"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, August 29, 2011

Change Your Hair, Change Your Brand

Zuri Before
Zuri Bella and I could play sisters because we both have curly hair. In fact, Zuri looks more like she could be my sister, than my actual sister looks like she could be my sister.
Having curly hair is...quite the upkeep. So when Zuri went from short to even shorter, I was soooo jealous. Look at her after photo and see how fierce she looks down below, which is definitely on brand for all the awesome martial arts stuff she knows. (She's only 5'3 but packed with kickassery!)

Changing your look dramatically in this business requires a lot of financial dedication. You have to pay for a whole new set of headshots and upload them to all the casting sites. But when you change your look to something that's more you, it's worth it.

A Super Exciting Post About My Hair
by Zuri Bella
Hi Lira’s readership!
Of course this is definitely not a life or death story, but how you look is a huge part of acting and it was a dramatic change for me.
I’ve wanted to cut my hair super short since I was 13 but was worried that it wouldn’t look good. Stylists get confused by curly hair and do strange things with it. Plus, I had an established quirky-funny-girl look that got auditions. Still, the idea of short hair intrigued me (oooh.)
The Sam Christensen workshop helped make me bold enough to try it out. The workshop gives you a summary of who you are in words and phrases in an organized binder. It made me feel like my bubbly curls didn’t quite catch who I am as a person. I wanted a hairstyle that encompassed a complete version of me. The willful, strong me as well as the enchanting, adorable Zuri (hey, these are just words they chose to put in my binder.)
If I was going to take a risk, it was important to stack as many odds in my favor as I could. I emailed my manager and agents and asked them for the okay, set up an appointment for great headshots with Dana Patrick, and made sure to go to Molly at Goo Salon, which specializes in short hair and curls.
Still, a week before of the appointment I kept vacillating. Was this stupid? Was this making a mistake just to make a mistake? Looking in the mirror and feeling bored with the person looking back helped me go through with it.
Zuri After! See the Kickassery!?
When I got my hair cut it was a huge relief, Molly kept checking to see if the haircut was too short and I kept asking her to cut off more.
It was incredibly freeing.
There are a ton of plusses. When there’s an audition, instead of taking a shower three hours before, my hair looks great right out the door. People have been super sweet and complimentary. I go out for different characters. But more than anything, it feels right and it’s a cute haircut, with cute headshots, so my decision was well thought out.
"To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself."
-Soren Kierkegaard
Is there anything that you’d love to do but it seems like too big a risk? Or something you‘d like to do that‘s been in the back of your head your whole life but for whatever reason you haven‘t done?
(PS If it’s hair it’ll grow back if you don‘t like it…but don’t cut off your fingers just to try it out…unless you know something really cool about bionic fingers that are being developed.)

Liked what you read? You can follow Zuri's blog here. 


  1. (I just like learning martial arts but I definitely have a ways to go...)

  2. She looks biracial.


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