Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 1

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, KCD has gone out of business after a long, successful run in Brooklyn. While there are many other places to learn how to dive in NYC, it’s very sad to see Mia and her business close. I wish her all the luck & much success in the next chapter of her scuba diving career and everyone who was involved with KCD. Mia was kind enough to give me some really good deals with extra gear, so now I own my own wetsuit! Thank you for everything & the great experiences, Mia!**

Shhh… let me tell you about a secret surprise. Well, by the time you read this, it won’t be a secret anymore. Those of you who know me, know I am happily in love with my boyfriend. You may not know that he is a total marine science nerd. He gets excited about every little new thing he sees or discovers about any creature under the sea.

There are always ups and downs to a long distance relationship, but one perk certainly is the fact that I can go get scuba certified on my own without him even knowing! Now, scuba diving is a lifelong dream of mine. It’s a surprise not just for him, but an exhilarating treat for me.

The beginning of this endeavor began with meeting the lovely bright-eyed Mia, the owner of Kings County Divers in Brooklyn. I chose to get scuba certified specifically with Kings County Divers in Brooklyn for what I saw in Mia: Confidence, pride, expertise, and compassion. KCD is really the only dive shop in both Manhattan and Brooklyn that stood out to me for these qualities, especially after having my in-person consultation with Mia. Continue reading “Kings County Scuba Lessons: Day 1”

How to Get Paid: Filing Small Claims

Small Claims Court
There is something that needs to be said about Small Claims. Small Claims is easy. Models and freelancers generally have an income that is dependent not on one, but many various, possibly unreliable, sources. You need to know that if someone owes you money, there are safe and easy ways to go about getting it.  If you qualify, that is. If you do not qualify, then other measures and methods would need to be considered, potentially making the task much more difficult, which is a process I haven’t had to get into myself.

Before pursuing legal action against an indebted company or individual, consider the following. Continue reading “How to Get Paid: Filing Small Claims”

Young Models & Preparation for the Industry

Guys, if you haven’t heard, the fashion industry is changing. Big things are in motion. Big, good, things that protect you younger models out there. This is great!

But!

The fashion industry is still, well, a bit raunchy, shady, and over-saturated. These are all things I really do think everyone should be aware of before deciding to pursue a career in modeling. While it is a lot safer, I think, and nicer in “hometown” areas like Seattle and Portland, big cities like New York are crawling with less-than-ideal circumstances.

What do I do, then, when a beautiful, smart, young girl looks to me–me!–for modeling advice? About 75 percent of me wants to warn her of all the bad, to steer her away! But look at me. I’m here. I’m doing it. What am I to steer anyone away?

I love what I do. It works for me and my lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, but that’s not for me to decide.  If you’re pursuing a career in modeling, I want you to know what you’re getting into and make sure you have your parents backing you up and giving you sound advice. Continue reading “Young Models & Preparation for the Industry”

Finding Inspiration

This Bold Life and I have this on again, off again relationship. I had set a goal of 2 blog posts per week for you guys months back. Consistent information, updates, and experiences shared with you. However, the really good stuff only comes sporadically. That’s what it’s like to be a writer. I must write when the words start flowing.

Like writing, sometimes inspiration is hard to find.

But when you find it, it’s quite magical.

Inspiration isn’t, ‘oh, what a pretty dress,’ or ‘this is beautiful, I love this.’ Inspiration is moving. Literally. Really good inspiration gets your gears working, clicking into place, and suddenly, you’re up and replying, feeding off that inspiration.

Inspiration comes from another human’s boldness, courage, determination, hard work, and beautiful results and realizations. Inspiration is when you are a photographer who instills confidence in your subjects every day and, upon braving out the commitment to being the one in front of the camera, realize something deep, realizing, “That’s me, that’s beautiful, I’m beautiful!” (Read about Dana Kae’s profound, beautiful experience here). Inspiration is health and joy, like a woman staying fit for 22 years, not in it for the results, but for the wonderful feeling of being healthy. (This is Laura’s lifestyle, who shares her journey here).

These days, my main form of inspiration is through social media. There are so many stories to be shared and heard. If you know where to look, the options are endless. In my search for inspiration, here are just a few of my finds. Continue reading “Finding Inspiration”

Staten Island Ferry and Tourism

New York can be a lot to handle.

It’s a wild, busy place with lots to see and do. There is always a rush of people, pushing you to your next destination. Everyone wants to be someone; everyone is working just as diligently as you are to achieve your dreams. This can be overwhelming.

I’m not into touristy attractions. In fact, tourists have always driven me nuts for some reason. Maybe because I’d rather fit and blend in to the churning crowd rather than be forced to stop and go slow for a minute. Plus, tourism is a money-sucker. I avoid money-suckers. At all costs.

I mean, really, why pay $24 bucks a pop to board an overcrowded ferry full of annoying gawkers when you can have a perfectly relaxing view on the water for free? Yes, on the water. Free. Continue reading “Staten Island Ferry and Tourism”

Beginner’s Guide to Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week

Here is my personal, insider look at Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week.

If you have ever watched the show “America’s Next Top Model,” you can kind of get the sense of craziness that is Fashion Week.

Tyra Banks has her girls running all over the city to go-sees and castings, trying on clothes, walking for big names, and all within a five hour time frame. Sounds like a handful, right? Similar deal for models during fashion week.

MBFW CASTINGS: Tourists and locals know a couple of weeks before Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week, that a whirlwind is coming. “Invasion of the tall pretty girls,” someone told me in an elevator this last September. You know you’re a part of something big when you have 10 castings all with different time frames and locations and you’re running around, seeing so many other models about. The time before Fashion Week is crazy, invigorating, and fun. However, you have to make sure you’re keeping yourself in tip-top condition. Here are 12 pointers to remember while on castings for Fashion Week (some more obvious than others): Continue reading “Beginner’s Guide to Mercedez-Benz New York Fashion Week”

Entrepreneurial, Self-Publishing, Artistic New York City

I never knew people performed INSIDE the subway trains for people before my relocation last week. There are a lot of talented musicians out there. I have encountered guitarists, acapella’s, drummers, wooden flute instruments, and even a saw-like thing played with a string from a violin. They all sound amazing and extremely cultural.

I mean, sure, you’re bound to have a lot of talented people for each profession in a city as concentrated and diverse as New York, but wow!

This is one thing that has really impressed me here. People are willing to try new ideas and to work in some form for money. People here are driven. I’ve encountered fewer panhandlers than individuals asking for money in more creative ways, such as performance and promotion. (And then you’ve got the crazy apocalyptic conspirators holding up big signs, who you can’t be quite sure what their overall goal is). Either way, everyone here seems to be here with a reason, purpose, and strong-willed mind. The city of opportunity. New York: where everything goes down. Where we come to make a living!

Most everyone here is very friendly and forthcoming. I’ve hung out with models attending the same open calls all this week, romped in the rain with them, and had really nice conversations with a lot of different people. There was an experience in particular, however, I’d love to bring to light. A perfect and satisfying example of entrepreneurship I love. 

Let me tell you a story. I’m done with bullet points. Continue reading “Entrepreneurial, Self-Publishing, Artistic New York City”

How to Move to New York City (continued)

Part 2 How to Move to New York City continued…
Click here to view previous post; part 1 How to Move to New York City

Comparing
Well, its just that. Compare what you see. You’ll know when a place feels right. Some people may not reply at all and some will reply with a “Sorry, but we just had an open house and have found our new roommate already.” Others will be almost a little too eager to have you. Be aware of these. There are many, many scams online. I came across several in my search.

When you are sending out emails, offer to schedule a phone call and/or video chat/Skype interview. A video interview does not prove that the person on the other side isn’t going to scam you, but it does help verify the person to some extent. For one, you can see the place they are in. If their roommates are around, its a good idea to ask to talk to them on video as well. Continue reading “How to Move to New York City (continued)”

How to Move to New York City

Some people want to know more about how I prepared for my move to the city and how I found a place. It’s no easy task. But I love to impart my knowledge, so read up. 

Most of the process I used to find a place to live can be applied to moving anywhere, not just NYC. It consisted of searching, comparing, online verification and skype, and then cautiously proceeding to securing the place. 

Apartments/rooms for rent here go FAST, especially the nice ones, so you have to be quick. This means that its more difficult to secure a place early on in your move. Most people want a roommate to move in immediately and they also would prefer to meet you in person. I struggled with this because I wanted to secure a place to go to as soon as I arrived in the city. However, even though the rooms go fast, there are always more being posted. Continue reading “How to Move to New York City”

Living in New York City: Briauna Mariah Update

Hey guys,

Briauna Mariah here.

Writing from New York City.

I know you all want updates, so here it is. I arrived at the airport at 8:23AM Eastern Time last July 12th. It took me hours to finally make it to the house I’m staying at. I’m renting a nice little room in Woodlawn, Bronx, NYC. Bronx–Yikes! Right? Not as bad as it might sound.

Woodlawn is a cute little community very north of Manhattan and I feel rather safe here. It’s like a little bubble in Bronx. Stepping outside the bubble is a little nerve-wracking though. Continue reading “Living in New York City: Briauna Mariah Update”