wtf?

My photo

If you want to know all about me, checkity check out my website, http://www.LaurenStrec.com.

I like craft beer, dirty comics, and clean food. On my website/blog, you can learn more about me in an uncensored setting. I'm a little foul-mouthed at times, but there is nothing malicious behind my words. Maybe it's the southside Chicago in me, but I just like to keep it real. Despite my crude humor, I clean up well and can be a professional grown up. 

Tittie Sprinkles.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Migrated Over to LaurenStrec.com

Hello!

Last month (September 2015), I transferred most of my Blogger entries over to my website, LaurenStrec.com. Throughout my web existence, I have habitually deleted various accounts, and with the explosion of social media over the past +5 years, this ritual has been prominent. Although I still have a high regard for various Google services, I have a desire to keep my blog/writings on my own website.

With that said, I will no longer be contributing to my Blogger. I realize that I never had a consistent flow of entries to necessitate this announcement. But I am polite as fuck, so I would like to give this courtesy to the subscribers that I have here.

My only dissatisfaction with my decision to relocate to my website, is that I do not have an option for subscribers or reader comments. So, as of now, if you are interested to read my blogs, I just have to ask readers to remember to visit LaurenStrec.com. Meh. I am hoping that Google Sites will offer some sort of subscription/notification option sooner than later, or perhaps I can figure out some sort of workaround.

On the positive side, I will have more blog entries each month, and will have reliability when it comes to new content. Since the move, I currently have a few new postings, and have implemented 6 different categories, to reflect different interests in my life. I invite you to check them out, via the main blog page: LaurenStrec.com/Blog.

Thank you for subscribing to me here, and I hope to have you visit my new and improved (and uncensored) blog.

Cheers,

PS- also new Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004496592893

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review of RentTheRunway.com

I was introduced to www.RentTheRunway.com back in May 2011. I was hired to do a quick piece with them on ABC News, and was gifted a store credit to the website. Fast forward to a year-and-a-half later, and I finally had a social event that gave me a chance to use my credit for a designer dress.

Although I just recently embraced this whole "being a girl" thing, I still do not ooh and ahhh over designer names. Either I like something or I don't: I don't care if it is a high-end designer, or something at Wal-Mart. And I don't think I will ever be able to wrap my head around the fact that girls shell out $100's - $1,000's on PURSES. Whoa, starting to tangent here. Back to this review.

Even if you're like me, and are not impressed by names, the website is great for finding some unique and quality pieces. One is able to "rent" the looks for a fraction of the retail price. It's suited for big events where one would be shelling out a lot more for an acceptable dress-- a dress that one may not even wear again until another big event of the same nature arises. Or, in the case of a lot of girls, the dress may not even see the light of day again because after one wear, it's lost its appeal. If you relate to that, and want to save money and closet space, then check out the site!

I will definitely go back again when the occasion arises to look like a million bucks, without having to pay the retail price. I could write all about it, but then there would have been no point to my video. I suppose this goes out to the girls, but if you're a guy and you overhear your old lady or your girl friend saying they need a dress for a big upcoming event, remember RentTheRunway.com.

=========================================================
If anyone signs up, do so at this referral link, and we'll both get $20 towards the next rental:
http://www.renttherunway.com/referral/laurenstrec.
=========================================================



~Lauren


Thursday, January 26, 2012

LasikPlus: Dr. Horn

Back in November, I went to LasikPlus in Oak Brook, IL for a LASIK surgery consultation. I posted on my Facebook that I was doing this, and I had a tremendous response via comments, messages, and regular email, regarding the procedure. A lot of people are interested in possibly getting it done, but had questions. So, I decided to make a blog and video with my experience. If you're not the reading type or want a "face-to-face" reaction, you can watch my testimonial here:



Let me first say that if you have any medical questions, to just go in for a consultation. It's FREE. The good people at LasikPlus will be more abled and knowledgeable than anything that I can provide. Not to mention that your eyes and my eyes are different, so my experience may be completely different that yours! This blog and video is just a reference, testimonial, and personal recommendation. I am more than happy to answer any questions about MY experience, or elaborate on anything that I went through.

Like most people who responded to my Facebook post, I had been debating LASIK surgery for some time. The thought of getting my eyes sliced open was not appealing, and I mean, this is my VISION we're dealing with here! I always had the concern that something was going to go wrong, and I was going to be blinded or damaged for the rest of my life.

I think we all kind of know the basics of LASIK surgery? That they cut a slit in your eye, open the flap, shine in a laser beam, and close it back up. Excuse me, while I go throw up...

The thought of that, even after I have had it done, makes me cringe. That's a very quick explanation of it, and if you want to read more detailed information, here is a direct link: www.LasikPlus.com/lasik/steps-lasik-treatment. Along with knowing the basics of the LASIK procedure, we may have also heard of some sort of horror story to go along with it-- about someone who had the procedure and, as a result, now have a permanent halo in their line of vision, or are seeing double, or something traumatic. I don't know anyone personally that had that experience, but I did hear that these were possible risks. The operation itself and the associated risks were 2/3 of what prevented me from not getting it done sooner. The final third was that I wanted to save up some money (I'll get into price later on). With that said, those are the three factors that I will be breaking down in this blog. Ready, set, go!

I went in for my consultation on November 23, 2011. The waiting room was packed, but I didn't have to wait too long to get started. Once I met with one of the doctors, we went through a series of tests to determine if I even qualified to received LASIK. Depending on your vision, and the eye itself, it is possible that you will not be a candidate for surgery. The tests were almost like any other eye exam. A couple photos to focus upon, reading the chart, etc. Oh, and no "poof" test, haha (relief)! The main thing that was different is they do have to dilate your eyes, as well as apply numbing drops, as part of the tests to see if you can go through with the surgery. Check out my cartoon eyes:



This doesn't hurt, but it does make you very sensitive to light (obviously with the saucer pupils). But it was nothing that a pair of shades couldn't fix, and it subsided within a couple hours. I was a good candidate to receive LASIK-- I've had the same [awful] prescription for over 5 years (you just need a stable script of one year), and I'm in good health. Depending on how thick your cornea is, you may qualify for PRK (www.LasikPlus.com/lasik/prk-vs-lasik), which means you do not even have to actually receive an incision in your eye. But I personally needed LASIK.

The doctors and staff were super accommodating, and were ready to answer any questions. I really didn't have too many questions, but even so: they provided more than enough information and repeatedly offered a window for me to ask anything I wanted. The entire consultation took about an hour, and afterwards, we set up my surgery date and next-day follow-up appointments. They gave me a folder with a lot of reading material as to what to expect, how to prepare for pre- and post- surgery, and discounts for the medication/drops I would be prescribed.

They called in my prescriptions the day before the surgery. I had four total: one steroid drop, one antibiotic drop, Ambien for sleeping after the surgery, and the optional Valium. You do not need to get the Valium, if you do not want it. But [at this time] Dr. Horn recommends it to relax and relieve any anxiety on the day of the procedure. I went ahead and opted to take it, even though I was not nervous about the procedure, and I have a high tolerance for pain (you will NOT need a high tolerance, as I will explain in a moment). I will admit that I started getting "cold feet" a couple days before my surgery date, but obviously I went though with it.

I went in for LASIK on December 9, 2011. Again, it was pretty crowded. I did everything at the Oak Brook, IL, location, which has both the examination office and the operating room. I forgot which days of the week Dr. Horn is there to perform the surgeries, but basically: everyone makes their appointments within a three-day frame, so that's why there are a lot of people. Also, I went in during a promotional period, so it may not always be so busy, but even so: it wasn't a long wait. Anyway, the staff did a quick eye exam again to make sure I was ready for the surgery, and instilled my numbing drops. I went into a second waiting area, which allows you to see into the OR, if you want to watch. Here is where I took my optional Valium (woo-hoo, party!), and shortly thereafter, met with Dr. Horn to talk about the surgery, answer any last questions, reiterate the post-surgery procedure, and clarify what to expect from both the surgery and following days. And then we headed into the OR.

Oh, and if you're wondering, the Valium is a low dose, so it's not like I was all whacked out and disoriented. Just like a, "Oh, you wanna slice my eye open? Yeah, that's cool with me," feeling. :)

The whole thing took under 15 minutes. I laid down on a typical medical bed, the gave me a Nerf football to hold/squeeze, in case I got nervous or felt uncomfortable, and then put an instrument over my eye socket to prevent me from blinking. This instrument was not painful; it was not even uncomfortable. It was the same amount of pressure as if I were to make a circle with my thumb and index finger and place it over my eye. I don't know if this was due to the numbing drops, or if the instrument nowadays has been formatted to be a bit more efficient when conforming to the eye, but whatever the case: it was NOT intimidating or scary.

Now, when I announced that I was getting LASIK, I also had people who commented/messaged me with their experiences, in addition to those with inquiries. All were positive, especially from those who went to Dr. Horn. The only somewhat negative feedback I received was from a couple people who said that it was slightly uncomfortable during the surgery. One person attributed it to the numbing drops, and another towards the eye-holding instrument. These people that messaged/emailed me with details, had the surgery over a year ago, and did not go to Dr. Horn. Still, I had an expectation that I was going to  have discomfort during the surgery. But nope! It was quick, easy, and a breeze. Neither the drops, instruments, or lights bothered me, or affected me negatively. This may be because Dr. Horn/LasikPlus of Oak Brook updates their equipment on an average of every six months. It is the latest and best technology. What applied a year ago, does not apply now. Plus, maybe if they went to Dr. Horn/LasikPlus they wouldn't have had the same experience. :)

Continuing on, the incision itself is not even felt. You know when it happens, because it gets very blurry. But basically, here's the surgery:
You look into a light, it gets blurry as the laser does its job, and then it gets clear (but foggy) again. THAT'S IT.
I think it took about two minutes for each eye? I wish I could provide more details, but I honestly forgot anything else about it. I should have kept a next-day journal, and I do apologize for my lack of information, but that just goes to show how EASY the surgery is: it's forgettable!

Pretty much right after I was finished, I could have gone home. However, I opted to chill in the waiting room for a good 40 minutes. I did this because of an experience my boyfriend had: 4 years ago he had LASIK (at a different business/location that is now closed), and when he left the office, a gust of wind left a ripple/wave in the top layer of his eye. Even with this happening, they were able to smooth it out the next day, and he sees 20/20 without any sort of complication. But still, I didn't want to take any chances, so I decided to relax with my eyes closed before my ride picked me up. The eye heals very quickly, and I figured I could get some Wolverine-type work done if I just sit for a bit. If you don't have the patience to sit still for a half hour or so, you can totally leave when you're done. Just have someone guide you to the car, and try to keep your eyes closed when you're outside!

When I was about 15 minutes from home, I popped the Ambien and napped for a good four hours when I got to my bed. As I mentioned, the eye heals very quickly, and when I woke up, I could see everything. It was fuzzy, of course, but I could definitely see an improvement. I took another Ambien for bedtime, and went in for my follow-up the next morning. I was still fuzzy, but not as fuzzy from my first wakening after the nap. The next day, I drove myself to my follow-up, while wearing the provided sunglasses. I kept those shades on all day. My eyes did not hurt, but I kept them on as a precaution. They also provided a set of goggles, which is to be used for showering and sleeping. The latter because you may unconsciously scratch or rub your eyes as you slumber. I wore them the first night, but they were a pain in the ass, so I nixed them after that.

My surgery was on a Friday, and I was on the computer, in spurts, on Sunday. Still wearing the shades too. Sunday was even more clear than the previous day, but still a little "misty," if that make sense? On Monday, I was just about clear.

In addition to the steroid drops, and the antibiotic drops, you have to constantly re-wet with some moisture drops (they provided "Blink"). I followed the medication as instructed, and was re-wetting my eyes all throughout the day. That was the only really bummer: my eyes were DRY as hell! But if that's the worse to expect in exchange for 20/20 vision, than that is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make.

As far as night vision, I did not start seeing an improvement until about the month mark. Which is exactly what they told me would happen. They said it would take about a month for the halos around lights to subside, and up to three months for totally clear night vision. I was seeing halos and bursts around every headlight and street light (and holiday decorations), and I was getting a little discouraged after a couple weeks, because I started thinking that I was one of the 3% of people who will not get the full success from LASIK. Even with the advanced technology that is provided, there are still risks such as a permanent haze or a thinning cornea. But the risks are not as common as they were years ago; which is the time period that most of these horror stories stem from. But as I said, at about the month mark, the halos and burst are very minimal, and this past Monday (January 23rd), I was driving not long after dusk and everything looked "HD." It was very clear; more crisp than I have ever been able to see with my contacts. So I imagine when I hit that 3-month point, I will be golden.

I had another follow-up a week after my surgery, and everything was healing just fine. When I did my vision test, I was actually more than 20/20 vision: I was 20/15, which is pretty damn cool. One of my buddies had LASIK with Dr. Horn about the same time, and he had the same outcome. Sweet. And I just recently sent in my first payment, which will allow me to segue in the biggest FAQ: "How much?"

So, as of November 23, 2011, the set price is $2099 per eye. YIKES. However, Dr. Horn is always doing promotional periods. I went in during one of these, which was $500 off, if I had the surgery done before the end of 2011. As I mentioned earlier, this may have been why it was crowded. In addition to the $500 off, they also give discounts if you have insurance, if you had a referral, and a few other reasons. I received an additional 5% for being a vision member, so my final price for both eyes was $3,513. Still... YIKES. But! They have a very affordable payment plan option with CareCredit: no interest for 2 years! So, the payments come out to a little under $150 a month. Which is totally do-able. And when I think about how much I spend each year on repeated eye exams, contacts, solution, glasses, etc., $3,500 is a good investment for years and years of perfect vision with a lifetime guarantee. And your price may be even lower than mine-- depending on when you go, and what type of additional discounts you may receive.

All in all with the pricing: you get what you pay for. The best equipment, and probably the best eye surgeon in Chicagoland. Dr. Horn's name came up frequently on my Facebook, with accompanying accolades.

Speaking of, I receive emails with coupons to refer friends, and below is a 10% off coupon! Although I received permission to write a blog/create a video, I do not work for LasikPlus, or was not hired to do any sort of promotion for them. I wrote this in response to my Facebook inquiries and I simply enjoy doing stuff like this. And why not share the coupon because you get something, and I get something? Click on this image to launch the full size in a new window for easy printing. Bring it in when you set up your FREE consultation/eye exam!


EDIT: I used to embed a coupon here, but instead of updating my blog each time an old coupon expired, it is much more convenient if you just send me an email if/when you need the coupon. So, don't be shy, no long message needed, just put "send lasik coupon" in the subject or something like that.


Overall, if you've considered getting LASIK, but the fear of the procedure or risks has been the main thing(s) holding you back, then it's time to go in. That is what prevented me from not doing it sooner, and I actually feel dumb for it because it was such a piece of cake. If you have any more questions about my experience, feel free to comment on this blog, hit me up on my Facebook, or send me an email. If you have any questions about LASIK itself or about your eyeballs, then go into a consultation.

I personally recommend LASIK, and I strongly recommend Dr. Horn/LasikPlus because my experience was smooth and successful. And many others will say the same. This guy is very cool and knows his shit. Even if my blog didn't give you any sort of confidence, you will feel fine after meeting with him. 

It's amazing to be able to see my alarm clock in the middle of the might, and ladies: shaving my legs is done in probably half the time it took me before (that was my moment when I fell in love with my new vision).

Hope my blog gives you a good perspective about what to expect, and if I left anything out, I will surely edit this blog to include it!

Cheers,
Lauren
| | | | |

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Party Pub (More Radio Stuff)

Back on September 1, 2010, I began a radio venture with Party 934, with my hour of "Party Pub."

Having no radio experience, except for a couple guests spots on WGN Radio and Q101, I was excited to premiere my own show, and get more experience under my belt. It was only once a week, for one hour, and was primarily music, but it was still a start. My first day, I forgot to put on my headphones, and my first live speaking was drowned out my high pitched feedback. Aw.

I first learned about an opening at Party 934 for a tentative morning show, which I submitted to audition. By the time the audition rolled around, the tentative format was evolving into a "prank-call" type of show, which I wasn't really comfortable with. I will laugh my ass of at segments like that, but I would feel too guilty actually performing them myself. Still, I went in, to give it a shot.

I did OK, but the morning show didn't end up being integrated into the lineup. But I was offered a slot in their "mixologist" pool, with the option of having 1-2 hour time slot, multiple days during the week. I opted to start off with an hour, once a week: every Wednesday at 5pm CT. When thinking of my hour's format, I didn't want to commit to just one genre of music, and I also wanted to play something that would cater to most people's tastes. Being a bartender on the side, I am constantly surrounded by people's requests for the jukebox or watching them jam out to a band. So, I decided for my first show, that I could take that bar atmosphere and create a show around it. So, "Party Pub" was born: an hour of party songs that you normally hear at the local tavern, as created by the patrons.

As the weeks went on, I got a little more comfortable with segueing between songs, and multi-tasking between the different programs to make the show roll. I began receiving requests too, so I knew people were listening (haha), and at times I wouldn't even be able to fit everyone's songs into the hour. So, that was a really cool feeling. I had many ideas for various segments with the show. The one consistent piece was called, "Orange Whip," in which I would do a shot recipe at the halfway mark. Pub, music, shots-- it just all goes together. (Props to you, if you know from which classic movie that I extracted the segment's name.)

Although this was a great way to build my experience, it was not a paying gig (I did it from home, and was not qualified enough to receive compensation anyway). With that said, when a paying job would arise, I would have to give priority to the job that's going to add to the bank account. In addition, other ideas I had for segments required footwork. For example, I wanted to go out to local shows, and do video interviews with local bands. I'd play the audio during the broadcast, and the video would be posted on the Party Pub Facebook. It would have been great cross-marketing between the bands and me. But doing that stuff requires time and money; almost overkill for myself for just a once-a-week, hour-long broadcast that is primarily internet.

Don't get me wrong: I realize that that's precisely the kind of stuff I would need to invest, in order to take it to the next level. But when it comes to my media pursuits, I'm all about doing that sort of extra work when it comes to on-camera work. Radio is still a whole new ballgame for me, something that I was made re-aware of when I ventured out to Minneapolis a couple weeks ago. Radio is something that is going to require it's own separate commitment, something that is going to be hard for me to balance between the on-camera work and my personal life. I'm going to do it, but it's going to take some reorganizing on my behalf, first.

You'll notice that I've been speaking in the past tense, for the duration of this blog. If you listened to the show, you will know that I had my last broadcast on November 23rd. I had intended it to be on November 30th, but while I was in Minneapolis, I was unexpectedly invited back for another day, and I had to cancel the last Party Pub show. With my ever-evolving schedule, I found a lot of things popping up on Wednesdays, and there were numerous times I had to pre-record my show, get a fill-in, or have the station be on "auto-play" because of my unplanned absences. It wasn't fair to anyone that I had to do this, so I put in my notice at the end of October. I didn't want to quit, because Party 934 is an incredible outlet to build experience. So, I requested that I put my show on a hiatus, until I can figure out a time/day that I would be more reliable.

Well, after my Minneapolis trip, I realized that I need more experience in a talk show type format. After all, if I were to get a job in radio, this is the route in which I would strive towards. And doing an hour or two of mainly music is not going to get me off the plateau I am currently posted. Sooooooo, I have made my decision that once I get back into a radio program, whether it is back on Party 934, or another channel (even if it is my own thing on, like, BlogTalkRadio), I want to do an entirely different show. Officially, I am retiring "Party Pub" for good.

This blog is written to the 30 people or so (if even that) who tuned into my "Party Pub" during its 1 and 1/4 year run. After my last broadcast was cancelled, I did not have a proper "goodbye," and now that I am axing the show, I want to give a detailed explanation. Again, I do plan on returning to do some sort of show, it just won't be the "Party Pub" format. For more updates, please subscribe to my Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaurenStrec, because I post all my adventures there. Or, you can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter at the front page of www.LaurenStrec.com. I will be deleting the "Party Pub" Facebook Page (I have an admitted OCD, when it comes to cleanup of unused items, both in my living space and computer).

THANK YOU all for tuning in, sending me your requests, and making this so fun! I hope to have back for my new show!


Party Pub Logo


First show playlist and "Orange Whip" Recipe

"Party Pub" with Party Mixologist Lauren "La La" Strec
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Genre: Classic rock, 80's, alternative, oldies, and local (Chicagoland) music.
Lauren's Favorite Artists: TOOL, Aerosmith, The Doors, Pink, Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, STP, Incubus, Rise Against, Sublime, Usher, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Bruno Mars, Missy Elliot, Cypress Hill, Eminem, Bone Thugs, Tupac, Biggie
About Lauren & Party Pub:
Lauren Strec is your mixologist every Wednesday from 5 - 6 PM CT during, "Party Pub." Lauren, who also goes by "La La," actually holds a double entendre to the term, "mixologist." Since 2006, Lauren has been a bartender, mixing up cocktails and shots in Chicagoland. Now, instead of fusing liquor, Lauren will be mixing up yours and her favorite party songs. Think of her debut show as your own personal tavern. Sit back, crack open a beverage, and enjoy your favorite hits that contribute to that good time buzz.

In addition to working as a bartender, Lauren pursues her endeavors to become a television personality in Chicago. She began hosting work in 2004, and quickly developed a strong passion for broadcasting. "I love connecting with the public, and informing them of cool events, fun facts, and anything Chicago!" she says. Party 934 is another fantastic outlet in her quest to become Chicago's go-to girl, and hook up with the public. Check out her website, at www.LaurenStrec.com, for pictures, videos, and links to her Facebook, Twitter, and many more social media websites.

~Lauren
| | | | |


Monday, December 5, 2011

Minnianapolis ;)

Had a very developmental experience last week, when I went to audition in Minneapolis, for a morning show on their Top 40 radio station, the 'Dave Ryan in the Morning' show on 101.3 KDWB. While my main pursuits are directed at on-camera work, I started getting into radio and voiceover last fall, in order to expand my resume into all areas of broadcasting, and to make myself more rounded in the field of hosting, overall. As I say, I want to be a "SUPER host."

Radio is a completely different animal than on-camera work. In both, I am being myself and relaying information. But on-camera, there are corresponding facial expressions that add to the words. With radio, it's just a voice, and there is a required awareness with HOW you say things, in addition to WHAT you say. I kind of had an idea of this, but truly had my first "real" experience with it during my 2-day audition.

Overall, I had a very fun time on the show, and the most re-occuring negative feedback I heard from the audience was that I laughed too much. Which, from my point of view, I was not even conscientious about, because I was in the studio, just having a good time. Being in Chicago, I was not familiar with the team's format, so in addition to auditioning, I was kind of "watching" the show, to get an idea of how it worked and how the personalities interacted with one and other. And it was some good shit; hence the laughing. But of course, no one is going to want to listen to some chick just laughing her ass off, so I understand the criticism. :) But I digress.

Upon listening to the show's podcast, I still have some very bad habits that I thought were eliminated in speech class, years ago. Verbalized pauses-- saying, "um" or "like"-- are present, and my diction/enunciation definitely needs some work in the early morning. If I were ever going to do a morning show, I would have to wake up and do some face exercises (not even kidding). Most of my dialogue sounded flat too: my sense of humor is admittingly on the sarcastic side, but I sounded a little more dryer than how I felt I was actually executing. So, there has to be an added energy to the voice to compensate for the fact that it is audio only. Oh, and I totally butchered my live read of the news. I'm so used to doing a quick memorization before going on-camera, and I was confident that i could just read off a piece of paper that was given to me a minute before going on live air, but... well... I sucked ass. The second day was 10x better, but still: holy shit. So, I've literally been taking magazines and shampoo bottles and whatever is around the house, and reading them out loud, all while speaking clearly and adding intonations to my voice.

Originally, I was invited for a one-day broadcast, but after the first show, the program director invited me back for the next day. I think they are having all their auditioning talent for a couple visits to the studio, but since I was coming in from Chicago, it made more sense for me just to stay the following day, rather than come back a couple weeks later. Also, it was evident that during the first half of the show, that I was "getting to know" everyone, so it also made sense for me to have my another go at it, now that I wasn't as "blind" to the show and its hosts.

I had a lot of time to kill before the next morning broadcast, so I hit the hotel gym, got something to eat, and just chilled at the hotel with a laptop. Which is fine, with me: I don't require a lot to be entertained, and can hang out with myself, no problem. I kept telling myself not to go and look on the show's website and Facebook to see what people were saying about me, because it is impossible to please everyone, and there would obviously be negative feedback. But I couldn't help myself! haha. So, I did a quick read-through, and nothing was offensive. I appreciate honest feedback, especially if it will help me become better. But although I wasn't offended, I was a little frustrated (at myself) because it sounded like I didn't portray myself as a down-to-earth chick. I wasn't "trying" to do this; I was just being myself. But I didn't think the opposite would shine through instead?

I am the first to make fun of myself. I do not take myself seriously, and can totally take jabs and give it right back. I don't give a shit on being complimented on looks or if someones kisses my ass. Don't get me wrong: I always say 'thank you' and am appreciative if someone takes the time to pay me a compliment. But I don't "get off" on people approving of my chromosome lineup. So, anyway, one example of something that frustrated me was there was a couple people who made something along the lines of that I was "into myself." I can't help but be frustrated at something like that, because it's just not true! To elaborate, at one point during the show, I poked fun of myself by saying I was wearing "8 pounds of makeup." I guess the way I said it was matter-of-factual, and it lacked that intonation that showcased it as purely a joke. Then all of a sudden, my poke at myself turned into that "I was trying to hard" because I wore makeup to the studio. Of course I'm going to do myself up for the audition. They're going to take my picture for the website, I'm going to be walking around the offices and meeting everyone, and we had plans to go out to lunch straight after the show. I wasn't really wearing an extravagant amount: I was just making fun of being a girl. It's like, "really?"

Some people came to my defense, and "got me," so it did ease the irritation with myself. I have a disadvantage over the other candidates because I don't have any friends/fanbase in Minnesota to post on the website and Facebook with accolades. So it really was a true test. And I went into the audition knowing that some people were going to hate me, right off the bat. Not only because it is impossible to please everyone, but also because, as with all the candidates, I am trying to fill the shoes of the former co-host that was established there for years, and who everyone is used to hearing each morning. Lesson learned that delivery is everything!!! Without trying to sound like a total loser: I really did learn from all of it.

Oh side note: for the title of my blog: if you subscribe to my newsletter (sign up at the front page of www.LaurenStrec.com), you will know that I make a personal video to go along with the month's edition. So, I posted my video because it contained some quick info about my radio audition/trip in Minneapolis. Well, my only logical conclusion that I can conclude is that I guess when I was young, I learned to pronounce the city with an extra syllable, an extra "an." Minnianapolis. And I was never corrected on it. Not that there are going to be many conversations during my lifetime in which I say "Minneapolis." Or in my case, Minnianapolis. So, the guys welcomed me onto the show with some ball-busting, by playing an audio clip of me mispronouncing it, over and over. Which was totally deserving and hilarious. And of course I received some flack from the residents! :)

Me, being the pessimist that I am, don't think I did well enough to continue in the running for consideration. But regardless of my performance, it was such a eye-opener to what I need to work on, to make myself better. I am extremely happy that I even make the cut to audition, and I feel a sense of accomplishment with the insight that I gained from the trip. Taking what I learned, I am going to work on a few things, and hopefully something will present itself where I can flex my guns again.


Friday, August 5, 2011

PoPS!

If you've read my bio, either at my website, or my Facebook, you would know that, before I discovered my love for media, I first got involved within Chicago's entertainment industry with the intention of becoming a working actress. Well, after my true embarkment became clear, my interest in any acting endeavors gradually disintegrated. Which worked out well because I'm not any good, haha. But talent aside, it was always very fun to be involved in a production, and I think if I did indeed have the skills, it is something that I would still continue to do.

Back in the spring, I came across a casting call for a superhero webseries, and I was intrigued. That is definitely something that would be fun, and I could only imagine the cast and crew that would encompass the project. A YouTube link was provided, and I clicked it, expecting something extremely cheesy and embarrassing. But to my contrary, the plot was interesting, the characters were likable, and they even had cool special effects. I watched all the videos; I genuinely liked the show! PoPS, aka The Platoon of Power Squadron: I am a fan. So, I said, "Why not?" and submitted myself for a couple roles.

I received an invite to audition for couple characters, and landed the role of Alexis, a tough sorority sister whose superpower... well, I'm not going to say anything right here. ;) We filmed in late April and, as expected, it was a blast! And after much anticipation, the episode in now live on YouTube, and I'd love to share with y'all.

So, here's how it works:

Thus far, there are five Episodes of PoPS, and each Episode is split into 5-8 Parts. It is your call if you want to watch all the Episodes from the beginning, or if you just want to watch Episode 5, or if you only want to jump to the Part/Episode that I involves me. It is a cool show, and you don't "need" to have knowledge of the previous Episodes to understand it, but it would definitely help if you did have some background as to what is happening in the scene. Whatever your choice, I am going to list all the links below my signature, and below the links, I will embed the video of the Part in which I appear. Hope you like it!

~Lauren
www.LaurenStrec.com
| | | | |

=====================================================

This is an Episode list of POPS. As I mentioned, each Episode is split into Parts. You can watch these Parts back-to-back, or watch some, come back later, watch the rest , etc. I am in Episode 5, Part 4, which is embedded below the links.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*** EPISODE 1 ***

BACK TO BACK: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms#grid/user/3480B5BE6713B5BF

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epM4ly9qWsk
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dOINYvZnS8
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntawOeZ7D9Q
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYsvahdotRo
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBbW_W5h7Qg
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ1goVlSQzA
Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9MM2RdSbHE
Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp1_5ZbAiLs

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*** EPISODE 2 ***

BACK TO BACK: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms#grid/user/C5A6FCC9C59386A4

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzX7G10i9Mw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SFS5Ys2f-o
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9fbJvr9320
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsACC-8HENQ
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Qk69F90wg

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*** EPISODE 3 ***

BACK TO BACK: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms#grid/user/DFEFBBE8BE2B2EB5

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9kSWeMTkYI
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNR-3dsYGgA
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zND66l3GJe0
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfDUEBEUwYE
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37R5juhXrXQ
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YFvzvhOqgk

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*** EPISODE 4 ***

BACK TO BACK: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms#grid/user/36B24279382047EB

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e2nYe99mY8
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYi5JaRSL6g
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Ps9s66Rcs
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAosGXV5wYo
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OPHJ03VG14
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEDpEMNNkX0

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*** EPISODE 5 ***

BACK TO BACK: http://www.youtube.com/user/pineappleboyfilms#grid/user/89A5C42910F709EC

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB15BAaaAs4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zHV3a_ETOg
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQd_9CqlXb0
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPNbb3rt2iQ
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOYc5IFfr5g

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++