Hey y’all, it’s been awhile…

Life got really busy, and I’ve neglected my posting. Instead of featuring a giant catch up post, I’ll try to post short updates now and then. I’ve just been more active on my Official Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, I apologize!

Anyway, I’m very proud to share that I was cast as a lead in a science-fiction audio drama podcast series called The Strange Case of Starship Iris created and written by Jessica Best, and under the umbrella Podcast collective, Procyon Podcast Network. They’ve got two more series coming, and have been running a Kickstarter that ends Friday if you want to sponsor all of us so you have more creative audio dramas to listen to! These series are great because the artists involved are focused on diverse storytelling, with a broad range of characters and representation. They are extremely inclusive of the LGBTQ community which is near and dear to my heart as I have so many friends who don’t fall into any sort of heterosexual gender binary system, and they are also inclusive of minorities. There’s even a purple alien character in Starship Iris named Krejjh who goes by they/their pronouns! How cool and progressive is that! To check out more info on Starship Iris, check out the Tumblr page. (Starship Iris¬†is also available on Google Play and the Apple Podcast app.)

For other acting updates, I recently appeared as a potentially recurring character on the MacGyver reboot’s crossover episode with Hawaii Five-0. MacGyver has just announced they’ve been picked up for a second season, so fingers crossed I get to return, too. Peter Lenkov, the executive producer on MacGyver, mentioned he always saw the two worlds existing together, and hopes for more crossover episodes, so let’s hope he means it! I played a scientist named Mayumi and along with some other scientists, we were stuck in a building after an earthquake and MacGyver has to come to our rescue. I volunteer to use a real-life skill I have in the episode. ūüėČ Also very exciting to me was the fact this crossover episode had an epic amount of Asian American talent, yay!

Before this, I made it into an episode of Fox’s New Girl late last year! Check this clip out:

Cindy Chu in FOX’s New Girl S6.E05 “Jaipur Aviv” Reel Clip from Cindy Chu on Vimeo.

I’ll leave it at that for now, and if you want more regular updates, just follow my official FB page, Tumblr or Twitter where I’m much more active!

Love,

Cindy

CHU16344 2

Enjoying the poppies superbloom outside of LA 

 

cindy chu under the table

5 Things You Can Do For Your Acting Career

Yesterday was a great day, I had a meeting with my new manager that left me feeling inspired and empowered, and then my friend had a one-woman show at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood. I went to it only knowing it was a dark comedy about wanting to die¬†and I left, moved to tears, heart aching, stones in my throat. Another inspiring moment. From the sound of that, you might think, “Wow, actors have it easy in LA!” But let’s clear up some misconceptions. The reason I had a meeting was because my former manager switched career tracks and is doing something else now, and that left me in a weird space where maybe I was still with the same company but with no attachment to one particular manager, which meant I’d feel like I was just that kid who hung around a party wanting to be invited in but not knowing if I was welcome. So I asked for things to be clarified with my new contact and he set up a meeting to get to know me and see about working together. We meshed well and know more about one another now and I’m really excited to move forward with the company now, knowing he knows where I’m at and I know where they are in this whole process.

Michaela Myers' stage setup for her one-woman show I Am Vertical, performed at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood

Michaela Myers’ stage setup for her one-woman show I Am Vertical, performed at the Comedy Central Stage in Hollywood

Actress Michaela Myers

Regarding my friend’s show, her name is Michaela Myers, she’s incredibly smart, funny, gorgeous, and wow, is she talented! I actually just made her acquaintance recently, in the last few months. I had gotten into the improv comedy scene this year and ended up joining a bunch of different Facebook groups for comedy in LA. On one of them, I saw a request for submissions for a new comedic web series, starring women, & written and directed by women, which is what we need more of in this industry! There wasn’t that much information but I submitted and they got back to me and told me they wanted me to read for a particular character, and asked for a self-tape first. After that, they asked me to come in for a callback in person, and I did, and they ended up wanting to book me for the part. Now, most of you already know a lot of these web series are deferred payment. So you have to decide for yourself whether or not it will be a good project to be a part of, or not. I asked for other projects they’d worked on and they sent me some clips, which got me really excited because they were well-produced and funny, so I signed on. Through that whole process, I met so many incredible people, movers and shakers, and good people to know. I added to my tribe. I learned a lot. I got to be a lead on a show, and have that experience, AND make all sorts of new connections. (Read about our webseries.)

A behind the scenes shot from Under the Table web series. Ashaki Ayoka adjusting a light as DP Nathan Krauss scopes out his shot

A behind the scenes shot from Under the Table web series. Ashaki Ayoka adjusting a light as DP Nathan Krauss scopes out his shot

cindy chu under the table

My co-star on Under the Table, Maggie Monk, took this shot of me massaging Pam with my feet while we were hurrying up and waiting for our next scene

But let’s get back to Michaela. She’s been in the comedy scene. She decided to do a one-woman show and through her network she was able to work with an incredible director to help her put her show together. She made the crowd laugh until our ribs hurt, and then she took us into her deep hole of despair and cry with her, and brought us back to the light of love and laughter. But you know what? She wasn’t even SAG when I started working with her on our web series. Through doing the show (and the producer doing the paperwork PROPERLY) she’s now SAG-Eligible. And she has no representation, but I think after last night, people will be knocking on her door. She has talent. She can write. She can act. She can do comedy, and drama, and dramedy. Even though she didn’t have representation, she was still making her own content and producing for herself, and going out for projects like our webseries, because it’s all part of the experience and process, and all of that can help you become a better artist, a better actor.

Cindy Chu, Michaela Myers, Maggie Monk with their cash on set of Under the Table

Cindy Chu, Michaela Myers, Maggie Monk with their cash on set of Under the Table

So with all of that being said, let’s get back to it. Many aspiring actors take off and move to Los Angeles or New York to make it big and go for their dreams. Many of us don’t have a good network in place or we may not even know what to do when we get there. Here are some important tips that I’ve learned through trial and error and I’m here to share them with you. Here are 5 things you can implement right now.

1) DON’T JUST WAIT FOR OPPORTUNITIES, MAKE YOUR OWN, & BUILD YOUR TRIBE
You’re going to hear this over and over again. Produce your own content. Write. Film. Put it on Vine or YouTube! You can use your actor friends to collaborate with! Consumer cameras and technology have grown so much that you can self-produce professional looking videos pretty easily. Don’t worry if it’s not great to begin with, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

2) MAKE SURE YOUR REELS/HEADSHOTS/PROFILES ARE UP TO DATE
Take some time to make sure your various casting site profiles are up to date and if you have new footage you can use for your reels, get those reels cut and updated! Did you perhaps fill out your profile with a bunch of skills you don’t actually have? Go through and make sure you didn’t say you can polka if you can’t actually do it! Don’t put stuff on there just to fill your profile up. Keep it clean and concise and true. I’ve heard so many stories of actors being hired for a “special skill” they listed and they show up to set and aren’t able to perform. They not only make themselves look unprofessional but in turn it looks bad for the casting directors, too. You definitely don’t want to burn bridges that way.
Check out my IMDB page to view my recently updated reels.

3) ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT SITES?
For Los Angeles, if you’re doing commercial and theatrical work, you should have profiles on LACasting, Actors Access, and Casting Frontier. Lesser used ones would be NowCasting and Backstage. If you’re self-submitting, I recommend you pay for a year of Showfax rather than paying submission by submission, it’ll save you money to pay for the subscription and be able to self-submit as much as you want.

4) RESEARCH PROJECTS YOU’RE GOING IN FOR
Are you self-submitting? Are you getting audition appointments from your reps? Know who you’re going in for. What genre is the show? What else have they cast before? For those newer to the game, are these people legitimate or is it going to be a crap shoot? If you watch projects the producing/directing team has made before, and they’re indie, do they look like good projects to be a part of? Your time is like money, and you want to make sure you invest it wisely.

5) PREPARATION PREPARATION PREPARATION
Are you preparing as well as you should for your audition? Do you know the story you’re going to tell in the room? Do you know what your character perspective is? Practice with your actor friends and not your dog or boyfriend or girlfriend (unless they’re an actor, hehe) so that when you go in, you’re ready. If you’re bad at improv, get into an improv class (UCB, Nerdist, iOWest, Groundlings, Second City) and start a practice group outside of class. Do some indie shows. If you’re not in an ongoing acting class, get into one. It’s a bad idea to come here counting on making it overnight, because it takes a lot of hard work and talent and acting is just like any other art. You wouldn’t expect an architect to build a solid house on his/her first try, or a photographer to be able to shoot like Mario Testino right away, you’ve got to hone your skills before you can become a master of your craft.

These are just some basic things you can start with, and I’ll be posting more about other facets of the acting industry as a fellow up-and-coming actor. My hope is that I can save some of you time and money and a headache by giving you some real advice that maybe I learned the hard way, so it’ll be easier for you.

We didn’t pick an easy industry, but we’re doing it for whatever reason, so let’s do it well!

What other topics would you like to hear about? If you have any questions or comments, please comment below!

~Cindy

cindy chu, under the table

After our last shoot day on Under The Table, all the wonderful cast and crew there that day! I feel so lucky to know them all! Top Row L to R: Jessie Hixenbaugh, Andra Whipple, Reed Burkett, Denise Valentine, Gabriela Varley. Seated on Sofa L to R: Lauren Davis, Cindy Chu, Maggie Monk, Nathan Krauss. Seated on floor L to R: Grace Earley, Michaela Myers, Hanna Bowens, and Pam (also featured in portrait above sofa)

Summertime Sadness

Just kidding, there’s no time to be sad! This year, 2014, has been off to a decent start with a booking as a rock climber for a health brochure that I mentioned a few blog posts ago, and then my first commercial booking in LA where I got to hold this adorable Asian baby! I got a lot of compliments on how naturally maternal I looked, and I’ve got to thank all the influences I had growing up and babysitting/nannying for so many amazing children. You never know what jobs you’ve had, or skills you’ve picked up will be useful in your auditions. My last job incorporated rock climbing which I do as a hobby sport, I never would have guessed I’d get a job out of it!

Cindy Chu baby

Cindy Chu holding a cute Asian baby at a commercial shoot

While I heard a warning that summertime is really slow for auditions, it seems the last few weeks have been quite full of auditions for a lot of commercials and indie projects. ¬†I’m part of the slew of actors who really dresses for the part, because why wouldn’t you? I want to deliver myself as the full package, ready to work, and fit the image they may have of the character. This means I sometimes buy clothing just for auditions, and keep other pieces around that maybe aren’t my IRL style but may be useful for certain audition looks. ¬†This one was for a hip girl, stylish, thrift shop, etc. I wore my glasses just to make myself stand out a little more because they’re a very flattering pair, and my last booking, I had worn them in the callback even though they had me remove them for the tape, they still remembered me for them. ¬†If anyone is interested in where I got them, they were from SEE Eyewear. ¬†They probably still have a similar style for sale, although I think mine were from 2012. Outfit Details:

  • Top: Forever 21 (used to be a L/S but I ripped it while trying to do a handstand so I chopped the sleeves off.
  • Dress: Love 21 (offshoot of Forever 21)
  • Belt: Urban Outfitters
  • Boots: Jeffrey Campbell for Free People (I love these boots! Very versatile look.)
  • Thigh high socks: Free People
Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu in a grunge/lady/nerdy look for an audition

Here we have a steampunk inspired outfit for an audition.

Cindy Chu Audition

Cindy Chu in a Steampunk Outfit for Audition

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but I had a pretty nifty undo where most of my hair was in a high ponytail and I curled half of it and teased it, then braided the other half, with a baby french braid from the nape up and around the ponytail base with curls framing the face. I used a 3/4″ curling iron, like this one here. ¬† My favorite hairspray right now is by Bumble & Bumble, the blue can.

B&B Hairspray

Cindy Chu’s current favorite hairspray

Outfit Details:

  • Dress: Love 21
  • Tights: Target (? old pair I had, don’t remember)
  • Boots: Same as above
Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu thinking steampunk thoughts

Cindy Chu makeup

Steampunk makeup look

Makeup Look:

Along with hair, makeup, and wardrobe choices, I’ve also got to stay on top of my physical game. I follow this fit chick Nicole Mejia on Instagram. The reason I follow her is because she has an atypical body type compared to most models you see in catalogs and on runways. She’s petite, and has a natural pear shape with thick thighs. Following fitness girls who have body types that seem more real for me to achieve helps me stay inspired and positive. I also follow some supermodels because they post fun photos, but I know no matter how much I workout, I will never be a lanky 5’10” model type. She has been doing a “Fit & Thick” North American tour, teaching workout classes in different cities across the US, and this photo below was from her early session at the David Barton gym in LA. (It was a super nice gym, btw…) It didn’t seem that hard of a workout during, but man oh man, today and yesterday I got really stiff and sore, and it hurt to walk and to move, period. It was the DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, which meant I ripped a bunch of fibers and they are rebuilding. We did a lot of plyo type moves, jump squats, sumo squats, deadlifts, etc. I did get pretty sweaty!

Cindy Chu Nicole Mejia

Cindy Chu and Nicole Mejia at a Fit & Thick tour event

A year ago today, I started my membership at the Bar Method-Marina Del Rey. I signed up with the first month special and then continued on the monthly. While it’s more expensive than a gym membership to Gold’s or Equinox would be, I liked the class aspect, almost like having a personal trainer, and having that made it easier for me to make myself go workout. I didn’t have to think about or plan out what I would need to work on, I just go in and listen to the great instructors. Here I am, a year into Bar Method, feeling pretty fit but hungry for more improvement!

Cindy Chu Bar Method Bikini Body

Cindy Chu celebrating a year of Bar Method under her belt!

Here’s a 4 year progression comparison photo.

Cindy Chu health diet bar method before and after

Cindy Chu’s health transformation over the past 4 years.

And the photo below here, shows a row of pics from before I started Bar Method (top) to now, one year later, comparing front, side and back. Not a huge weight differential here, but you can see I toned up and slimmed a bit around the torso and thighs especially. I didn’t even really realize how much everything had lifted and toned compared to before, so I’m really glad that I took progress photos to document it not only for myself, but to help put more info out there for others who are looking for ways to shape up and get healthier.

Cindy Chu  Bar Method Results Before and After

Cindy Chu’s transformation from starting Bar Method a year ago to today.

After I had my audition today, I stopped for a quick lunch at one of my new favorites, Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica. They use a lot of locally sourced ingredients and make their own fresh almond milk, so they have the best almond milk lattes I’ve found so far in LA. I paired it with a long-line caught tuna salad. Portion control is something I’ve worked on for health reasons in the last couple years, and this salad was pretty big. If I eat until I feel full, then I’ve usually overeaten and then feel bloated. Now I try to stop after I’m satisfied, and then just eat again when I feel hungry. This salad here was in a pretty big bowl, so I ate half and took the rest home.

Cindy Chu diet huckleberry cafe

Cindy Chu enjoyed this healthy meal from Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica, CA. Line caught tuna salad and a fresh almond milk latte.

Oh, today I finally saw my old co-star Kate Boyer while at my audition, she was at the same place for a different audition. She was just as gorgeous and nice as always. She’s got a film coming out soon, Hollidaysburg, which I actually auditioned for one of the parts in. Look her up! She’s so lovely, inside and out. She told me her mom reads my blog, so shoutout to Kate’s mom! ¬†You did a wonderful job raising an amazing gal. Here’s Kate’s¬†Instagram feed.

Kate Boyer

The Lovely Kate Boyer, Actress and Stunt Woman Extraordinaire

Well, my summertime goal is to find a theatrical agent or a manager so that I can actually start auditioning for all the jobs that I don’t have access to for TV/Features. I’ve had postcards made for mailings, and some cute mini business cards from Moo (click the link to get 10% off, if you need some biz cards or postcards!). What do you think? Hopefully I’ll have a good update for you soon regarding representation!

Cindy Chu

Cindy Chu’s Moo Postcard

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a wonderful 4th!!!

xo,

Cindy

Spring Growth

Spring is officially in full bloom, well, at least here in sunny Southern California! Even the tulips are blooming in the colder states like Michigan. My career is also starting to bloom, or so I hope! In the time since my last post, my episode of Those Who Kill finally aired on A&E, although the series was pulled after the first two episodes. It will now return on Lifetime instead. ¬†My featured role as a Model in Limo on abc’s Mixology also aired recently. Here are some screen caps of my appearances:

Cindy Chu, Those Who Kill

Cindy Chu on ‘Those Who Kill’

Cindy Chu, abc, Mixology

Cindy Chu on ‘Mixology’

I also booked my first commercial job in LA, appearing as a rock climber in a print ad.  Here I am with my fellow models.

Cindy Chu, rock climbing, stronghold, la

Rock Climbing print ad at Stronghold Gym in downtown LA

This week I started a 4-week audition technique intensive class at the ever popular Margie Haber Studio. ¬†I’m studying under Courtney Burr and our first session went great! ¬†Can’t wait to go back tonight and learn more.

I’ve been attending workshops and manager meetings, and I hope to sign with either a manager or theatrical agent in the next few months. ¬†Hollywood is a tough egg to crack. ¬†Self-esteem and confidence are always good things to work on in this industry, especially, and I am feeling more of both after working on a photo shoot recently…

My photographer friend Mioara Dragan (who works between Detroit and LA) was in¬†town for LA Fashion Week last month, and we found this contest for Free People, where they would select a photographer, stylist, and model to come to NY for a photo shoot, and we wanted to do something for it. ¬†We decided in some of her spare time we would style some shots and I would play the model. ¬†I was stunned with the results! ¬†She captured me in the way I imagine myself at my best, not knowing I could ever appear that way in real life. ¬†Here are the images, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. ¬†Maybe I’ll stop scoffing now when people ask me if I model. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Oh, and if you’re in need of some head shots, or a wedding photographer, or whatever your needs are, she is incredibly talented and I highly recommend her.

Alright, those are my big updates for now!  My Macbook is about to die so until next time.

xoxo

~c

Entering the Year of the Horse

A happy belated 2014 to all of you, my dear readers!  I hope you have all been having an exciting year so far, although I know much of the US is suffering through one of the most terrible winters in decades, and definitely in my lifetime.  I am thankful every day that I moved to LA before this winter, as I really hate being cold.

ACTING STUFF

Anyway, I’m still on the hunt for a theatrical agent or manager in Los Angeles, which is proving difficult. ¬†I’d prefer not sending out thousands of postcards, and am reaching out to people I know who may be able to put me in touch with their connections. ¬†I know I can do the work, but it’s a matter of finding people who believe in me.

Recently I did a great agent showcase with Actor’s Advantage, run and organized by Shane Russeck. ¬†It was an interesting experience. ¬†All the actors checked in and got their time slots, and then the five agents were in the room, and when it was your turn, you went in, performed, and walked out and you were done. ¬†I haven’t heard anything but I know that sometimes these lead to work for some actors. ¬†Here’s the website if you want to check out an event. ¬†If you go, tell them I sent you!
Actor’s Advantage Showcase

In other acting news, there’s a great new trailer out for Those Who Kill, in which I played Nancy Yuan for the premiere episode. ¬†You can click through to the really scary trailer here. ¬†My friends Kate Boyer and Jordan Trovillion, both actresses I’ve written about before, can be seen in the creepy trailer. ¬†Kate is the one running away from the serial killer and tied up in a chair, and Jordan is dead in a dumpster in a quick flash. ¬†The show will premiere on A&E on March 3!

My shoulder was featured (body doubling) for a split second on the premiere episode of Rake, starring Greg Kinnear. ¬†When I went in for doubling, they had me working some lines with the actors and Sam Raimi, who directed that episode, very kindly upgraded me to cast for my work. ¬†I wish I could have auditioned for the actual role, but my turn will come. ¬†Anyway, I am incredibly thankful to Mr. Raimi for his kindness. ¬†That is the second time I’ve worked in a “background” role and been upgraded, which is very lucky indeed! ¬†When I worked on Red Dawn, I agreed to go in as background with a very high likelihood of being upgraded, and it went through so I became that police station screamer. ¬†(BTW, you can view Red Dawn on Netflix!) ¬†ūüôā

I’m still very much enjoying my classes at the Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, and we are moving from emotional prep to scenes with emotional prep, which we will be performing as our one year graduation showcase.

HEALTH & BEAUTY

I was recently googling myself as I am wont to do now and then, (purely for career reasons!!!) and saw a photo of mine that was posted on the Bar Method blog by none other than Burr Leonard, the creator of The Bar Method!  That was pretty neat and also made me feel more inspired to go to my Bar classes to get even more results.

Burr Leonard, bar method

Burr Leonard demonstrating moves at the bar

Cindy Chu Actress/Blogger

Since the holidays have come and gone, I had also gotten really into rock climbing to the detriment of my Bar routine, but it was still exercise!

Cindy Chu, climbing

Cleaning up leads and anchor, then rappelling in Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas, NV

But then, I used the holidays as an excuse to eat a lot more than I normally do, and after the new year, I wanted to rededicate myself to my health and fitness, and so not only did I restart my habit of going to Bar a few times a week at minimum, along with walking and cycling, and other activities like paddle ball or hiking, but I also signed up for a 30 Day Challenge through DailyHiit!¬†They have a lot of great routines you can do at home with just a few simple exercise tools, and the workouts are High Intensity Interval Training (hence the HIIT) so are more efficient than spending an hour at the gym doing random exercises, meaning the workout videos they’ve been sending have been just 12 minutes! ¬†Here’s a photo of my halfway point progress:

day15, cindy chu

Day 15 progress photo of 30 Day Challenge from Daily Hiit

As you can see, the differences are very subtle.  What I notice the most is a more defined linea alba  which is that center line down the stomach, a tendinous stretch on the abdomen splitting the two sides of muscles.  I hope there will be even more change come Day 30!

I know I posted about my hair care awhile back, too, and the Shiseido Tsubaki shampoo/conditioner is still working wonders and my hair is so much softer than before, which is helped also by the Aquasana carbon shower head filter I installed. ¬†Since I often do need to style my hair for auditions, I’ve got some great recommendations on styling tools, too. ¬†I received an amazing blow dryer for Christmas and it dries my hair so quickly, and keeps it very smooth, and I can adjust it to no-heat, as well. ¬†It’s the Elchim Ionic and is a pro level tool.

Elchim ionic hair dryer

Elchim Ionic

I also am extremely satisfied with the Hot Tools curling iron I bought last year. ¬†The 1″ size is perfect for creating beachy and classic waves, although, the 1″1/2 might be nice for softer waves. ¬†I got the 1″. ¬†I usually spray some of the Bumble and Bumble Does It All styling spray in for heat protection.

BB does it all styling spray

Hot Tools Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

Cindy Chu

Styled using the Hot Tools 1″ Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron

I had a lot of fun last night self-taping myself for some roles, and did a quick change in between, and I’ll leave you with this funny image of me. ¬†Signing off until next time! ¬†And please make sure to watch Those Who Kill when it comes out March 3!!!!

Cindy Chu

Double duty

xox,

Cindy

Time for new headshots!

 

My commercial agent Stephany at Avalon Artists Group wanted me to get some new headshots, and I figured it was about time what with all the hard work I’d been putting in at my local Bar Method studio. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†I’m super happy with the photos, and they were from this amazing multi-talented dude named Jeff E! ¬†He’s not only a talented and very easy to work with photographer, but also an actor himself! ¬†If you’re looking for some new photos, too, I’d recommend giving him a call.

 

cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot

cindy chu headshot

(This one’s one of my favorites, I feel like a model!)

cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot cindy chu headshot Cindy Chu Headshot

Establishing Myself in LA

It’s been awhile now, but I’m here in LA, Lalaland, Hollywood, what have you, and am very excited to see what this move will bring me in terms of my acting career. ¬†As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a performer and I dreamed of being in the movies, and working in Hollywood. ¬†I’m not doing too bad out here so far, as I’ve signed with Stephany Burns at Avalon Artists Group¬†through a friend’s introduction. ¬†The friend I speak of is none other than Kate Boyer, the lovely redhead who played my best friend in the pilot of Those Who Kill on A&E (Fox21). ¬†She has some killer scenes, so look out for the premiere!

I also just heard that another actor I worked with on Those Who Kill, the very talented Omid Abtahi, has been officially cast as Homes in Mockingjay, the next installment in The Hunger Games trilogy.  Congratulations, Omid!

Omid Abtahi, homes, mockingjay, hunger games

Omid Abtahi as Homes

So far, I’ve been on a number of auditions and had a couple holds but nothing solid yet. ¬†I did pick up a featured gig on ABC’s new show Mixology, so you might see me pop up for a quick second in one of the episodes. ¬†I started a Meisner Technique program at the Ruskin School of Acting, which I absolutely love! ¬†I can already feel that I’m growing as an actor under John Ruskin’s guidance.

sanford meisner, meisner, john ruskin

Sanford Meisner (left) with John Ruskin in 1986

I’m looking forward to producing some new projects with some of my classmates, so stay tuned for updates‚Ķ

In other aspects of life, I’ve got some beauty product recommendations for skin, hair, and health.

SKIN–For a few years, I was having issues with acne on my forehead. ¬†I’d heard a lot of great things about the Clarisonic from several friends but didn’t think too much about it. ¬†Once I got out here, I figured I should invest in one and check out all the hype. ¬†I could write it off, and everyone I knew who used one swore by it. ¬†Well, lo and behold, look at the improvement from before I started to a couple months after. ¬†I had a minor breakout this week but, you can still see a pretty marked difference. ¬†I had some hyperpigmentation from old blemishes and they got rid of them!

Final grade for the Clarisonic:  A  (** These Clarisonic links I included jump to the specific set I ordered off Amazon, but if you want more info on the brush you can pop over to their direct site http://www.clarisonic.com, but it is cheaper to buy it on Amazon!)

clarisonic before and after

My personal results from using the Clarisonic Aria!

 

HAIR–I have pretty long hair now. ¬†All of that hair is pretty old towards the bottom. ¬†Prone to dryness and breakage, as well as split ends, I tried to be extra gentle with it. ¬†I’d been trying a bunch of shampoos and conditioners, ones with argan oil, moroccan blends, you name it. ¬†Nothing was working that well. ¬†Then, since I’d been slowly switching to more natural products for the home anyway, I thought I’d try the “no ‘poo” method. ¬†I mixed up a bottle of the baking soda “shampoo”, and a bottle of the apple cider vinegar “conditioner” with some tangerine and lavender oil to help cancel the pungent smell. ¬†I also got on a schedule of washing my hair only once every 3 or 4 days, and actually brushing it well to help distribute the oils. ¬†It worked alright, my hair was shinier, but every time I worked out and got hot, it was a little stinky from the ACV. ¬†I eventually went through my solutions, and was looking up shampoos for Asian hair and heard a lot about the Shiseido Tsubaki hair treatment line. ¬†A bunch of Asian women gave it rave reviews for their long hair. ¬†I found a set on Amazon and ordered and have since used it just once and I can literally feel a huge difference. ¬†Normally, the ends of my hair feel pretty crispy and straw-like, and with the specially formulated blend of Camellia oil in their line, the Shiseido Tsubaki has already improved the softness of my hair. ¬†It’s still too early to tell since I’ve only tried it once, but I’d say from the results of using it only once and feeling the difference, that I’m going to love this line.

Tentative grade for Shiseido Tsubaki:  A

Shiseido Tsubaki

Shiseido Tsubaki camellia oil hair care

***I’ll try and update with a photo tomorrow after my haircut!**** ¬† Here’s the new coif! ¬†It’s styled here, but I got my much needed trim and the ends are nice again. ¬†Thanks to Arch at 9022!

Cindy Chu haircut

My awesome trim/styling by Arch at 9022 Salon in Los Angeles

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cindychu/9940780013/&#8221; title=”Found a new hair stylist, Arch at 9022. ¬†Super stoked to find a worthy replacement from my Joshie! ¬†First LA haircut! ¬†He even styled it for me for my audition. ‚ėļÔłŹ by cindychu, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/9940780013_ae08a0e46a.jpg&#8221; width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”Found a new hair stylist, Arch at 9022. ¬†Super stoked to find a worthy replacement from my Joshie! ¬†First LA haircut! ¬†He even styled it for me for my audition. ‚ėļÔłŹ”></a>

HEALTH–Some of you know I lost a lot of weight last year by following a diet that included mostly just legumes, proteins, and vegetables, and that really helped bring my body back under control. ¬†I was still a bit in denial about the need for working out, as I was so tired from waiting tables all the time, I figured that counted for working out. ¬†Unfortunately, it wasn’t truly cardio and it only worked a few muscles. ¬†Once I came out to LA, I couldn’t escape working out. ¬†Everyone here is so fit! ¬†I am in Venice now, and live fairly close to the beach. ¬†I had no excuse to not go for bike rides or runs with the beach right there. ¬†So I started running and biking and walking more. ¬†I also stopped drinking so much, no more after work beers with the crew, and that definitely helped with losing some bloat and cutting down on carbs. ¬†Then a friend of mine suggested I try a bar class for toning up, and I found one close by, The Bar Method. ¬†I started with their intro month special, $100 for the first 30 days. ¬†I took some before photos, and just 2 weeks in I was starting to see some results in my posture and the lift of my derriere, as well as a flattening of my tummy. ¬†It’s an amazing lifting and toning workout, isometric in nature, and is pretty much a blend of ballet, yoga, and pilates. ¬†I’ve never had well-defined abs before in my life, and I’m getting pretty close to that now! ¬†The Bar Method has changed my body completely. ¬†I can’t wait to see more progress in the next few months.

The difference two years can make‚Ķ ūüėÄ

before and after, bar method, success, bar method results

Little tweaks, or isometrics, can lead to big changes. ūüėČ

bar butt, bar method, before and after, lift and tone

My Bar Butt

cindy chu, bikini, bar method, before and after

I got a bit too excited about my progress and couldn’t decide between these Topshop bikinis, so I got all three! Eh! ūüôā

Alright, so I was working out a ton and thought I was eating right, but I wasn’t seeing a big change on the scale. ¬†I had gained a little winter (ahem, beer!!!) weight in Michigan and wanted to lose it, and I knew I was building muscle and toning up, but I was still about the same weight on the scale. ¬†I decided to start using MyFitnessPal to keep track of my calories in and was shocked to realize why I wasn’t losing very much weight was because I was overcompensating when eating, canceling out my progress working out. ¬†I quickly realized I had to downsize my portions and caloric intake to see faster results. ¬†Since joining and in combination with everything else, I’ve lost about 4 pounds, and am down a jean size to 26. ¬†I was kind of at that size last year with all the initial weight loss but that was through diet alone and I didn’t have the toned look I wanted. ¬†This time around, I wanted to do it all right. ¬†I remember a couple months ago there was a pair of jeans I really wanted from Free People but I tried on the right size and as they were ¬†little low-slung, and I still had a bit more middle, they didn’t look very good. ¬†I went back and tried them on a few weeks later and they fit really well and so I got them, and now they’re even a tiny bit loose. ¬†I really can’t say enough about The Bar Method and MyFitnessPal.

Final grades for The Bar Method and MyFitnessPal: A+ all the way!

If you want an easy way to log your weight on MyFitnessPal and have wifi at home, you can get a FitBit Aria scale, (in black OR white!) and link it up with your MyFitnessPal and it will sync it automatically to your account. ¬†The only weird thing about mine is it syncs my weight as .1lb more than it reads on the scale, which is a little weird but other than that, it’s great, and I love the automatic syncing option.

Final grade for the FitBit Aria:  A-

fitbit, aria, scale

My FitBit Aria scale, synced and ready to go!

And in case you want to check out what it’s like at sunset in Venice, which is when I like to go out for a jog, here’s a little clip of tonight’s sunset. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†(Couldn’t figure out the Instagram embedding‚Ķyou’ll have to click through!)

A&E Pilot ‘Those Who Kill’ Picked Up!

It’s official! ¬†The series has been ordered! ¬†Congratulations to the team!

http://www.deadline.com/2013/04/those-who-kill-tv-series-order-ae-network-chloe-sevigny/

Image

Happy Holidays, now what?

Cindy Chu and Santa Claws Jinxie Cat

A holiday greeting from Jinxie and I to you and yours this beautiful holiday season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pittsburgh was wonderful! ¬†I got back home last week from filming on Those Who Kill, and it was great hanging out with my fellow cast mates James D’Arcy¬†(Master and Commander with Russell Crowe), James Morrison¬†(TV show 24, Jarhead, Catch Me If You Can), Chloe Sevigny¬†(Big Love), Omid Abtahi, Ryan O’Nan, and Kate Boyer, along with getting to chat with my director Joe Carnahan¬†(The Grey) about growing up in Michigan and his next project Undying Love, and rehashing scenes from Willard¬†(starring the great Crispin Glover) and What Is It? with Glen Morgan. ¬†I ran into a couple production people I’d met in Michigan, too. ¬†My costumer Tony also worked on Red Dawn, and one of our craft services peeps was on LOL¬†(starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore). ¬†Small world getting smaller.

While having the weekend off, the actors got together and watched some work from a couple of us, including Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, nominated multiple times for Best Original Song in the Oscars¬†(listen to the¬†soundtrack), and Showing Up, an interview style documentary about auditions that can be a very meaningful watch for more than just actors, really, but anyone who has dreams he/she wants to pursue and is afraid to try. ¬†It was all very inspiring for me to be amongst these working actors and film professionals who are doing what they love, and making a living at it. ¬†A few conversations with them about the perks of moving to LA got my internal clock ticking again. ¬†It’s something I’ve been talking about for as long as I remember but I keep holding off, citing money as a reason. ¬†Another reason is to get myself a little bit more into the niche market here in the Midwest and East Coast as THE young Asian actress to hire, but it’s still a matter of do I want to hit the big time, because if I do, I will need to make the move at some point. ¬†When we Skyped last night, my sister said if I didn’t do¬†by June¬†2013 she’d be very disappointed in me. ¬†So, maybe LA this next year? ¬†So many things to think about as we enter the post-Mayan calendar. ¬†Looks like I’ve got to make some huge New Year’s resolutions…

For now, I will have to wait and see if Those Who Kill’s pilot gets approval once it’s edited, and then we’d all get to watch it on A&E. ¬†If not, it was a grand experience working with the team. ¬†Still waiting to hear back on an audition time for a big project I really want to land but all in good time.

Happy Holidays to you all!  Remember to enjoy life and follow your dreams!

xoxo,

Cindy

PS: Our family doesn’t really celebrate Christmas, but my second brother Mike and I are home enjoying family time with the parents. ¬†Mike has been shooting on a Canon 5D for awhile, which is a full-sensor camera, while I’ve been shooting on a Nikon D7000 which is awesome, but a cropped sensor, and everyone in the film/commercial world I know uses Canons… ¬†I was checking out Canons yesterday and IF I COULD, I’d love to upgrade to the Canon 5d Mark II one day, with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens one day‚ĶMaybe next Christmas, a gift for myself if I can kick ass at the whole acting career this year! ¬†It’s okay to get yourself Christmas presents, right? ¬†ūüėõ ¬†(All my siblings and I invested in a new 40 inch flat screen for our parents this year. ¬†A huge upgrade from their little 20 inch old-school big box TV‚Ķwhich my mama wants to keep for some reason‚Ķ)

Cindy Chu Enjoying a mug of coffee at Zenith Antiques in Shadyside, Pittsburgh

Cindy Chu Enjoying a mug of coffee at Zenith Antiques in Shadyside, Pittsburgh

 

The First Presbytarian Church near my hotel, the Omni William Penn

The First Presbytarian Church near my hotel, the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh

The first coconut I ever cracked

The first coconut I ever cracked

Our honey wagon for Those Who Kill

Our honey wagon for Those Who Kill

One of the dining rooms at Zenith Antiques, Shadyside, Pittsburgh

One of the dining rooms at Zenith Antiques, Shadyside, Pittsburgh

Those Who Kill basecamp Pittsburgh

Those Who Kill basecamp Pittsburgh

Cindy Chu's little dressing room

My little dressing room on Those Who Kill!

Little theater in Pittsburgh, the Harris

Little theater in Pittsburgh, the Harris, where I watched Holy Motors