Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Job, New Degree Program..So Much To Tell!

Hello everyone! I've been gone for so long! I have so much to tell. In September of 2014, I accepted a job as an AmeriCorps Liaison within the college and career readiness department at the Fontana Unified School District. At the district, I provide support to the wonderful and talented AmeriCoprs CalPREP Fellows and their respective volunteer infrastructures. I do this by ensuring that all CalPrep volunteer infrastructures are in uniformity and alignment with the Fontana Unified District policies and procedures. It's been really exciting, simply for the fact that i get to manage a variety of projects, build business and community partnerships, support recruitment and fundraising efforts, oversee volunteer programs and I also get to implement the district's very first volunteer policy and procedures manual. Super cool right? In addition to my high paced, super cool job job, I am also enrolled in the Software Development Associate Degree program at the ITT Technical Institute in San Bernardino, CA. I'm an in my second quarter, in my second day and loving it! I will be learning how to create websites and programming which will come in handy in the near future for building mobile applications for gifted children. I am very excited to get back to blogging and sharing what I've been learning about software development/technology in respect to entertainment industry and of course with a psychological perspective in mind. See you soon!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Must-Go-To Event: The LPN's Carnaval Night In Rio Event @ The Roosevelt + Ticket Giveaway!!!

Are You In A Networking Funk? Here’s What To Do….
Are you feeling a little left out? Do you want to connect with your community leaders and spread the word about your business? Are you a recent graduate that needs some guidance and some exposure? If you fit into one of the above, chances are you’re not only in a networking rut but are also in need of upgrading your socials networking skills! Whether you just graduated, and you are a new or established professional, the Latino Professional Network is the right association for you. If you think you’re ready to meet some of the most prominent leaders of the Latino community and are ready to kick your networking funk to the curb, then read the following!

Why Is The LPN So Awesome?
So what’s the Latino Professional Network all about? The LPN is not only known for it’s awesome networking events but because it’s “one of the largest associations of Latino professionals and students in the country”(LPN).  What’s also neat about the association is that it consists (currently) of over 12,000 members from not a specific area but from various industries! The LPN directory members come from areas such as as law, medicine, business, education, finance, fine arts, entertainment and engineering (LPN). The LPN is very involved in its community and also supports other causes; The LPN supports several economic groups, community groups, philanthropic groups, educational groups, cultural groups and political groups (LPN).

How Do I Join? Is Membership Affordable?
Unlike other associations, the cost of joining the LPN is free!! That’s right, I said it! There is no cost for membership! All you do to sign up is enter your information and you’re done! Next, be on the lookout for some cool weekly newsletters and reminders about LPN's upcoming events.

Flyer By LPN

Upcoming Event: LPN’s Carnaval A Night In Rio At The Roosevelt!!
LPN’s next event is scheduled for Thursday March 1st, 2012 from 6:30pm to 1:00 am at the Roosevelt? The guests will not only get a chance to connect with other professionals and leaders but will also enjoy complimentary Caipirinhas and Mojitos (6:30pm-8:30pm), complimentary rum tasting, live Samba Dance Show and Capoeira Display, complimentary appetizers, Cigar rollers, live Bossa Nova Ensemble (6:30pm-8:30pm), live Salsa and Rumbankete, and DJ HEM joined by a live percussionist. What’s not too love!!  

If you are still not convinced, take a closer look at one of LPN's past networking events.

How can I get tickets? Well there are two ways you can do this, go:

1: join the LPN on the website and purchase ticket's online 


2: Sign up and enter my awesome giveaway!! Once you enter, you’ll get a chance to win 2 tickets for this spectacular event!!!

So what are you waiting for?? Hurry up and don’t miss out on a wonderful experience!!

Yours truly,

~Itzel Yagual

Disclaimer: In compliance with FTC guidelines, please be aware that this give-away and the event admission for me and a guest, was made possible by the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective (, and sponsored by the Latino Professional Network (


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Film Review: Across The Line: The Exodus Of Charlie Wright

Across The Line: The Exodus Of Charlie Wright (2010) is a dramatic event that reminds us of the consequences of committing crimes and the repercussions of getting involved with crime bosses. The film's all star cast includes Aidan Quinn, Andy Garcia, Mario Van Peebles, Danny Pino, Jordan Belfi, Claudia Ferri, Luke Goss, Gina Gershon and Bokeem Woodbine. If you are not a drama film enthusiast, watching this film may leave you unsatisfied. On the other hand, those of you that enjoy looking in-briefly-at the lives impacted by a single person or simply are a fan of drama features, this film may be a good fit for you.

Picture By Maya Entertainment

 Across The Line: The Exodus Of Charlie Wright (2010) is a tale about a Los Angeles billionaire and financial genius named Charlie (Aidan Quinn) who goes into self-imposed exile in Tijuana with over a billion dollars shortly after his empire is uncovered by the FBI. Haunted by his past, Charlie quickly learns that not only is he pursed by an FBI agent but also by a crime boss and thugs sent by one of his notorious clients. While in Tijuana, roaming the streets like a lost, marked soul troubled by his failures, he spends long nights searching for a woman he left 25 years ago. At a local bar, he is introduced to Mary (Claudia Ferri) who reveals to him that the woman he speaks of is no longer alive and that she has a daughter. Charlie realizes that this child is his daughter and is determined to locate his daughter.  His quest for his daughter is quickly brought to a halt when, Jorge Garza (Andy Garcia) Tijuana's most viscous crime boss, orders his brother Gabriel (Danny Pino) and his men to kidnap Charlie, to settle his debt. While Charlie is in Gabriel's capture, they are ambushed by a hit man named Damon (Luke Goss) hired by one of Charlie's former clients seeking to retrieve their money. Charlie escapes and connects with Mary who has new information about his daughter's whereabouts. After he learns his daughter is no longer in Tijuana, he contacts the FBI to turn himself in. The quest for his capture continues until the very end while the audience plays a guessing game of who will be the first to capture Charlie.

Aidan Quin stands out as a hopeless Charlie who sees nothing but despair and damage caused by his actions and greed. Aidan proves to be a phenomenal actor in that he is able to display despair, lack of hope and evoke emotion which bring the character to life. Veterans like Andy Garcia, Gena Gershon and Mario Van Peebles add some anomalies to the story. Garza's relationship to his wife and brother appear as endearing as well as very personal. The FBI agent's hunger to capture Charlie fluctuates throughout the film; his actions and observations sometimes felt out of place and were puzzling.

The flow of the film is not as fluid as the film's trailer. The one style of music used throughout the film to transition from one scene to the next was not as smooth as it could've been. The narration in the beginning and the scene of the empty chair by the ocean was detached and detracted from the film.

The film has an interesting take of one man's actions, his road to perdition and the damage he has caused many lives. Though not as entertaining as Catch Me If You Can or Ocean's Eleven who take a more comical and provocative stance to white collar crimes and fraud, the movie does give a realistic account of what happens to people when they commit crimes. If you want to see a drama with a semi realistic outcome check out this film.

Rated R

Maya Entertainment has provided me with a copy of Across the Line: The Exodus Of Charlie Wright for purposes of providing a review. The views expressed here are my own. I received this film at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product but can keep it for my own personal use.



Friday, January 27, 2012

Times Are Tough But Are You & Your Artistry Tough Enough? What To Boot And What To Stick With...

Entertainers' Common Struggles  
Whether you are an actor, actress or a musician, harnessing your craft is more than likely your top priority. You work day in and day out in making new contacts, attending events and more than often spend time locating gigs. In addition to this you often look for new ways to revamp your style to attract attention as well as new audiences. The work is strenuous and lately you find that you are giving 80% and not 100%. Even though you are passionate you often wonder whether or not you'll get the lead you so desire. Is this you? If so, fret not. There is hope! I will give you the answers to becoming a better you!

Understand That Success Takes A Lot Of Work.. 
No one said getting into the entertainment industry was going to be easy! As a matter of fact, myself in the past and others have said it will be difficult. Yet, no one ever said it's impossible. Stay on course no matter what comes before you.

Itzel's Solution  

The solution to getting your stride back lies is in changing your attitude, mentality and your social circle. Below you will find a list of do's and dont's. These tips will help you not only to develop a stronger and optimistic you but will also motivate you, to continue your journey.

1. Do Add People That Reflect Who You Are Or 

People You Admire
At mixers or other special events, make a habit of introducing yourself and handing out business cards. A potential employer maybe a greeting away! When online, do not limit yourself by only interacting and following people in your industry. A person outside of your industry may have more contacts than you expected. All in all, never be afraid to reach out and exchange information as well as seeking assistance from people you admire.

2. Do Try Something New/ Be Open Minded 

As an entertainer you must have an open mind which, means don't put all your eggs in one basket. Be open to various gigs-that is if the gigs do not violate your personal beliefs. With that said, if you're not getting leads in print modeling, try looking for gigs in television or film. If you didn't get the part you wanted and you got a different role, put your game face on and show them what you got!! Industry leaders want to see that you can easily adapt not that you are difficult to work with and that you are unable to accept new roles. One opportunity can lead to a better role specially if you play the part right!  

3. Do Remain Optimistic Regardless Of The Dirty & Grittiness
Okay so you got fired from the gig because you were late or for some other issue. Regardless of the reason, stay focused. The show must go on and so must you. If you want this bad enough, you will suck it up, remain strong and never throw in the towel when you have failed. Determination is the key and with the right mentality, you can and will achieve your dreams. Ask the people who support you to jot down 3 things they admire the most about you and remind yourself of these things daily!

4. Do Let Passion Guide You
If you are questioning yourself and your drive is low then it is time for a self-evaluation. Ask yourself why your are down and why you are dragging your feet. Jot down several ideas on how you plan on tackling those issues. Bring in a friend, mentor or someone you confide in to give you ideas. Lastly, decide if your heart is in the right place. Are you sure you are in the right field? Is there another career that interests you? Once you have solved this and know or have re-confirmed your calling, expressing your passion will once again come naturally.

5. Do Let Go Of The Negative Joes
If Kelly, a.k.a TwiceTheFun (for example) on Twitter is not adding anything meaningful to your timeline, why are you following her? If people on social networks are causing harm to your reputation, are not connecting with you and are throwing "F" bombs 24/7, it may be the right time to unfollow these individuals. Having these folks as friends or interacting with them may deter potential employers from hiring you. The fact that they post funny content is not acceptable justification to have them as a follower. Be more selective and choose people that compliment you, your style or that posses a quality you admire.

Do Not...

1. Don't Settle
Settling is the worst thing you can do in any career. Not only because you are unhappy but because the people around you, will also notice your unhappiness-believe it or not. Never be afraid to vow out if you need to, in a professional means of course. At times you may have to accept/take openings that are not to your liking but this does not mean that you cannot continue to pursue your dream. Small strides go miles specially when you believe and if you are willing to commit.

2. Don't Listen to Haters or Respond To Them

As always, turn the other cheek when verbal garbage is thrown your way. People will always get creative at doing things to hamper your spirit. It is your job, to stick to what you believe, strengthen and protect your passion/self-esteem and ignore the negativity. They simply want to confuse you and make you think you do not have what it takes. The truth is, they despise you because you have the balls to do what you are doing and they don't! Take a look at the article titled How To Deal With Haters.

3. Don't Quit When Things Get A little Difficult Or 

You Question Your Abilities
Okay so you fell, get up! What you waiting for! Make a commitment to never quit! This industry is tough but as long as you're prepared mentally, the better equipped you will be in dealing with the ups and downs. So do whatever you need to do to have the right mentally-yoga, therapy, counseling, coaching etc. I recommend reading 5 Ways to Build Self-Confidence.

The Wrap-Up 
Tweaking or revamping, whatever you'd like to call it, is necessary in carving your space in the industry as well as in making you stand out form the crowd. Your new "do," or your ability in embracing a different music genre, and or new style can generate a lot of buzz, and play as a great self-marketing strategy. In addition to this self-confidence and being obstacle-ready are some of the best traits to have upon entering the entertainment industry. But how can you get the "do" that you need succeed? What do you do when you begin questioning your talent or what to give up? When this happens you must evaluate yourself in three areas:

1. Where Passion Lies: Fleeting or Thriving?
2. Level Of Drive & Dedication
3. Current Mentality/State Of Mind

Once you understand where your heart is, obtain a positive social circle, know the time and effort involved in your career as well as the obstacles you may face, your journey will be a lot smoother. Although, there are no survival guides, there is plenty of articles and information online such as How To Survive The Entertainment Jungle that will keep you inspired and motivated. During the ups and downs remind yourself that you are doing this to live your dream. Doing so will encourage you to stay the course.

As always best of luck! Contact me if you need professional guidance!

Itzel Yagual 
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Artists' Images That Work Effectively With Status, Genre, Brand Or Message

Images In The Urban Scene
What comes to mind when you think of rap artists and their style? Do most rap and hip-hop artists wear baggy jeans, sneakers, long silver chains or the like? If so, does this style work for them? Why or why not? What about artists such as Marilyn Manson or Lady Gaga? In comparison to mainstream culture does their rebellious or unique attire play as a disservice to their artistry or does it work well with the image or message they convey?

Image Is Important Wherever You Go...
We all at one point in time have been obsessed with our image. Most of us have high standards and because of that we believe that first impressions are of great importance. Whether it's a job interview or you are heading to an audition, you should always-if not already-focus on making the best impression. You may wonder how can you do this and question whether you can or not. The truth is you have the potential and can do so, simply by making sure that your image coincides with either your music, your label, your contract, your message, what's fashionably trendy in your music genre, your established career in the industry or a particular culture. Lastly, this image must work for you and must not be a disservice to you or your artistry.

How Do Artists Do It, Image Wise?
So how do artists in the music industry select the perfect image that not only meshes well with their music, brand or the number of years they have been involved in the business? There is no easy recipe or formula on what works best. If you are an aspiring rapper, established rapper or singer trying to get back into the urban scene there are a few things you must consider before embarking on an image that may make you or break you. 

What Image Is Best For New Artists?
If you are starting out and need direction on what image and apparel will work best for you, then you must ask yourself the following questions.

1. Does your record label have a theme, image or message   
    they like to convey?
2. If you are a female rapper and have a contract, does your 
    contract require you to dress a certain way?
     A. If you are a female and the label requires that you    
          dress sexy and appealing is there a street  
          theme attached to it in the terms? For example, such 
          as the image of a female stepping out of social norms.
     B. If so are you comfortable with that? 
     C. Do you need to portray yourself as "hard" just as your 
         other male rapper counterparts?
     D. Do you have any endorsements and are what are the           attire requirements?
3. Are you an established artist or an upcoming artist?
4. Does your material convey a rebellious message, love  

    theme, does it embrace manpower or does it posses an  
    image such as a hardcore lifestyle or street life?

Choosing An Image....
Whatever route you go, that is, if you do not have a stylist, or are not bound to a legal contract and your label's style requirements then, choose an image that puts you ahead. Great examples of artists who are managing their image effectively are Jay-Z, Little Wayne, Rhianna and Nicki Minaj. 

The Established Rapper Look: Jay-Z
Jay-Z has a strong standing career in the hip hop scene. Today his image represents an image of a "well established rapper." Rarely dressing like the new hip-hop artists of today, who often wear baggy jeans with their hats to the side, Jay-Z's image is luxurious and it suits him very well. His videos are splashed not only with your no-so average priced liquor, but also with luxurious attire, fancy suits, beautiful companions and expensive rides.

Images Of Female Artists
Female artists such as Rhianna and Nicki Minaj are versatile but do maintain effective images that work for their music, their label and whatever genre they decide to experiment with. Nicki Minaj not only maintains a sexy and a "out of the social norms" look when it comes to women but she also maintains the "hard shell" image that is often required as a female rapper. Rhianna is always playing with her image, specially when it comes to playing in different genres. The one image she always maintains throughout her music and regardless of genre is the "young sexy rebellious" look. This can be tricky because changing images often may not work if it is not done correctly. In some cases provocative images are looked down but on the other hand, the truth is that sex sells. Rhianna's "rebellious and edgy" look allows her to transform and reshape her image as much as she likes and this works well with her music and the message she conveys.

I'm So Good, I Can Wear The "Whatever Look"
Little Wayne's look is unique and despite his jail time, his signature look of fitted skinny jeans, dreads, shades and a classic white wife-beater works quite effectively-with everything he does. Having a unique look is a privilege and and not all artists can embark on this look. Why not? Well, if you have not been in the rap game for a long time and people do not know your content, this image will not work for you. Little Wayne on the other hand, is charismatic, is well known and people love him so much that they could careless what he wears. In other words, they respect him for his music and that is what drives his fame-not his clothes.


Image is important and in the entertainment industry specially the music industry, the image you choose not only must sell but be in line with your label as well as with your contract's terms. If you are not bound to any legal terms then use an image that puts your best foot forward and not in the backseat.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Use Innovation, Looks, Charisma or Do It Better Than The Key Players To Succeed In The Entertainment Industry!

What Do Celebrities Have That We Don't?
So what does it take to make it as a model, a musical artist, an actor or an actress? What must one have in order to appeal to mainstream audiences or to even make it in the entertainment industry? Today's television stars, artists and other entertainment professionals posses one or a combination or attributes and skills that off-screen folks, like you and others do not have. So what are those attributes and skills? Can they be learned or possibly obtained? In some cases, some of these skills can be obtained and in other cases, some folks just don't have those certain traits.

What Traits And How Can I Get Them?
In order to succeed in the entertainment industry and minimize competition one must have good looks, charisma and personality, the ability to create innovation, or the ability to create something that is currently happening in the industry better than those that are doing it. Yes folks, when you look through those magazines, flip through those channels and attend those entertainment events, these professionals you see, have one or a combination of the listed traits. So how do you know if you posses one of those eye-catching traits? 

Traits That Are Must Haves In Show Business
In order to find out whether or not you have what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry, you must have completed or received one of the following:

1. perform in front of the live audience and received positive responses

2. sent out surveys of your new innovation and received awesome responses

3. you succeeded in a talent or model competition or the like

4. everyone has told you, that you have good looks and that you should be doing something about it

5. everyone says you have a great personality and are extremely funny

6. people say you have a unique look that's made for television

If you have completed or received any of the above statements, chances are you have the looks, a great idea, a winning personality or something that could potentially land you a career in the entertainment industry! 

Creating A Plan Of Attack For Success!
If you decide to proceed ahead, and depending on the professional career you choose whether it's being an actor, an actress, an entertainment business owner, a comedian, the next step is to prepare an execution plan. What this means is that you must assess the needs and costs of your career and understand the requirements of your selected career. 

Know Your Role In And Out!
So, even if you like the career without knowing the requirements you may have a rude awakening once you step into the career. Simply put, make sure you understand what your job duties will be and what you have to put in to succeed in completing the career tasks. Second, understand the time involved in doing a career such as the one you have chosen. Actors and actresses often attend countless and numerous of trainings, practice long hours, memorize long scripts, complete auditions, build reels and have a professional portfolio handy in case an opportunity presents itself. If you need an idea of what a professional video resume looks like, I suggest you take a look at Geoff Eigemann's profile.  This video resume is not just appealing but also innovative! If you are looking for a great reel, I suggest you look at Omar Mora's reel. This reel is excellent in that it shows the actor's highlights, past gigs and current works.

You Must Network And Create Exposure That Works to Your Benefit And Not Against You...
To that effect, it is also helpful to join a entertainment community online and build a professional profile on a social network to get (1) exposure and (2) to connect with others in the industry. Two sites I recommend are Twitter and Stage32. On Twitter, if used correctly, you can follow and meet professionals online who may be able to connect you to gigs and people in high places of your industry. When you are online remember that your professional network and your professional image is visible to millions of people online so, please tweet and communicate wisely. 

Do What Needs To Be Done To Get The Spotlight
If you think this is a "wait for it to happen" kind of industry then, you are in the wrong field! One thing you must understand, is that in order to get the job of your choice you must do the work to get there. So, yes you must attend auditions, do live comedy nights and perform in places you may have never thought of before actually landing that perfect opportunity. More importantly, you must remain positive and humble. No one in the industry likes a "know-it-all," or someone who insults the intelligence of the industry's most reputable leaders. You want to gain the trust of the industry pros not push them away. Lastly, if you know you have that certain something, never give up. Regardless of who you are competing with move ahead, stand high, focus and reach for your dream; you too, have a shot in this industry so make it count!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Transforming Your Business Idea Into A Stellar Business Plan

Contrary to what some of us may believe regarding the economy and unemployment, there are job seekers and others who are not shying away from their business ideas and are not afraid of launching a business. The truth is some of us are looking at other options for generating income; we are all weighing the pros and cons and also finding that opening a business may be the best option. So if you are wondering, the answer is yes, you can too open a business!
Why You Should Consider Launching A Business...
I know this can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have a background in business or have no clue on the basics of developing a business. I too was once overwhelmed with the idea of developing a business but once I learned how business plans are structured and what they encompass, I was motivated and ready to create my business plan. Fret not, have faith and put your idea to work for you not for someone else. There are risks to opening a business but with appropriate planning, research and investment, your chances of creating a thriving business are much greater.
What To Keep In Mind
People today are taking risks and preparing themselves to launch a business. With that said, you will not be alone. Second, being your own boss is really not as far fetched, as some may believe. A unique or innovative idea can be turned into a great business with proper presentation of market research, a thorough industry analysis, financial projections, start-up costs and other pieces that are needed to successfully operate a business. Lastly, as per research, a business plan should be no more than 20 pages in length, which means it needs to be concise and not a book's worth of content.

Expand On Your Idea...
After you have concluded that your business idea is a seller or have developed an idea that is unique or innovative, the next step is research. In other words, its time to expand on the idea, that is the one you have in mind or the one that you wrote on the back of a napkin. Do you think investors will be interested in a half-done idea? The answer is, no. Remember that, investors want to see what you have in mind not your initial idea that you wrote on a napkin. Second, investors are more interested when you have an understanding of your business idea and are able to give a presentation/pitch that is short-to the point-thorough and covers all bases. A business plan that has three years worth of financial projections, staffing costs, employers' costs and so on is right around the ballpark.

Questions To Ask Yourself...

As a future entertainment business owner, I have learned that you must know all the pieces that are needed to operate the business. In other words the details of production from products, to your staff, to the tools needed for everyday office functions and much more. If you are a future business owner and want to pitch your idea to an investor, you must think about what will it take to start up the company and give details on the costs that are involved in operating the business. If you already have designated a business location, know what services or goods your company will offer, have a general idea of costs and have staff in mind, then, congrats! You are on the right track.

Business Plan: A Realistic Presentation Of Your Business
The next step is to develop a realistic idea of your business, its operations and costs. You can do this by asking your self the following questions.                                                        

Have I designated a business location and what are my costs?
What services will I offer and what is the unit price?
What is my cost to producing those services and or products?
Will I hire full-time or part-time staff and what benefits will I offer?
How much working capital is needed?
What insurances do I need for my employees and property?
What supplies do I need to produce services or products offered to clients?
What legal services do l need for liability purposes?
What licenses and permits are needed to operate as a business in my state?
Do I need to hire a consulting team or a graphic designer for purposes of my website and branding?
For business marketing and advertising efforts will I need marketing specialists or other trade specialists for promotions and advertising?
Will I be outsourcing any portion of the services or goods I sell?
How much commission is involved in outsourcing a specific service or product?

Words Of Wisdom...
Once you are able to answer these questions you can start writing your business plan. If you have questions, research "business plans" online, ask a colleague or contact me; I may have answers or can point you to resources. Schooling and expert studies made me realize that business plans need to be thorough and if you spend too much time on the "planning," your business idea will likely never launch. As I finalize my plan, I will continue to keep in mind my industry's trends, ensure that my services and products are innovative and that my projections are realistic. Lastly, I will make sure that my company has a strong mission and executive summary. Investors want to invest in a company that can produce and be successful, short-term and long term; investors do not want a company that is similar to a one-time gig, such as a one hit wonder. Your company’s mission, company culture/values and executive summary can make or break your pitch so make sure you focus on these portions. If you believe in your company, its staff and its purpose then you should have no trouble writing your mission, values or executive summary. It may seem like a lot but once you know what is needed trust me, you can and will be able to start your own business ! Once its completed ask yourself would you invest in this company. If you say yes, it is likely that your business plan was completed correctly!