, she stands out for another reason. She is transgender. In 2004, she transitioned from male to female. She was assigned male at birth and called William. It took her years to tell people about her transition, especially after she became famous. She just felt that the public doesn’t generally accept bombshells like that, and so she just never talked about it. That has led to some criticism of her decision not to come out with her haters saying that she was dishonest.

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In her defense, the world of modeling is difficult enough to break into, and when you add her unique height and body proportions, it was almost a miracle that she was considered and featured on Harper’s Bazaar, so no one should criticize her for not wanting to share such a personal part of her story. Now that she is ready to be more open, you can read more about her life and journey from working in a law office to being the modeling sensation called Amazon Eve.

Now Amazon Eve feels she has battled through the worst of her self-doubt demons with regard to her body and how she views herself. She hopes that the public and world in general will be more compassionate and understanding to those who do not quite fit the mold. She’s been lucky enough to find work on a television show that gives her a chance to stand out and show the world that thought she looks different—she is still only human. Her acceptance as a model and as an actress shows that today’s media is completely different from the way it was thirty years ago. We are now more willing to accept alternative standards of beauty and include it in mainstream media.

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Guilty Pleasures You Wouldn’t Admit to Liking—But Still Do, Anyway

Most film enthusiasts would like to believe that their tastes in films are sophisticated, if not interesting. Of course, watching the same profound stories all the time can be a bit much—there are times that people really just want to watch a movie to escape from reality, so not a lot of thinking is required.

Not that any intellectual or self-confessed film buff would ever admit to liking these sorts of films, but we all have our guilty pleasures, don’t we? Here are some of the films we would never admit to liking but pop in the player every now and then.

Body Double (1984)

Brian DePalma is known for building his career on providing audiences with guilty pleasures, which is why it’s not really surprising that Body Double is on the list.

An homage to Rear Window and Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, the film reminds us that voyeurism, no matter the intention, is a psychological anomaly that can be diagnosed. Other than that, DePalma’s take is something that few directors could pull off. The whole film is nearly dialogue-free and almost flawless—until you get to the second half of the film where it’s taken to the porn industry, becoming its setting, as well as its plot device. Still, most directors may kill to have this kind of film in their repertoire, high-end sleaziness aside.

Piranha (2011)

Alexander Aja’s revamp of the cult classic of the Joe Dante original requires you to just turn off your brain and enjoy the film as it is: ExploreTalent of the cast, even though they are mostly just screaming bloodily. The mostly hedonistic film is set at a resort in Lake Victoria during spring break, so the carnage that will spill are mostly those of the youth sector—25 and under—because of course, who else would go on a spring break? It’s lots of boobs, babes, drunkenness, and a few mostly harmful carnal moments.

Carnage will be a bit of an understatement—the piranhas are wreaking havoc for hundreds, maybe even thousands of spring breakers, most of them young and gorgeous. It’s almost like every other slasher film out there on the market, where sexual promiscuity guarantees you a death sentence.

It’s a genuine “stupid fun” film, where there is nothing much to think about other than who is the last to be eaten by the scary piranhas.

Cat People (1982)

There are three things going great for Paul Schrader’s remake of Cat People. First is that it has young Nastassja Kinski, second is that it has an inspired production design, and third is that it has an awesome David Bowie soundtrack.

The film simply points out Scrader’s ability to bring to the surface the themes and unconscious desires that were merely suggested in the 1942 original.

It has been noted that Cat People seems to share the same tone with Body Language, which put it on the same “guilty pleasure” list.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Dracula is the ultimate guilty pleasure movie, and despite being seemingly funny at times, you realize it’s actually as close as it can get to Bram Stoker’s actual story. Coppola’s treatment of it, with its gothic touches and bright contrasting colors is pure cinema magic.

Unfortunately, Coppola also made his distaste for the romantic in Dracula quite clear, which is why he ended up misreading the story. There has been no hint of Mina Harker being Dracula’s reincarnated bride—and it should be something that he left alone for everyone else to interpret.

Still, the film is pretty special, if not a guilty pleasure anchored by the performances of pretty amazing actors.

 Dragonslayer (1981)

Sword & Sorcery has become one of the film sub-genres that Hollywood has been obsessing over since the 1980s, and the first one that got attention is Dragonslayer.

The film has a lot of good elements to it: good dialogue, excellent special effects for its time—and would still hold up today—and an overall vision that is consistently mysterious and fantastic.

Still, Dragonslayer has its flaws—the plot is flimsy, but there is a love story to be told, regardless of the lack of chemistry between the main character and the teenage girl who disguised herself as a boy to escape the village.

That being said, what other films would you consider as your guilty pleasures?

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A Dancer’s Guide to Staying Healthy for a Long-Term Career

A professional career in dancing can sometimes be a tricky one. But with proper discipline, any talented dancer can experience a long and fruitful career. As a novice, the first thing you need to consider is how much time you are willing to invest to hone your skills as a dancer. Do consider how physically and emotionally demanding the job can be too. If you feel like this is really your passion, then by all means go for it.

ExploreTalent oversees numerous talented individuals who have the ability to go far in the dance industry. So we have gathered some helpful tips when it comes to building a long dance career.

Read on below to find out.

1. Stretching

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Many dancers often debate as to whether or not stretching should happen before or after actual dancing. Experts say that a dancer should practice both before and after to reduce chances of injury and improve range of motion. Both factors are important for dancers to remain agile as they continue to constantly put their muscles to work. After doing the basics like knee bending, jogging in place, and swinging arms, do consider dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is done by dancers by tipping their toe forward with their knee bent. Another option is paying attention to your calves by alternatively pressing your heel on the ground.

Every after dancing, make sure to do recovering stretches while paying attention to your back, hamstrings, buttocks, and calves and do side stretches to the ankle.

2. Maintaining proper posture

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As a dancer, you need to know your body and be able to keep it healthy throughout your career. People may be guilty for walking a bit bowlegged as a result of dancing too much, or it may be some sort of mannerism that your body has gotten used to. Either way, you wouldn’t want to create greater stress on your body by shifting your weight to all the wrong places. So maintain proper posture when walking and sitting. You need to be able to stand tall with chest up and shoulders back to allow proper lung expansion and ensure that your muscles are staying as relaxed as possible.

3. Master your turnout

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Turnout in ballet involves the knee and foot to turn outward away from the center of the body. This allows the leg to extend especially when it comes to raising it to the side. Any forced turnout will result in injuries such as patella and anterior knee pain. The turnout should occur in the hip because if it starts in the lateral rotation of the knee joint, it would not only result in a tensed position, but it will leave the dancer susceptible to any future knee injury especially if the practice is prolonged.

Professional dancers are able to perfect their turnout without risking any injury by practicing knee exercises.

4. Rest

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Yes, dancing requires time and a rather grueling schedule, but don’t even think about lasting long if you overwork your body to the point where it cannot function anymore. You will only cause stress and may not be able to perform anymore. So take rests every once in a while to remove the tension in your muscles.

5. Stay conditioned

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As mentioned, dancing is a very physically demanding field of work. A report also shows that professional dancers are at risk to as much injury as athletes are. They often suffer ligaments because of their physically taxing job.

So as a dancer, your body needs to stay conditioned at all costs in order to prevent any of that from happening. You can help improve this by doing exercise and training, do research on whatever works for your body and apply it to your daily routine to ensure optimum health.

Dancers do not dance their whole life. At a certain point, they will need to hang up their shoes and retire. But that doesn’t mean their dance career is over. Many dancers go on to become therapists, since they already have prior knowledge on what works best for the body. Do consider that or try to join guilds that will guide you toward the direction you want to go. Know that the community is supportive each other, so you are bound to get the job you want despite the competitive market.

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Actors Who Went Above and Beyond for Their Roles

Being an actor calls for someone to be fluid as a person in order to adapt and transform into the characters that they are called for. Of course, while each artist has a different process as to how they become the script calls them for, there are some who go above and beyond for their craft.

Here are some amazing performances that would make you rethink your commitment for your career.

Charlize Theron, Monster

Gorgeous and talented, Charlize Theron is like a chameleon. The diversity of her roles makes it clear that she is talented as an actress. However, it took gaining 30 pounds and facial prosthetics for her role in Monster to come to life. It’s okay, though, the honors she received more than made up for the fact that practically nobody can recognize her: she had a Golden Globe, a SAG, and an Oscar as proof of her amazing acting skills.

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

When you’re told to lose weight for a role these days, it might cause an outrage. However, if you’re playing a prostitute in 19th century France in the middle of a war, well, there’s no way you can justify looking healthy. To commit to her role, Anne Hathaway had to lose ten pounds for the first part of the film. Then for her next appearance after that, she had to lose more weight, which translated to having only to eat “two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste a day.” It was nuts how she had to alter her eating habits to play Fantine, but she got an Oscar for it, so there should be no regrets, right?

Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

If you have the right look to play the iconic Marilyn Monroe, you would be crazy to let the chance pass you by. For Michelle Williams, it took more than just getting the right strut. To make sure that she has the role down pat, she listened to Monroe’s interviews for months in order to get the sex symbol’s breathy voice down. She also used a belt and fastened it around her knees to follow the wobble.

Speaking about the role, Williams shared, “There was a sort of a sense of a figure eight to her walk, that her shoulders were back, it looked like she had a sort of . . . like a balloon was attached to her breastbone. Her nipples were always pointed up.. . . That was the work that I wanted to start as early as possible, because I don’t want any of those thoughts to be anywhere in my mind when I’m in the middle of a scene.”

Christian Bale, The Machinist

To get the look for The Machinist, Christian Bale had to lose more than 60 pounds, so his diet consisted mainly of water, an apple, and one cup of coffee per day. That’s a lot of weight to lose, but he never needed to lose that much—the scriptwriter forgot to adjust the character weight description.

Rooney Mara, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

If you think of Rooney Mara, you’d think she’s more of a girly-girl who wears headbands and dainty braids, maybe even a princess. Still, she went out of her comfort zone and went on to play the dark, punky genius Lisbeth Salander. Her look was so different that it would take a lot of staring at the character to figure out that it was indeed, Mara. Other than her wardrobe, though, the most extreme thing she did for the part was to get her ears pierced, as per trademark Salander.

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, Black Swan

Both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis are good actresses on their own, but when they had to step forward for their roles as ballerinas in Black Swan, they not only had to lose a lot of weight, they had to take dancing classes, too—and they started their grueling eight-hour rehearsals an entire year before they started filming.

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

His last film showed audience and critics alike that Heath Ledger is more than just a pretty boy for rom-coms. To psych himself up for the role, he shared with Empire magazine the process of turning into the Joker. He said, “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, and I just locked myself away and formed a little diary and experimented with voices. I ended up landing more with in the realm of like a psychopath, someone with no empathy. Very little to no conscience towards his acts. Which is fun, because there is no real limit on the boundaries to what he’d say or how you would say something or what he would do.”

What’s chilling, however, is that the last entry on his diary simply read, “Bye, bye.” He died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs a few months after filming The Dark Knight—the movie was still in its editing stage, and he never got to see the role that earned him his Oscar.

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ExploreTalent: Candice Swanepoel Spills Beauty Secrets

If you ask anyone to name a model of the new generation, then chances are Candice Swanepoel‘s name will come up. With a face and body as unique as her last name, this South African bombshell is quickly following the footsteps of previous supermodels by plastering her spot in the fashion industry.

As influential as she is, Candice surprisingly does not have high-maintenance beauty routine. You would think that with the intense pressure it is to look good for the camera and the runway, she would resort to expensive products and exercise routines. But Candice is the exact opposite, so everyone would be delighted to know that her beauty secrets are actually manageable and within your reach.

Read on below to find out some of the beauty principles that this Victoria’s Secret Angel swears by.

1. Organic Beauty Products

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Candice admitted to being prone to allergies, so she sticks with organic products that are gentle to the skin. The problem with drugstore-bought products or any other “synthetic” ones is that they are packed with components that are undeniably harmful to the skin. They may be cheap, but synthetic products contain ingredients such as parabens, which are known to contribute to tumor growth in the breast. Another alarming ingredient is formaldehyde, which is mostly found in cheap Chinese manufactured products. This can be easily absorbed by the skin and can cause harm toward the body’s organs. Even if Candice had not disclosed what exact product she uses on her face, she did say that it has green tea in it. Green tea is known to naturally shrink pores and also protect the skin from sun damage when used with a high SPF face lotion.

2. Clean, Tone, and Moisturize

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As part of her daily routine, Candice cleanses her face with a gentle cleaner, followed by a toner, then applying moisturizer last. Before going to bed, she adds an under eye cream since this often overlooked area is actually the first to sag.

Following this simple routine with products that work well with your skin can be very beneficial. Remember, if you do plan to try out other products along the way, remember that this might cause some breakouts. So make sure you read the product ingredients first before switching things up to see if you could be allergic to anything.

3. Exercise Regime

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Part of Candice’s beauty secrets in maintaining her beautiful face and body is having to hit the gym regularly. But of course, if you don’t have the time and luxury to do the same, you can opt for free workouts like an afternoon jog or simply walking the dog, anything just to keep the blood pumping.

As for Candice, she does have those days wherein her schedule takes most of her free time. She makes the most out of it by formulating her own exercise while in the hotel. So try to incorporate fitness every once in a while, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and do push ups at home if you want to get that toned stomach for summer.

4. Healthy Diet

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As a supermodel, Candice Swanepoel knows that beauty starts from the inside out. So she avoids any unhealthy foods when it comes to sticking to her diet. Candice is a big fan of smoothies. Smoothies can give good digestion if done with the right ingredients. This supermodel likes mixing up her smoothie to find out what new food she can reward her body with.

“I drink a lot of coconut water; I mix different things in my smoothie; I take fish oil . . . that kind of thing,” she told W Magazine. “And then just getting all the different food groups—all your veggies, fruits, carbohydrates.”

5. Beauty Must-Have

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Candice’s beauty must-have is actually available in the drugstore. It’s Palmer’s Lip Balm, a simple butter formula with SPF 15 in it to protect the lips from the sun. As a self-confessed morning person, Candice needs to have her body protected from head to toe, so it’s no wonder that she swears by a product like this.

As for makeup, this natural beauty doesn’t really use a lot. She advises that people remember to remove their makeup before going to bed, though, as failure in doing so can cause unwanted breakouts.

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Movie Must-Watch: Films for High School Seniors

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Even though Charles Dickens wrote this about the era leading up to the French Revolution, the same can be said about high school, depending on which group you belonged in the social ladder.

Because of this certain fascination, there have been a lot of Hollywood films centered around high school students—and here are some of the best ones to watch if you’re a high school senior about to take on the bigger world.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

When it comes to relationships, senior year is one of the most trying times. It’s when you know the inevitable will happen—you and your close-knit group of friends will separate ways, your boyfriend or girlfriend is probably not going the same school as you are, and you’re going to be leaving family behind.

If that’s not enough, there will be a lot of other challenges as well, like making it to graduation or waiting for acceptance letters to arrive. Pressure is mounting, not just for your academic life, but for your social life as well. It may not be a big hit with the critics, bu this third installment of High School Musical deals with all that, which is why it is incredibly relatable—and watchable.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

John Hughes is a master when it comes to coming-of-age stories, and Ferris Bueller is about the fun of high school. This classic movie is about a teen who skipped school for a day to spend time with his girlfriend and his best friend.

Full of fun shenanigans as Ferris tries to evade his parents, his sister, or the dean, this movie gives a new meaning to senior skip day and will make you realize just how much you should live life to the fullest.

Dead Poet’s Society

“Oh captain, my captain” is one of the most famous lines from this movie, and a memorable one at that, if only for the inspiration that it represented. One of the best performances by the late Robin Williams, this is a must-see for everyone, especially seniors who are in need of inspiration and motivation for the rest of the year. The story is a bit dark, but it touches on the themes of friendship, learning, and pressure, things that many high school students go through.

Set in an all-boys boarding school, the cast members are mostly males, which is why, there will be no dry eye in the house by the end of the film. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Say Anything

Directed by Cameron Crowe, Say Anything is about the reality of how everyone—absolutely everyone—deals with insecurities. Set the summer after high school, The story follows the romance between the average student and the school valedictorian. While high school is officially finished for them, the pressures are just mounting.

Mostly relatable, this is the film to watch if you don’t want to talk about the things that are bothering you before you jet off to another part of the world—and could just maybe help you feel a little less pressured about the looming college days ahead.

Grease

A lot of parents have problems with the negative messages that the film gives to kids and teens. However, for the not-so-conservative, this movie is a representation of how students feel as they go through their last year of high school, like how they should not miss the opportunity to tell their crushes how they feel.

Remember the morale of this story, though: don’t change who you are to fit into the standard that someone else wants you to be.

Toy Story 3

While the animated movie looks like it’s made for children, remember that it was targeted specifically for the same children who saw the first movie years before this was released.

From the view of the toys who feel that they are getting left behind as their owner leaves for college, the same sentiments will haunt audiences as they realize what they are leaving behind—the comforts of home, a change in environment, and maybe the toys that meant a lot to them when they were young.

A Cinderella Story

While it’s just another chick flick with dances and romance, there is a lot high schoolers can learn about the story. The new take on the classic fairy tale is less damsel-in-distress than an empowered young woman, but the gist of it all is that you have to work hard for what you want and stand up to those who try to pull you down—whether it be your peers, a boy, or an evil step-family.

The morale even came in a charming quote: never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

What other movies do you think are necessary for senior high schools to watch?

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How Professional Models Pose for a Photo Shoot

As a model, a campaign can be a nerve-wracking experience. The first thing you ask yourself is, how should I pose? There is a mounting pressure that comes in going into a photo shoot especially if it happens to be your first time doing so. In the end, the best thing you can do as a model is to be prepared. Remember, there is particular attention given to you as you are the subject of the campaign, so in the end you need to put your best foot forward to make it work.

The poses and tips you will find here aren’t too hard to follow, just match them with a fierce face and personality, then you would be good to go. Remember to practice first to assess which pose would work best for you and keep in mind that variety is key when it comes to showcasing your creativity on the set.

1. Gain inspiration from supermodels

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Famous supermodels are up there for a reason: they’ve had the fashion industry wrapped around their fingers with their signature poses. The good news is that these models have paved the way for other up-and-coming models to follow in their footsteps, even if it means taking inspiration from their poses. Whether it be Cindy Crawford‘s tousled hair flip or Tyra Banks‘s legendary “smize,” find out which pose you can pull off yourself and go with that. But do bear in mind that you’ll need to add your own flavor to these poses so you wouldn’t end up being just a mere copycat. Who knows, if your career goes well, soon enough, you will find yourself being on the same runway with these models.

2. Catch the light

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Your face needs to know where the light is, that way your features will be captured by the camera. So tilt your nose where you know your face can be seen and be highlighted at the same time. Think of it as the same way you take photos on your own, you always move toward the light to enhance the photos.

3. Create angles

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Common mistake made by new models everywhere is that they think all they have to do is to arrive at the venue of the photo shoot, look pretty, and do the hand-in-hip pose. Frankly, that pose is outdated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t applicable anymore. Mix basic poses up a bit by creating flattering angles. Photos are not three dimensional, thus a stiff pose can easily translate into a lifeless photo at the click of a camera.

4. Slightly open your mouth

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Flip through the magazines and you’ll notice that every edgy photo shoot has a model with her mouth partially opened. This creates an illusion of an elongated jawline and can be very sensual without looking cheap at the same time. A slightly opened mouth can also bring a photo to life if the body lacks any movement or angles. Do keep in mind not to go overboard with the mouth opening pose to the point you’ll end up looking like a fish—a little goes a long way.

5. Let your body move

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If the photo shoot allows you to, then you need to move your body as much as possible. You want to give the photographer the impression that you are capable of doing other poses and not be as stiff as a statue. If you are standing up, make sure your feet aren’t just plastered on the ground. Try tipping your toes forward or back just to bring them to life. You don’t need to be a professional dancer to know how to create movement, you just need to know that the basic thing a model can bring to a photoshoot is how knowledgeable he or she is of their own body.

6. Emphasize the product being sold

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As a model, it is also your responsibility to bring emphasis to the product the whole campaign is about and not just the photographer’s. Direct your body into showcasing a flattering pose for the product as well. For example, if you are endorsing shoes, then bring your foot forward while still minding other elements like your face and body movement.

Remember to be patient and work with your photographer so you can achieve the best pictures in the end. A campaign photo shoot is a team effort, so be a great team player by striking your best poses.

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The Beginning, Middle, and End: How to Tell a Story

Jean-Luc Godard once said, “A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order.”

Being in the entertainment industry, whether you’re an actor, a director, or a producer, being able to tell a story is one of the most important skills you should have.

After all, stories are what grabs people and transports them to different times and spaces, allowing them to live vicariously through the lives of the characters.

Still, storytelling takes great skill. Most people ramble and lose their point, or many of them have a hard time gauging interest for the audience to begin with.

According to Forbes, people retain stories longer than they ever would with plain, old, boring data, so if you want to tell one, you have to make sure that you tell it well.

So in case you’re wondering how to tell a tale, here are some essential tips to be able to do so, while connecting with your audience:

Be specific

Know the kind of story that you want to tell. Whether you’re an actor or a director, you should be able to know the details of the stories that you need to tell. Actors, for instance, should discuss with the writers, directors, and other cast members the progress of the stories to make sure they are on the same page.

Alan Rickman, who started playing the character of Severus Snape before all the Harry Potter books were released, knew the fate of his character even before the rest of production did. This is because he spoke with JK Rowling and learned about Snape’s back story and his bigger role in the wizarding world.

Follow structure

Godard had the right idea when he said that stories should have the three essential parts. In the beginning, introduce the characters and indicate in which direction the story is supposed to go.

In the middle, include interesting events, maybe some obstacles. These are the things that great stories are made of.

Finally, stitch events together at the end and make sure that the story ends with a concluding scene to the story, or a cliffhanger to get people waiting for the next one.

Good stories don’t have to be complicated, but your audience do have to know why you’re telling them to begin with. So make sure that you structure it around a purpose – to state a moral, to connect with someone, or find a common reference point.

Don’t go for perfect

There is no one perfect way to tell a story. In fact, perfect characters and perfect plots make for boring stories. Similar to what Leo Tolstoy said in the first line of Anna Karenina, “All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This is why we rarely ever read or watch stories made of perfect families with perfect lives.

People are enraptured by stories that are vulnerable and honest. They want to connect with the characters by their struggles and how to overcome them. Speaking of struggles . . .

Don’t forget conflict and tension

If you’re not too familiar with the two, conflict occurs when a character meets an obstacle they are going to struggle with, while tension is the stress or pressure of the story that is released by the climax. It is important for tension to be progressive as you tell the story because if the tension doesn’t build or is released too early, then your story will fail.

Pay attention to details

To tell a story more effectively, give the audience the information they need to be able to get a visual and for them to appreciate the story even more. This means that you have to describe your character, locations, and events. Beware of being too descriptive, though, it might bore your audience in the long run.

Jazz it up and let it go

The thing with stories is that they are like liquid—they change each time you tell them, so after all the preparations are through, let yourself go and act as you should in that moment. This is why different actors in theaters have different interpretations of the same characters.

It takes great skill to be able to tell stories that people want to hear, so don’t be afraid to go ahead and tell them.

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Effective Ways to Stop Worrying About Auditions

Acting auditions have to be overcome by every actor in the business. As nerve-wracking or stressful they may seem, they are an essential and inevitable part of your acting career. The process is understandably difficult to get used to, and no matter how long you’ve been in the industry, preparation is still a key factor in making or breaking the outcome of your audition.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that there really is no such thing as a flawless audition. Even casting directors know that for a fact, so it is no use to place continuous pressure on yourself when it comes to auditioning.

Instead, focus on how to feel confident enough for your next audition and maybe even increase your chances of landing a role.

1. Do the audition for yourself

(PATRICK DODSON / GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER) Nicole Emmons, 18 years old, of Albany, speaks with judges Alyssa Hardy, left, and Renata Sviridova, right, during open call model auditions for the next Electric City Couture fashion show at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady on Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Acting for that matter should stem from sole passion and not from somebody else’s plan for you. How do you expect to do good if you aren’t accomplishing your personal acting goal? Try giving yourself a pep talk and remind yourself why you’re auditioning for this part in the first place. The more familiar you are with your plans, the more chances you have in increasing your confidence during the actual audition.

2. Don’t expect things to go as planned

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When an actor sets the bar for himself, he tends to forget that things have a huge chance to not go as smoothly as possible. You may have a good audition and still not end up getting the role in the end, as there could be other more qualified than you. A lot of success stories have stemmed from missed out roles. Take a look at Oprah Winfrey‘s career. Now she is the most established multimedia star in the industry, but prior to that, numerous new companies found her unfit for television.

3. Accept the fact that you will feel anxious

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Nerves, anxiety, involuntary shaking—this is all part of human DNA and you shouldn’t feel bad about them! It’s not about being nervous during an audition, that’s practically normal for whoever is placed in front of an audience. But in the end, it is about how to handle audition nerves. There are several advises out there such as breathing exercises, meditation, and more. What matters is that you choose whatever works well for you and apply them to effectively calm you down.

4. Practice and preparation

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Practice and preparation is essential for an audition because it gives you confidence. The more you skillfully wield your acting chops, the more this will reflect your stance during the audition. Think of it like being in school and preparing for an exam, you can only be determined to take if you studied and reviewed your books ahead of time. Keep in mind that practice and preparation do not happen the night before, as this will only result into cramming.

5. Auditions are an opportunity to act

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Basically, an audition is still an opportunity to act. You have an audience in the form of casting directors, and if you get the chance, you will be paired off with other people to test out your chemistry with them. Never take auditions for granted, if you don’t take acting for granted either. Remember, this is your first step to success, and the best part is knowing that no actor is exempted from auditions.

6. Don’t doubt yourself

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Doubt will only result in worry, and worry will be reflected in your actions. Time and time again, this article has mentioned the word “confidence” and it has repeated so because that is your number one tool needed in auditions. If you doubt yourself, how can you proceed in a business as competitive as acting? Stop being down in the dumps and realize that you’re better than what you make yourself out to be.

When it comes to auditions, the results may not always work in your favor. But when you work on your confidence, you’ll be able to accept whatever outcome there is out there and work on the next one.

Remember, it’s not the end of your career if you miss one opportunity, use this as a motivation for you to prepare more extensively for your next audition. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun as you continue trying to achieve your acting goals.

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ExploreTalent Lists: 10 Best Directors of All Time

Great movies are made by great directors—it is with their talent that mediocre stories can be turned into magical movies.

Directors in Hollywood these days come a dime a dozen, but some stand out more than others. Here are the top ten Hollywood directors who had the gift of storytelling bestowed upon them:

Alfred Hitchcock

Claim to Fame: Psycho, Vertigo, Notorious

When it comes to suspense thrillers and mysteries, Alfred Hitchcock is the first name to come to mind. His fame put him on the list of Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Films of All Time more than any other director, with four titles under his name: Psycho (1960 ) at #11, Vertigo (1958) at #19, North by Northwest (1959) at #44, and Notorious (1946) at #66.

Steven Spielberg

Claim to Fame: Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws

There is no doubt about his talent as a director, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential persons in film history. Perhaps one of the most well-known filmmakers in the world, he continues on making commercial success films, even to this day. Among his strong suits is his ability to remain versatile behind the camera.

Martin Scorsese

Claim to Fame: Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, Taxi Driver

Known for his crime films, Martin Scorsese was supposed to be on his way to becoming a priest—he even entered a seminary in 1956. Lucky for film fans, he opted to stay in Hollywood and gave people great films to watch. While he is known for his signature crime genre, he went on to direct family films as well, proving best directors that best directors are not limited to their comfort zones.

Christopher Nolan

Claim to Fame: The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, Inception

With only 15 years in the film industry, he is fast becoming one of the most famed directors in Hollywood. The name Christopher Nolan has become synonymous with excellent storytelling. With great screenplays and thought-provoking ideas, his brand of films have been known to both be action-packed and intelligent, and if you don’t agree, you may have to schedule another sit-down with his films like Insomnia, Inception, and The Prestige, to start with.

Francis Ford Coppola

Claim to Fame: The Godfather, The Godfather Part 2

The director of what is considered to be the best films of all time, Francis Ford Coppola’s talent comes from his family’s creative genes. Born to a composer and musician father and an actress mother, his unquestionable talent makes him a director to be remembered throughout the ages.

Quentin Tarantino

Claim to Fame: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds

He gained critical acclaim with his first film as a writer and director. Reservoir Dogs defined his brand of storytelling, making him an instant legend. He then went on to direct more films like Kill Bill, Sin City, and Django Unchained. As his list of films grew, so did his wins at the  Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys.

Charles Chaplin

Claim to Fame: Modern Times, The Idle Class, City Lights

Yes, he is known for his roles in slapstick comedy, but the truth is that Charlie Chaplin is more than that. The little man with the toothbrush mustache is considered as one of the most genius and pivotal talents of his generation, both as a slapstick actor and as a director of many of the films he starred in.

Woody Allen

Claim to Fame: Annie Hall, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Blue Jasmine

As a young boy, young Allan Stewart Konigsberg started writing jokes for a local paper, eventually moving on to writing them for talk shows. However, he felt that his talent was being wasted, so he took his agent’s word and went on to doing stand-up comedy instead. After performing onstage for a few years, he was approached to write jokes for Warren Beatty. However, things went south when he realized he can’t work on a project without complete control over production. This need for control paid off—he eventually became known for his romantic comedies. His style has changed over the years, but one thing is for certain: his brand of storytelling is unique and distinct, making him one of the best directors of all time.

Alfonso Cuaron

Claim to Fame: Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, A Little Princess

The Mexican director received his first camera when he was only twelve, but even before then, he knew that he wanted to be a film director. His other dream was to become an astronaut. Eventually, these two things came together when he directed Gravity.

Tim Burton

Claim to Fame: Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

His brand of quirky films set him aside as a director. Known not only for telling intriguing fantasy films, Tim Burton’s claim extends to endearing stop-motion films like Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Corpse Bride. He is known to keep working with the same actors and actresses—many of his films starred Johnny Depp and former partner Helena Bonham Carter. Burton’s talent and originality made his work instantly recognizable, thus earning him a spot on the list of best directors.

Any actor would be lucky to have worked with these directors, and while some on the list, like Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock have been gone for a while, who knows, you could probably still find yourself on set of many other talents that contribute to making quality entertainment.

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