Have you seen the new music video for Joji's ‘Upgrade’? Cause I’m in it, SAY WHAT!!
This was such a fun project to be a part of and what an honor. It’s Joji! I absolutely love his music, appreciate his artistry, and the creative directions he takes for his music videos. What an honor to be part of his creative vision for ‘Upgrade’. Let me break down step-by-step how I prepared for this shoot (and general hacks and preparation tips for any audition!)
BE ON TIME to any rehearsal and/or shoot dates - I recommend setting an alarm (when I mean ‘on time’, I mean 30 minutes before call time.) You never know how difficult traffic and/or parking is so be as prepared as possible to uphold your work ethic and reputation. Before arriving, take a deep breath and give yourself a breather so that you prepare yourself to give 110%. I come from the ‘work hard, work harder’ mentality.
As a dancer on set, I am usually quiet and respectful until they ask for assistance. I make sure I maintain space to be positive which creates an environment easy to create in. For Joji’s ‘UPGRADE’, I was blessed to work with all of my friends.
What I loved about working with this specific group is that even though we are all great friends, we also are professionals to get the job done. We can laugh and have fun while being able to create efficiently, and with this type of environment the creative process runs a lot more smoothly and organically.
For this project, we were done creating within an hour! I absolutely love everything about this choreography with the direction of my incredible friend, Sheela Awe. She directed this so well and uplifted the set with her direction.
Once rehearsals are finished, make sure you plan accordingly for the shoot! Pack everything you need, prepare comfortable clothes ready to put on (since call time is usually really early) bring slides and shoes to rehearse in, and don't forget your phone charger!
My night time ritual after packing consists of several things like eating the right meal. I stay away from foods that are heavy in sodium since salt causes you to retain extra water which leaves you feeling pretty uncomfortable. After a clean meal, I wash up and rest with a face mask. These three simple steps allow me to be calm and refreshed for a full day of work on set!
Once I wake up, I roll my face with the ice roller from my freezer (you can find my 2020 essentials here!) then put on an under eye mask from the fridge. This helps soothe me to wake up instantly and feel like I’m walking into a set looking like my 5 year-old daughter. I make my coffee then head out!
Once I arrive on set, I get ready for whatever is thrown at me. For example, this production required us to get fitted into a harness ready to practice floating inside an airplane. It was such an amazing experience! It took longer to get my harness configured to my body type then it did getting my make up done and styled.
tldr; I learned that day that celebrities usually bring their own harness since it is curated for their body. Did you know that?!
The harness scene took about 2 hours and we transitioned into break. During the break, I was able to meet Joji! He was really kind and looked like he was ready to work! After the break, our stewardess outfits had to be altered to the wires from the harness. The stylists worked so hard and fast to get all of us ready to film. Once on set, our takes took about 45 minutes for the floating scenes then another hour for the dance section.
Production always takes longer than the actual filming since so much is involved to prepare for a perfect shot (this is where your slides come in very handy for break times!) To watch and be part of the process to create a specific moment is such a beauty in production. Here is the outcome of all of our work put together for Joji’s song ‘Upgrade’ from his latest album ‘Nectar’.
Hope you were able to get some insight and a glimpse of my procedures that I have created from the 10 years of experience on sets! I encourage you to create your own rituals to always be prepared mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically! Preparation is always half the battle :)
What drives YOU? Are there experiences you want to speak about? How do you want to express that? What are your core values?
I want to help YOU figure you out so you can create from a place of honesty without boundaries. I believe everyone is a character in this story we call life. Everyone is so unique and has something so specific to help someone else. Live it. Define it. Let me help you create it.
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