I am so excited to bring you this blog post today. You know how much I love sharing things that uplift people with their self-esteem and self-image and get them to embrace what's unique about them--it's what the whole Landry's True Colors Series is based on. So recently I saw this blog post on my friend, Khristee Rich's social media page and I thought it was amazing and asked her if I could share it with my readers. When I first met Khristee four years ago, we were in New York City for a conference and we sat next to each other and I remember thinking oh she must be an actress/model. Turns out she was that and so much more. So please take a moment to read this blog post and share your reflections on it below.
“Definitely Not A Model” by Khristee Rich
After college where I earned a B.F.A Theatre Performance degree from the University of Michigan, I went to The School for Film and Television in New York City. My scene study teacher helped us to see how casting directors saw us, what types we should play and submit to. We all wanted to know this because we weren’t getting cast in the roles we wanted or weren’t getting cast enough period.
He went around the room telling everyone their types simply from their looks. For me he said the role I would play would be a cop, an NYPD cop, definitely not a model. He actually said, “Definitely not a model.”!! I was so hurt and confused. I never thought of myself as tough or that people viewed me as an NYPD cop and not beautiful. I was 22/23 and I thought I had potential to be pretty. I looked to my teacher for advice and guidance and he told me that I was not pretty enough for TV or to be seen as a pretty role on TV. True, I was not especially curvy, I didn’t know how to do fancy makeup and wasn’t that stylish, but I was slim, and not short. Everyone else in the class was given more flattering stereotypes to play and I wondered why I wasn’t. I concluded that I didn’t like the teacher; he was prejudiced against me and I needed to do something different with my hair.
Growing up I wore my hair in braids every day from age 4 to 13 because 1) I had really thick hair and 2) I wanted to look neat in school and fit in like the other kids. Being a light-skinned African American girl the only way others could tell that I was black was my hair.
They would say that I had kinky hair and if I ever wore my hair down my classmates (the boys) would make fun of me.
My hair was my struggle for most of my childhood. On the weekends other kids played in sports and participated in extracurriculars, but for me I had to pick one day, Saturday or Sunday to wash my hair. Normally, I picked Saturday so that I could have a full day to relax before school the next day. I was allowed to watch one cartoon and then for the next 6 hours I washed my hair and my mother dried and braided my hair. Yes, that’s right, every weekend it took 5 1/2 to 6 hours to dry and de-tangle my hair and put it back into neat braids. During that time, I always wished that I could be playing with friends, playing in sports, relaxing watching TV, or outside playing in nature. After hours of having my hair yanked and pulled tightly with a brissle brush, doused with water, and my skin burned from the hair dryer, my head and neck were sore and I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.
One day on the school bus, a girl told me that I could actually be pretty if I cut my hair (no longer wore braids) and didn’t wear glasses (got contacts).
Shortly after my fashion advice from the school bus, I cut my hair and got contacts. My hairdressers said that I would look pretty if I straightened my hair so I straightened my hair from age 13 to my late 20’s. Then, finally I got tired of straightening my hair so I wore it natural. And then got my hair cut into an afro and finally went blonde a few years ago.
Being a light skinned African American woman, I did not experience prejudice based on the color of my skin, but the thickness and curl of my hair.
In my whole history as an actress, I was never once cast in the role of a cop, but I was represented by a modeling agency in NYC; I did modeling when I lived in Hollywood and I was represented by several commercial agencies who liked my look.
Today I love my hair and feel pretty, but it is interesting reflecting back on my journey and how many people inferred that I wasn’t pretty because of my hair. It is important not to let other people dictate our journey (tell us what we can or cannot do or tell us who we are). We must trust our journey and believe in our passions and dreams.
If you would like to hear more of my stories about confidence, authenticity, and self-love, subscribe to my list and get notified when a new post is live. www.thedancingcurtain.com/freegift
Can you identify with this story? Did you experience prejudice growing up? Did you struggle with your identity? Do you love and accept yourself today?
Bio: Khristee Rich is a Holistic Healer, Medium, and Writer who helps empathic women who have tried everything to no avail to finally conquer chronic illness, chronic conditions, and debilitating emotions. She helps them to see their lives from a higher perspective, so that they can thrive in the life that they desire. By getting to the root cause and treating it first, then offering potent actions, and natural remedies, she is able to produce quick, lasting results and help her clients to heal naturally, easily, and joyfully. Through female empowerment, authenticity, emotional support, and natural remedies her clients step into their joy and shine. Step out from behind the curtain, connect with your spirit, and shine!
Keep in touch with Khristee:
The Dancing Curtain: www.thedancingcurtain.com
Free Gift: a PDF for Empaths to Protect Their Energy So That They Shine Bright: www.thedancingcurtain.com/freegift
My instagram is www.instagram.com/khristeerich
The Dancing Curtain on FB:
Pinterest where I include information about health and wellness, spirituality, inspiration, and some of my creativity (stories and poems and insights): www.pinterest.com/khristeerich
My Holistic Health Blog, The Dancing Hummingbird (same info as Pinterest): https://www.thedancingcurtain.com/blog-2
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Can Dreams Come True
1. The Andrew character took on a life of his own as I was writing the series. I never intended for him to have anxiety, but as I was writing the books I realized he was getting overwhelmed by his image and fame. It ended up creating a big part of the plot for the follow up book, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety.
2. People ask me all the time how I picture Cecily and I've always pictured her looking like Selena Gomez, which is what I told the cover artist (Cora Graphics). Cecily also has that same sweet vulnerability as well.
3. I watched (and read) a ton of music bios and documentaries while working on this story. Everyone from Ed Sheeran to Elvis, Marvin Gaye, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, George Michael, Amy Winehouse, and many more. It helped me see what that celebrity lifestyle was like with all the pressures.
4. I was very close to my aunt and her friends when I was a teen, so I wrote an aunt character for Cecily to confide in. I think teens need an adult outside of their parents to talk to when they are dealing with something that their friends don't have experience in handling. I still talk to my aunt's best friend every week! We text all the time.
5. Blue Arbor is a lake town that I made up. Since I have a series set in Grand Haven, Michigan where they also visit Saugatuck, I wanted to create a separate town from that. I imagine Blue Arbor as a mix of several Lake Michigan beach towns: Spring Lake, Grand Haven, South Haven, Holland, Spring Lake, and Saugatuck.
6. I visited two piers while working on this story for the music video shoot scene. One was in Holland, Michigan, and the other was in Grand Haven. Going to places in person and walking the path my characters take helps me set my scenes better. I walked the paths that Cecily and Andrew walk in the music video scenes on the pier and the beach path several times to get a feel for it.
7. Cecily feels uncomfortable after her guidance counselor doesn’t seem to put much value in her extracurricular activities which include reading. I wrote in an assistant principal character who gets Cecily’s love of reading to show that everyone has their unique strengths. I think adults can be dismissive of things sometimes because they mean well and don't want us to have our heads in the clouds. Still, our passions are what keep us going and they are valid.
8. Mr. Warwick is loosely based on my father. He loved reading and took an interest in helping his students. I remember him telling me he knew a little girl who loved reading, but she didn’t have books to read at home, so he brought some of his old Hardy Boy books to her classroom so she'd have new books to read.
9. Music is a huge part of my writing process. I do a playlist for every book I write and listen to it before my brainstorming process. You can find a few of my playlists online, but here's one to check out: https://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/new-playlist-for-the-cecily-taylor-series
10. The documentary Andrew and Cecily both like is called, "Great Gatsby: Midnight in Manhattan." I found it at the library and really got into it. I'm such a nerd when it comes to documentaries! I checked this one out so many times that I finally just tracked down a copy of my own and ordered it.
A GRIPPING YOUNG ADULT ADVENTURE!
About the Story:
Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?
The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences. One is that slavery is legal there. Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).
Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil. It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge. Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades. You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.
More About the Story
Set in a world alarmingly like our own, The Collar and the Cavvarach is the story of fourteen-year-old Bensin, a slave, whose status is made obvious to everyone by the steel collar locked around his neck. A martial artist who competes to win money for his owner, Bensin fights in tournaments with a cavvarach. But his greatest battle is the struggle to protect his little sister from the horrors of legalized slavery in a world where slaves have few rights. Desperate to keep her safe, Bensin struggles to find a means - legal or otherwise - to arrange for her freedom.
(For a fun introduction to the story's setting and its culture, including an explanation of how cavvara shil works, click here.)
Sound Like a Book you Might Enjoy?
Click the play button below to listen to the first 15 minutes of the story as narrated by Joseph Baltz.
Click here to go to the audiobook on Audible.
Click here to go to the audiobook on Amazon.
(Either way, try listening to the free sample to see what you think!)
Like to Read Along While You Listen?
The Collar and the Cavvarach ebook is available for FREE from July 14-18. Grab your copy now!
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About the Author
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anniedouglasslima
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Book Reviews by Lexi is celebrating her 7th blogiversary with a big giveaway! You can enter to win a variety of books! The giveaway will run until 12 am on 8/1.
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Love this new review for Landry in Like! "The characters were realistic and definitely reminded me of teen angst, and high school (a long time ago). Landry is dealing with her life, and her friendships, with teen drama added to her journey. A very well-written story, and I enjoyed it. It is always a joy to read this author's stories."
You can find the entire review over on her website at:
Get the book here:
Or in paperback:
Book Depository: www.bookdepository.com/author/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager
Barnes & Noble
Books a Million: bit.ly/2xay0Eo
Excited to share the paranormal romance covers of book 1 VAMPIRES OF MOSCOW and the prequel novella, SIRENS OF LOS ANGELES. Out 15 Oct 2020.
Read more & pre-order the books today at:
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Author of funny, charming, and irresistible dramas.