"None of us suddenly becomes something overnight. The preparations have been in the making for a lifetime.- Gail Goodwin
It's baaaaaaaaacckk!

Game of Thrones season 5 finally premiered last night and did not disappoint. Before watching I binged on just about every video on their official YouTube channel. Here's one I found interesting about the writers/producers and how the show came to be on TV:

(Only watch if you've finished season 3!)

I'm a firm believer in writing down my goals to help reinforce my faith that they will come to pass. To that end, I've made a visionboard once again and I love it.

These words and photos represent my goals and desires in many different areas of my life from my family to my career to stepping up my image fashion-wise to my bakery business.

*Oh and yes Shonda Rhimes is on here twice and Kerry Washington is on here a good 4 times. I need to work with these ladies! I can play her sister or something!

Write the vision and make it plain.

Happy new year blogosphere! I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and are off to a productive start this year.

So much has happened since I last took time to write. For starters, I signed with a manager a few months ago. She's gotten me out on a couple major TV auditions for series regular roles, which is a new thing for me! Unfortunately after being with her for 3 months, she closed up shop and joined forces with a larger management company and had to leave me behind. No love loss though. I appreciate the auditions she got me and will move forward from there.

In much more important and life-changing news, Baby Daniel is here!! I'm a new mom again and yes I'm in love. :-)

He arrived the day after Christmas, almost a full 2 months before he was due, since my body decided to develop pre-eclampsia. :-( Thankfully both he and I were fine after his delivery but since he was 3 lbs, 14 oz he had to stay in the NICU to get his weight up before he was able to come home. Leaving the hospital without a baby was the most surreal experience I've ever had, but I am very thankful that he has no health problems and is now home and happy!

And his big brothers are my very big helpers! Looking at the 3 of them reminds me of how abundantly blessed I am and how much responsibility I've been given as their mother. Daniel's arrival has definitely shaken some things inside of me and changed my perspective on some areas that I never thought I'd budge on, but more on that in a later post.

On the acting/writing/producing front, I'm very excited for the possibilities this year holds! My main goals are to book a commercial, book a role on TV, get Muted into major film festivals and get Muted the feature in tip-top shape to make it attractive to production companies. Since the first 2 months of the new year are practically over, I've got a lot of work to do! I plan to share more of my journey with you this year since I miss blogging regularly. I will try to blog more consistently, though with a newborn I'm not making any promises. :-)

Shooting Muted was the highlight of my career up to this point!
More like a chair read since there was no table. :-)

We started off with a table read a few days before the shoot and just hearing the words I've written and toiled over for so long come to life almost brought tears to my eyes. *I said almost. I sucked it up!

Chandra Wilson (aka Dr. Bailey from Grey's Anatomy - YES AS A HUGE GA FAN I FREAKED OUT) played my mother and Malcolm-Jamal Warner played my father. Getting Malcolm on board was an unexpected treat that was the icing on the cake. :-)
Tara Tomicevic (Sascha) and Daniele Watts (Crystal)
Jorge-Luis Pallo (Det. Moreno) & Ross McCall (Det. Fitzhugh)

All of the actors were fantastic and getting to act alongside Chandra, especially in some of the heavier scenes, was such a gift. It was like taking a master class right there on set so I tried to soak in every moment. 

Checking constant emails when not shooting
Having to produce and act at the same time was not without its challenges. There were some small fires to put out and some emotional scenes that the baby was NOT happy about (seriously my stomach was rumbling for about 2 hours afterward) but thankfully we weren't shut down, our equipment didn't malfunction, no one was injured and the baby is still healthy so all in all I'd say it was a pretty successful shoot.

Baby bump!
Our crew was AWESOME!!!! Talented, smart, hard working with positive attitudes all the while. I'd hire the majority of them again in a heartbeat and hope to work with them on other projects in the near future. And Rachel Goldberg, our fearless leader, made everything feel easy. As an actor you hope to work with a director who will give you the freedom to make your own choices while still executing their vision and she did exactly that. She may not be well known now but I guarantee she will be pretty soon. She's absolutely a filmmaker to keep your eye on.

I'm happy and relieved that the shoot is over and that we can start to have fun in post but a part of me didn't want it to end. :-( I so wish I could do this (act on a professional set) every week like a "real" career. One day. One day soon.
We start shooting Muted tomorrow.

I am beyond excited (and tired!) and can't wait to share all of the details that led up to this point. But for now I'm just gonna say God is so good and He has already far exceeded my desire for what this short film could have become.

Oh and in baby news, all is well. :-)
Remember this?

After getting into an accident on the freeway back in early 2011 which totaled my little neon, my family and I had been sharing a car since then. 1 car divided by 2 people and 2 little ones who went to different schools over 2.5 years made for 1 tired mommy/taxi driver.

But, praise God, we've been blessed with a second car! This opens up A WHOLE NEW WORLD for us and will give me a much needed break from having to pick up everyone for everything. And the funny thing is that had we bought a car a long time ago, there's no way we would've purchased an SUV because we didn't need the extra space. However God knew there was another baby coming so it all worked out the way it was supposed to. I'm so grateful for this blessing and have named her Patience.


In other news, the pregnancy is progressing well except that my hormones are out of control. I've been hit with fatigue and face rashes - yes RASHES ON MY FREAKIN FACE - that I really can't do much about besides try my very best to cover them up with concealer & foundation when I have an audition. So far I've only had to do this once though so hopefully any future auditions will be face rash free. Ah, the sacrifices we make to bring life into this world. :-)

Finally, I've been getting a lot of email from both actors and industry entrepreneurs who have something they'd like me to feature on this blog. While some of it is pure crap that I wouldn't dare share with the world since I don't support businesses that I feel are trying to take advantage of actors, some of it may actually prove to be helpful and/or interesting to some of you. So I've decided to share some of these things with a new blog feature: Share & Support Sundays. If you have an industry business that you'd like me to feature I'll share it or, more importantly, if you're an actor with a clip/trailer/short film/crowdfunding campaign that you'd like me to feature I'll support it by posting. Simply email me with the link, video, description, etc. to brandi (at) brandiford (dot) com.

So with our first Share & Support Sunday, here's a funny and quick short written & directed by Kira Hesser called Character Actors. Enjoy!

2013 is shaping up to be a whirlwind year.

First of all, if you were one of the people who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign or even shared the link extensively with your network: THANK YOU! We raised over $16k which means Muted is finally happening! We are now in the midst of casting, selecting shoot dates and hiring key crew. It's all very exciting and there's a lot of work to be done but we have a great team already so I know its going to be such an awesome shoot. I'll keep you posted on new developments as they arise.

In my personal life, my little one is going to Kindergarten this year. I can't believe it! Next month he'll join his big brother (who is now going to freakin 4th grade!) at the same school. And if that weren't enough, Stephen & I recently found out that we are pregnant. YAY!!!! Well, it was more like WHAAAATTTTT???? when we first found out but now we're very excited. Hopefully I'll get a girl this time but we have a while until we can find out what the gender is. I guess this means I'll be doing a lot of writing as my stomach gets bigger and I'm forced to slow down in other areas. For now I'm just trying to take as many naps and go to bed as early as possible since my energy level is pretty low during this first trimester.

No other news right now, though I really think that's more than enough. Hope you all are enjoying your summer!
For the last 2 weeks I've been consumed with promoting my Kickstarter campaign for Muted. I knew it would be hard but WOW! This truly is a 24 hour job that requires a lot of reminding people without annoying people (or at least trying not to). We're hoping to raise at least $15,000 (just shy of $7,000 to date) and as with all Kickstarter projects if we don't reach our goal then we get nothing at all. Please take a moment to watch our pitch video and if it resonates with you then please make a pledge. The minimum amount is $1 and believe me when I say we are THRILLED when we see those $1 pledges come in because they add up quickly.

We've been shown some Twitter love from a few women who have retweeted our campaign including actress/director Regina King, actress Megan Good, Black Girls Rock creator Beverly Bond, comedienne Sommore, singer T-Boz of TLC and my "shero" herself Shonda Rhimes! We've also recently been covered by Clutch magazine: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2013/06/new-film-explores-the-muted-voices-of-missing-children-of-color-2/.

I have some other things to share with you, including a new blog feature that I'm excited about, but first I've gotta make it to the 30th and see this Kickstarter campaign through to the end.

Muted Kickstarter
Muted Facebook page
Love her and her show!

If you can't see the embedded video above, click here: http://youtu.be/uJxQB8uyAHU.
It's happening...

Click the photo above to enlarge and go here to RSVP. Hope to see you there!