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

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…

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. ☺️ 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. ☺️”></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… 😀

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

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

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! 🙂

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.  😀  (Couldn’t figure out the Instagram embedding…you’ll have to click through!)