So you want to be a Background Actor?

After recently sharing a little about my most recent stint at a background actor, I learned that a lot of people have questions about it, so here is all the info!

What is a Background Actor?

A Background Actor, or “Extra”, is exactly what it sounds like - a performer in a film, tv show, commercial, stage show, etc. who appears in a nonspeaking role, usually in the background of the main actors in a scene.

Do you get paid? How much?

2018-10-12 15.18.07.jpg

YES! You do get paid. There are occasionally unpaid opportunities (you are usually compensated in some way - whether it’s free swag or tickets to an event or something like that), but I’ve only ever done paid work.

The rate of pay depends on a lot of things - the size/budget of the film/project, the working conditions, etc. For example, you can get paid extra for overnight shoots or if you’re filming “in the elements” (rain, fog, in the water, etc.). You can also get paid extra for the use of your car. I got an upcharge on my work on Abduction because they used my car - I didn’t even have to drive it anywhere - it was just parked there!

Usually, you make an hourly rate for a day of work as a Background Actor, and you generally earn 1.5x pay after the first 8 hours (average days are 12-14 hours). Other times, they may offer a flat rate for the entirety of the day or of the entire shoot (this is more common for commercials or other short-term projects).

You also get paid for attending your wardrobe fitting, if applicable. Usually, a film has a set budget for every single element of the movie, meaning they’ve budgeted for X number of extras to be included, $X for props, $X for wardrobe, etc. When I went to my wardrobe fitting for the upcoming film You Are My Friend, I got paid a flat rate that accounted for a wardrobe fitting up to 4 hours (mine took 30 minutes!). They also compensate the max rate for the parking garage ($9), but my parking only cost $5 for the time I was there, so I just pocket the difference.  

Other compensation includes parking reimbursement, meals, snacks, and occasionally, you get really lucky and they let you keep something from your wardrobe! When I worked on The Dark Knight Rises, they let us keep the rally towels we waved all day. Honestly, it was a winter scene that we shot outside in the August heat, so I really think they just didn’t want to touch anyone’s sweaty bandanna by the end of the day. I got to keep several wardrobe pieces from my Ebates commercial shoot - this is pretty typical of commercials. They’ve got crazy big budgets and they don’t need the clothes once they’re done filming.

 I filmed an Ebates commercial in Sonoma County in April 2017!

I filmed an Ebates commercial in Sonoma County in April 2017!

What is a wardrobe fitting?

For some projects, they just need you to arrive in your own clothing. For Abduction, they needed everyone dressed for a Pirates game, so I wore my own clothes. For Concussion, they needed me in business attire, and my final outfit was a combination of some of my own pieces as well as a few selected from their wardrobe options. The scenes I worked on for You Are My Friend were a 90s wedding in New Jersey, so every piece of my wardrobe was courtesy of Sony.

 Look for me in  You Are My Friend  in theaters in 2019!

Look for me in You Are My Friend in theaters in 2019!

What is a casting call?

Production companies using casting calls to find background actors! Most major films outsource background casting to local casting agencies (more info on Pittsburgh agencies below!). Most have an option to create an online profile, but the casting calls are a great way for the agencies to find the right people for the job, and to ensure they have up-to-date photos of people in their records. Sometimes, it is solely up to the casting agencies to select extras for a project, while other times the movie’s main casting director will review the options and make final decisions.

I once submitted my information for a featured extra role on a mini-series. The local casting agency I had been working with narrowed their pool to 5 (including me) and asked us to come into meet with the director, who would select someone personally. In this case, the director was Ben Stiller! The scene included stepping out of a helicopter, and he told me that my hair, while “really beautiful”, would stand out in the scene too much, so he ultimately selected someone else. If you have to be rejected from a role, there are worse reasons than being too pretty haha!

What does being a Background Actor entail?

I’ll be honest – it’s not for the faint of heart or easily bored. An average day on set goes something like this:

7:00am (or earlier – my call times on Abduction were between 4:00 and 5:30am!): Arrival and check-in. Complete your employment paperwork. If you had a wardrobe fitting, you go and pick up your stuff from the Wardrobe crew. Get dressed and head to hair and makeup!

8:30am: Get your hair and makeup done, or get it checked by the Hair crew and Makeup Crew (these are totally separate teams of people). Most of the time, they ask background actors to arrive with their hair and makeup already done to save time. The makeup crew for You Are My Friend LOVED how I did my own makeup, so I take that as a huge compliment! It also meant I got to go get breakfast sooner haha.

 Hair and Makeup from  Concussion

Hair and Makeup from Concussion

On Concussion, I was one of only a few extras in the scene, so the hair and makeup crews did everything for me. It was mind-blowing how much hair spray they used, and even crazier when they kept doing touch-ups every 15 minutes! I had to wash my hair twice that night to get everything out.

10:00am: The catering people usually have breakfast out. Depending on schedule and the production budget, this ranges from a simple continental breakfast to a full hot breakfast buffet.

12:00pm: If the extras holding area is in a different location than the actual set, you’d probably head to set around now. You likely have another holding area on set to hang out when you’re not doing anything, which is most of the day.

2:00pm: Craft services, which is different than catering, usually has snacks and coffee out all day. On most sets, extras have their own craft services setup, while on smaller sets, you might use the same snacks and drinks as the rest of the cast and crew (this is how Will Smith and I once had coffee together!)

3:00pm: They might need you for a scene, so you’ll go and film it for a few hours (or however long it takes to get the shots they want).

5:00pm: The meal break for the day is dictated by when filming began that day, not when you arrived. So, while you might have arrived a 9am, if filming didn’t start until 12pm your lunch break wouldn’t be until 6pm (it is usually 6 hours into the “work” day). This is why craft services is so important and appreciated!

8:00pm: This is usually when they’re wrapping up for the day. As you can see, most extras have been earning 1.5x pay for several hours at this point in the day, so the daily pay looks a little sweeter now.

Most of the day, you’re hanging out in a holding area with other background actors just hanging out. I’ve met so many amazing people on the movies I’ve worked on, and it’s amazing how quickly a bond forms. I always bring a book to read as well. A physical book, not one on a device as sometimes you aren’t permitted to have your phone with you.

Here’s a great article about what it’s like being a background actor.

I’m interested! How can I become a background actor?

My experience is solely Pittsburgh-based, but I imagine the process is similar in other cities (though I’m guessing the opportunities are far more concentrated in cities like Los Angeles and New York). Here in Pennsylvania, we are fortunate to have a great film tax credits, which makes it enticing and affordable for movies and shows to film here. This has resulted in a pretty constant flow of projects coming to Pittsburgh! You can learn more about the tax credit here.

A great resource for learning more about the film industry here in southwestern PA is the Pittsburgh Film Office website. They don’t have an exhaustive or constantly-updated list, but they do list casting notices on there.


Pittsburgh Casting Agencies:

Nancy Mosser Casting | Facebook

Movie Casting Pittsburgh | Facebook

Mindhunter Extras Casting | Facebook

Pittsburgh Casting (I’ve never used them before) | Facebook

Donna Belajac Casting (I’ve never used this agency either) | Facebook

I follow all these accounts on Facebook and check them for casting opportunities. If you see them post about something and you fit the description, apply FAST! They usually fill roles quickly, so you’ll want to get your information submitted as soon as possible.


This was longer that I intended it to be, but I wanted to give y’all some useful information! Do you still have questions? Comment below!

 


Five Things Friday: 2.9.2018

It's been a busy week, and I wondered if I'd hit my goal of at least one blog post or not, but here we go! 

1. I've decided to switch from the full marathon to the half for Pittsburgh. Training has been nonexistent the past few months, and the pressure to try and catch up at this point just isn't worth it. I'm looking forward to adjusting my training schedule on my calendar and building a great base for what will be my 11th half marathon! [Click HERE to learn more about my fundraising efforts and to make a donation!]

2. I'm speaking at a student leadership conference on saturday on the topic of time management and ironically, I'm finishing the presentation prep somewhat last minute. Leave me your best time management tips in the comments below! 

3. My nutrition company just launched a brand new app that I'm pretty stoked for. As someone who loves fitness trackers and checklists, this app is everything I've been dreaming of! It's a great way to track your health and wellness goals all in one place, and it's also (obviously) designed to help people stay on track with using the products. I'll be attending my company's national celebration event in Nashville in August, and I'm SO excited to connect with my team, receive training, and of course, enjoy some southern food (#thebalancedlife). If you're interested in learning about what the heck these products are, or what the app's like, drop me a line in the comments or send me a message on the Contact page. 

4. My dear friend Nik wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about airport travel. I think Nik is great, and his opinions are great, and this post was no exception. Check it out and subscribe! 

5. If you aren't following Jessie over at 15Minutes_Late, you are missing out. Not only is her Instagram feed chock full of gorgeous and wanderlust-inducing travel photos, she also gives great tips and advice on how she uses meal planning and meal prep to save money (so she can fund those amazing trips!). I look forward to her weekly grocery haul pics each week, and to all of her recipe ideas! 

GROCERY HAUL! 🥑🥦🍊 $61.63 at @aldiusa this week! Bonus points and a gold star to whoever can tell me how many 🥑 are in this grocery haul! ⭐️ . Still working to clean some things out of the freezer this week - but still managed to spend plenty of $$$. . Both the “recipes” for our lunches are in my STORIES right now! So go check it out. . And if you peep my grocery list you’ll notice a few things on the list, but not in my haul, and a few things in my haul that weren’t on my list. It was WAYYYY cheaper to buy guacamole than to make my own. REAL TALK. 😳 And those lobster & crab ravioli are amazing. So when I saw them I couldn’t resist. 😍 . 👇🏼Here’s what’s on the menu this week! . BREAKFAST 🍯 Overnight oats for me 👉🏼 1 x strawberry chocolate, 2 x chocolate covered blueberry + 1 x chocolate coconut 👉🏼 AKA cleaning out some frozen fruit. 🍳 Eggs + avocado for him. . LUNCH 🥡 Egg roll in a bowl 👉🏼 verified amazing, I had a few bites to make sure. 🥘 Chicken curry w/ rice & broccoli. . DINNER 🍕Homemade pizza w/ 2️⃣ ingredient dough. 🍤 Bang bang shrimp pasta w/ mushrooms & broccoli. 🐟 “Mystery” fish (I can’t remember what kind is in the freezer) + rice & broccoli. 🌭 Sausage hoagies w/ peppers & onions + sweet & sour cabbage. 🌮 Tacos 😍 . Is anyone eating anything tasty for the Super Bowl tonight? Well probably end up Netflix binging instead, but I’m using it as an excuse to eat pizza. 🏈🍕🤷🏼‍♀️ . . . . . #eatrealfood #mealplanning #mealprepmadesimple #healthycooking #foodforfuel #foodforthought #mealprepsociety #healthyfoodshare #mealprepideas #howtomealprep #mealprepdaily #mealideas #foodisfuel #mealpreponfleek #foodgram #mealprepping #freshproduce #eatyourveggies #healthyeating #balanceddiet #groceryshopping #groceryhaul #grocerybudget #easymeals #budgetmeals #forkyeah #fooddiary #ALDIgram #eattherainbow #cookingfortwo

A post shared by Jessie || PGH ➵ EVERYWHERE (@15minutes_late) on

Hope everyone has a great weekend! OVER TO YOU: What are your best time management tips and tricks for college students? Share in the comments below! 

2016: A Year in Review

Like most people, I can agree  with the sentiment that 2016 was a bit of a dumpster fire. I'm not really sad to see it go, but there were also a lot of highlights and memories made that I will cherish forever. Here is my 2016 year in review:

-I took trips to Chicago, San Antonio, DC, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis (again), St. Louis (again), Dover, Niagara Falls, Riviera Maya, and Boston;

Kansas City has a pretty great skyline. #travelswithlauren #adventureisoutthere #collectmomentsnotthings

A post shared by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on

 

-I said goodbye to my beloved Grandma Margaret;

-I ran 26.2 miles and didn't die (mostly thanks to Jeff and Chelsea);

-I turned 30 and had two parties to celebrate;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on May 7, 2016 at 7:24am PDT

-I celebrated the weddings of friends;

Whoever thinks running is a solitary sport is just. plain. wrong. 😘😘 #mcshuppwedding #ohana #manatees #runbutler
A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on May 22, 2016 at 4:35pm PDT

-I scrambled around downtown Pittsburgh with Laynie to find a place to watch the last few minutes of the Stanley Cup Final so I could see my favorite team win their 4th Stanley Cup;

-I watched David Boudia and Steele Johnson qualify for the Olympics in person;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Jun 24, 2016 at 5:54am PDT

-I said goodbye to my childhood home and moved to a new one; 

Thanks for the memories, 431.

-I got to spend time with cherished friends;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:20pm PDT
A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Aug 8, 2016 at 6:00pm PDT

-I wish bon voyage to a dear friend who embarked on a huge adventure;

I am so proud of this brave girl, but damn I miss her! 

-I ran new race PRs (heyyyyyy sub-30 5k!);

And the season of PRs continued today with a HUGE PR at Buffalo Creek today."! 2:12:04 - holy crap! Huge thanks to @pghrunner for helping me through that final mile today! #hshive #nuunbassador #gameonpgh
A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Oct 15, 2016 at 1:36pm PDT

-I met one of my favorite people and told him he was my favorite (and he loved it);

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Oct 9, 2016 at 9:26am PDT

-I earned a medal the size of my head;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:07am PDT

-I discovered Popeye the Foodie and he became my favorite instagrammer; 

A photo posted by Popeye the Foodie Dog 😉 (@popeyethefoodie) on Nov 23, 2016 at 9:16am PST

-I took my racing international and also ran 3 half marathons in 3 weeks (including another HUGE PR);

-I visited every country in North America in 4 days;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Nov 6, 2016 at 1:00pm PST

-I visited Mexico for the first time and watched my lovely roommate get married;

Nice close-up of the back of my head haha

-I raised a lot of money for CCFA;

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Nov 17, 2016 at 8:35am PST

-I read 53 books; 

A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:36am PST

-I celebrated my 4th anniversary with an organization that treats me like family (and I got a promotion!);

-I hugged my favorite super heroes 58982986389237967876532312787 times;

-Annnnnnnd I ended the year with a bout of shingles. But here's a picture of some of the many tacos I ate this year instead. 

When I write it all out like this, there was a lot more good than bad. But that doesn't mean I don't have big goals for 2017!

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I've had a Goodreads account for several years now, but I used to forget about it for months or years at a time. When I'd remember, I'd log on and update my "Books I've Read" list with as much as I could remember (and synced it to my Kindle account!), scroll through the newsfeed to see what my friends were reading, and then promptly forget about it again. I don't know why, considering I have always loved reading and books.

Towards the end of 2015, I was on the Goodreads app and I noticed a "Reading Challenge" section. I learned you can set a goal for how many books you'd like to read in a year, and then use the app to track your progress. If your friends have challenge goals, you can also follow along their progress and see which books they've read to help them reach their goal. I'd never had a reading goal before, and again, I don't know why.

I decided to read 52 books in 52 weeks - one book per week for an entire year. Considering there have been times where I've blown through an entire book in a day, I figured this goal would be easy-peasy! And for the most part, it was, though I did have to read 7 books in December to finish off my goal. I didn't put any restrictions on myself in regards to genre or book length - just 52 books in 52 weeks. Some were print books, some ebooks, and a few audiobooks as well. I did read 2 books that were advanced copies of not-yet-published books. Since they aren't on Goodreads yet, I elected not to include them in my count. I also read a few boxed sets or 2-in-1 books and I counted those each as one book (since they show up on Goodreads as one book).

Here's my reading list for 2016:

1.

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)

by Christian Rudder (print)

2.

Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari (print)

3.

The Quotable Walt Disney

by Kiki Thorpe, Dave Smith (print)

4.

A Secret Kept

by Tatiana de Rosnay (print)

5.

Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

by Tim Sanders (I had him sign a copy when he spoke at a conference I attended in 2015!)

6.

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins (audiobook)

7.

Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally

by Kelly Starrett, T.J. Murphy (print)

8.

A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival

at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres (print)

9.

The Perfect Witness

by Iris Johansen (audiobook)

10.

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

by Dean Karnazes (print)

11.

Never Never: Part Three

by Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher (ebook)

12.

November 9

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

13.

The Best Goodbye (Rosemary Beach #12)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

14.

Leif (Existence Trilogy #2.5)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

15.

Why Not Me?

by Mindy Kaling (audiobook)

16.

Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers #4)

by Jamie McGuire (ebook)

17.

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

by Lazlo Bock (print)

18.

Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

by by Todd Burpo (audiobook)

19.

Running Until You're 100

by Jeff Galloway (print)

20.

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic

by Hazel Gaynor (ebook)

21.

Fire Country

(Country Saga #1) by David Estes (ebook)

22.

My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan

by Tom Foreman (audiobook)

23.

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

by Michael S. Kimmel (print)

24.

Yes Please

by Amy Poehler (audiobook)

25.

Marrow

by Tarryn Fisher (ebook)

26.

Hot as Hell

(Deep Six 0.5) by Julie Ann Walker (ebook)

27.

Wild Irish Ride

(Weldon #1) by Jennifer Saints (ebook)

28.

Confess

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

29.

Hopeless (Hopeless #1)

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

30.

Losing Hope (Hopeless #2)

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

31.

Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

32.

Devil and the Deep (Deep Six #2)

by Julie Ann Walker (ebook)

33.

When SEALS Come Home Boxed Set II

by Anne Marsh (ebook)

34.

It Ends With Us

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

35.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert (print)

36.

Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial

by Rabia Chaudry (print)

37.

A Beautiful Funeral (The Maddox Brothers #5)

by Jamie McGuire (ebook)

38.

Under the Lights (The Field Party #2)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

39.

Always You

by Missy Johnson (ebook) 

40.

Once She Dreamed (Once She Dreamed #1)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

41.

Stubborn Love (Stubborn Love #1)

by Wendy Owens (ebook)

42.

Broken Flowers

by Robert M. Drake (print)

43.

Born For This: How to Find The Work You Were Meant to Do

by Chris Guillebeau (print)

44.

The Chemist

by Stephenie Meyer (ebook)

45.

Too Late

by Colleen Hoover (ebook)

46.

Christmas in Alaska

by Debbie Macomber (print)

47.

The Last Orphans (The Last Orphans #1)

by N.W. Harris (ebook)

48.

She, the Kingdom (She #1)

by Olivian Pope (ebook)

49.

Once She Dreamed (Once She Dreamed #2)

by Abbi Glines (ebook)

50.

A Christmas Homecoming

by Melissa McClone (ebook)

51.

The Christmas List

by Chrissie Manby (ebook - Kindle Single)

52.

Married for Christmas

by Noelle Adams (ebook)

BONUS: 53.  

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper!

by Ree Drummond (print)

There it is - the complete list of books I read in 2016 (as of December 27). I included the last one because I received it as a Christmas gift and read it cover to cover. I've already flagged recipes I'm excited to try! I finished with a week to spare and even finished a bonus book.

I haven't set a goal yet for 2017, but I'm thinking somewhere around 45. Yes, I know some people would set a goal that was even bigger than 2016's, but I'd like to keep it fun and don't want the pressure of having to read books quickly to finish up (that sort of happened in December). 

What were your favorite reads in 2016? I am looking for recommendations! Comment below with your best suggestions! 

Five Things Friday: October 28

I've got five awesome things to share this week! 

1. I completed the Monster's Mash Half Marathon this weekend and earned a medal the size of my face!

#MedalMonday: I completed my 6th half marathon on Saturday! The race begins with a lap around the Dover International Speedway and ends next to the Miles the Monster statue! It was a windy and rainy one, but I had a pretty great race! 🏃🏼‍♀️🏅🏁#teamanchored #gameonpgh #nuunbassador #nuunlove #hshive
A photo posted by Lauren Hopkins (@pghlauren) on Oct 24, 2016 at 9:07am PDT

2. I had a GREAT customer service experience with WALMART this week. Yes,

that

 Walmart. I'm gonna write a whole blog post about it, but for now,

use this referral link

to save $10 off your first order! 

3. I'm all set for Trick-Or-Treat on Monday! I've picked up some of my favorite chocolate treats, as well as some fruit snacks that are allergen friendly! Check out the

Teal Pumpkin Project

and consider having allergen friendly treats available! 

4. Coach Jeff and I are headed to Niagara Falls, ON this weekend to run the Niagara Falls Marathon. I'm doing the Half and Jeff is going to crush the Full in order to gain a qualifying time for the JFK 50 Miler next fall. I'll have my phone on airplane mode, but will try and post to Instagram on wifi whenever I can. Follow along by following me on

Instagram

and following the hashtags #PGHLaurenNATour and #CoachJeffJFK50 (and probably other hashtags I will make up on a whim). 

5. Speaking of #PGHLaurenNATour (NA stands for North America, by the way), I will be in all three North American countries within a span of 4 days! On Wednesday, I leave for Mexico to celebrate my college roommate Elyssa's wedding in Cancun! On the way home, I'll be spending a day in Miami as well and would love some restaurant recommendations, so leave your favorites in the comments below!!!

I'm back!

Since the last time I posted here was in July, I thought it was time for a new header and some updates. This wasn't an intentional blogging hiatus, but so much life has happened since then and I've just been focused on other things.

Up first, I've made progress on several of my goals! 

Successfully train for and run a marathon - DONE 5/1/2016

Raise $1000 for CCFA - DONE 5/1/2016

Run a sub-30 5k - DONE! I ran the Steelers 5k in 29:34 thanks to Coach Jeff's help and then ran the inaugural Flyby 5k in 29:30!

Run a sub-60 10k - still chasing this goal, but I did get a new 10k PR at the Great Race this year (1:01:29 so close!)

Run/walk 1500 miles - 66.41 (Jan) + 76.35 Feb) + 97.34 (Mar) + 94.08 (Apr) + 67.02 (May) + 53.28 (Jun) + 53.1 (Jul) + 8.51 (Aug - YIKES! But this is only what I actually tracked, so it's not

this

 bad) + 58.16 (Sep) = 574.25. 

Clean out my boxes in the basement - DONE! We moved in August (which contributed to the low mileage displayed above), but since then I've taken several very full carloads of stuff to Goodwill! 

Clean out the desk in my room that I never use - DONE! In fact, that desk is in the garage ready to be donated/sold. 

Read 52 books: I've read 36 so far this year! 

Use more vacation days: I'm going to Mexico in less than a month, so I'll be using at least a week then! 

Blog more: HAHA oops.

Actually sort through my pictures from Alaska so I can 

finally

 blog about the experience and design and order photo books: HAHA maybe before the 2 year anniversary of the trip? The photos are mostly sorted - I just need to actually put the books together.

Denali National Park

----

As I mentioned above, we moved in August and I also had a huge work event, both of which went very well, but I'm glad to be done with. Moving to a smaller house has allowed us to go through and get rid of a lot of crap we don't need, and the result is a lot less clutter! 

As I also mentioned above, I'm going to Mexico next month! My college roommate Elyssa is getting married at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya. I've never been to Mexico so I'm looking forward to some pool time, margaritas, and as much chips and guac as I want!

Time to plug a great cause and a super fun event! I'm on the planning committee for Opening Night! A movie premiere event benefiting the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America - Western PA/WV chapter. This year we are premiering

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

 and will also be showing

Dr. Strange

 in a second theatre! Tickets are on sale now and we have some awesome things planned! For more information and to purchase tickets, click the picture! 

When I go to Mexico, I'll also be stopping in Miami for a day on the way home. Comment below with your suggestions for things to do and places to eat! 

June Goals Update and a Weekend Update!

June Goals Update:

Successfully train for and run a marathon:

 DONE

Raise $1000 for CCFA:

 $2100+ raised.

Run a sub-30 5k: 

Coming this summer?

Run a sub-60 10k: 

Coming this fall?

Run/walk 1500 miles:

 66.41 (Jan) + 76.35 (Feb) + 97.34 (Mar) + 94.08 (Apr)  + 67.02 (May) + 53.28 (Jun) = 454.48! It's not likely I'll make 1500 miles (since I'm only counting logged running/walking workouts and not ALL my steps).

Clean out my boxes in the basement:

 Done, I guess? They're all in storage at the moment. We're moving in August so maybe I'll get a chance to sort through some of that crap then. 

Clean out the desk in my room that I never use:

 Done! 

Read 52 books:

 30 books read to date. 

Use more vacation days:

Big fail on that so far this year, but I've got a trip to Mexico in the fall and hoping for a few long weekends here and there as well. 

Blog more:

 Oops.

Actually sort through my pictures from Alaska so I can 

finally

 blog about the experience and design and order photo books:

Sorted, but no photobooks yet. 

I had a pretty solid July 4th weekend: I enjoyed craft beers with penguins at the Aviary on Friday, had yinzeritas on Saturday, went to a Daniel Tiger birthday party for two special girls on Sunday, and ran a new course PR at the Brentwood 5K on Monday! How was your holiday weekend?

PENGUINS!

Happy the Penguin tried to steal some ShuBrew!

New Course PR at Brentwood!

Finally, a plug for a super awesome event that is coming up on FRIDAY! Hope you see everyone at Cosmo - use code HOTNIGHT for discount tickets! Details can be found at

trustarts.org/cosmo

.