Onstage with Brittney Bertier

ONSTAGE

Hello everyone. Today, we have Brittney Bertier talking about her journey so far as an actress, dancing, playing the ukelele (and singing along) and more. She’s involved with theatre and she has acted in movies too.

It’s really cool that she’s been pursuing her dream relentlessly from acting in plays as a kid to getting a degree in the fine arts- exploring ballet, the Stanislavski method of acting, Shakespeare and all- with a modern flair. I contacted Brittney because she’s professionally doing what she loves to do- and I wanted to hear her thoughts on it.

Let’s hear what she has to say!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Brittney Bertier and I am an actress and singer/songwriter gal!

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What sparked your interest in acting in general? How long have you been practicing?

I was very into the school plays as a kid – that’s where I got my first taste of being on stage. In fourth grade I played a funny version of Betsy Ross who sang about sewing the flag to the tune of Diana Ross’ Stop In The Name of Love. The adults got a real kick out of it, and I was hooked!

There was a brief stint in high school where I focused more on sports and boys than anything else, but when I turned 17 I really started to zero in on acting and have been focused ever since.

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

So exciting that you’ve acted in movies! You’ve acted in different genres- how has your work experience been so far?

My favorite genre to work in is comedy! I think that is where I feel the most like myself and I really enjoy playing with improv on set. But drama has its own appeal for sure, and I enjoy it all. I’m dying to play the bad seed though – one of these days!

Onstage with Britteny Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

 

Dancing / singing/ playing the ukulele / acting. More about that?

I have my BFA in Music Theatre from The Hartt School, so dancing and singing are a big part of my identity as an artist. After college I wanted to learn the guitar, but I booked a National Tour and couldn’t take one with me, so I purchased a ukulele on a whim before leaving Manhattan. I found it so user friendly, and the sound soothed me through homesickness and frustrations on the road. I fell in love, and before long I found myself writing songs on it. I was fortunate to perform original tunes at a few venues in New York City including Birdland and 54 Below, and now I am working with a producer on an EP!


Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com
Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What motivates you and inspires you the most?

I find motivation everywhere, but there is always one constant: strong storytelling. It doesn’t matter if it is a film, play, song, dance – if the story is being told with abandon and sincerity and it moves me, it motivates me. Feeling that spark reminds me why I pursue the life of an artist. Art enhances life – it has the power to change, and I want to be a part of that.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What’s your favourite movie and actor/actress you look up to?

I adore Tom Hanks, I feel like he is a true chameleon and master of all genres. He is so believable every time I see him on screen. He has an instant likability and charm that I appreciate, but it is backed by incredible talent. He also seems to be well adjusted and maintain a relatively normal lifestyle in light of his success, which I find admirable!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

Hm. This is a hard one! I never know what life is going to throw at me, but if I had to predict the future I guess I see myself back in New York City in a few years, working on stage or perhaps lucky enough to have a recurring role on a show!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Theatre/ the silver screen. Which one (or both) would you choose and why?

If I was forced to choose between the two, it would be theatre, though in actuality I pursue both equally. Theatre is at the heart of my training and experience. There is no medium for story telling as pure and and challenging. It is the ultimate in my opinion. : )

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

What are some qualities you think are needed to be act naturally and seamlessly blend in with the character?

Listening is crucial for any character you play. Listening puts the focus on the other person in the scene, allowing you to respond truthfully. Nothing kills an acting moment like being stuck in your head – believe me, I would know!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Favourite vacation spot and outfit staple?

Cape Cod! My family and I go every summer and I never tire of that beautiful bit of New England. My outfit staple is my black boots. I pair ’em with dresses, skinny jeans, cut off shorts – they are definitely my go to.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

My favourite genre would definitely have to be comedy. What’s your favourite?

Comedy for sure!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Too much makeup/ too less? What’s your style like on an everyday basis?

Personally I would rather too little makeup than too much. I don’t know what’s going on with this trend of contouring the cheekbones and putting lip liner outside of the lips to make them appear larger. Why is everyone trying to look like a martian? Find your best asset, accentuate that, and smile. : )

On the daily I do a light blush on the cheeks, mascara, and fill in my brows. I am obsessed with the Fresh Sugar Lip Tint in berry – it goes on smooth and light and has SPF!

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

How did you decide to just go for it and start acting? 

In high school I told my guidance counselor I wanted to be an actor and he said “What else do you want to do?” I couldn’t think of anything. When it came down to it, acting was the only thing I truly wanted to pursue. If there had been any other contender, I would have chosen it knowing that the life of a performing artist is very trying. But for me it was clear, and there was no other choice. : )

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Every day begins with eggs, toast, and tea. (I’m very into breakfast) Then I attend to emails and submissions, and journal for three pages just to empty my brain and make creative space for the day. The afternoon usually consists of running to various auditions or photo shoots – online catalogue modeling is my side job. If I have time between studying for the next audition or writing music or updating my social media, I try to find a way to incorporate exercise – usually laps in the pool or some yoga at home – but to be honest alot of times I am wiped by then and I just call my Grandma and eat some meatballs. It’s hard to do everything! I try to make a point of carving out a couple of days a week to visit my family or spend time with friends. I am finding as I am getting older that I can’t keep emptying my energy by working all the time, I need to recharge myself with love and new experiences.

Onstage with Brittney Bertier- actress/singer/dancer interview via opinion9.com
Any advice for aspiring actors out there?

My advice for aspiring actors: read The Artist’s Way. Get out of your head. Buy yourself froyo if you nail the audition…buy yourself froyo if you don’t. Keep your expectations in sight – high enough to reach, but not so high that you are overwhelmed. Over time, you’ll grow taller, and the bar will rise step by step as well. It takes time. Be in it for the long haul. Appreciate that some of the most fulfilling work you do may be in a small play or a charity concert or even a web series and that’s ok. It isn’t about gaining credits other people find impressive – it’s about growing and creating, and there is a place for us all.

..

Thanks for sharing Brittney! -Aaria

Find Brittney on her website | twitter | instagram | imdb

 

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Sketch + Story 1-3

Hey there. Here is another new column I’m starting (I know- a lot of new stuff coming your way) and it’s all about drawing combined with writing. I love writing, and drawing too. So it just made sense to do this- sketch + story!

Here’s Sketch + Story 1-3:Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 12.10.23 pm1-  Meet Natalie

She likes pale pink lipstick and never combs her straight hair. She enjoys reading style blogs but secretly laughs at them. She also cooks a mean soufflé. …Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 12.09.53 pm

2- Meet Marina

She loves vintage jewellery and glitter. Her favourite items are however: her grandmothers pearl bracelet and colourful handkerchiefs. She doesn’t like tissues. She wears a lot of black eyeliner and black clothing mixed with lighter shades. She’s an artist.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 12.11.17 pm

3- Meet Fran.

She likes rabbits, gardening and the quiet life. She claims that she doesn’t have any specific interest- except for tending her kitchen garden and cooking a good meal. But she collects stamps and dreams of going away to faraway places she’s only read in books. She says she’s a plain Jane. But her best friend Clara says that she underestimates herself. .

Well, that’s a wrap! The aim for this #opinion9stories is basically to draw a hundred. I’m not making this an exact 100 day challenge, because I have a kinda busy schedule and so there may be days when I don’t post any, and other days when I post two or three even, whenever I get the time to sit down and draw. Writing the story is the easy bit. Drawing the characters takes time.

I’ll be posting these on my Instagram @opinion9 regularly- so follow along if you’d like to stay in the loop. This is just a practice drawing exercise as well as creating some character studies. I’ll be drawing more girls, because I draw boys very badly! However, I will try drawing some men, haha, when I get a bit more practice- so boys, don’t feel left out or anything. -Aaria

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Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers

september wildflowers

Hello everyone.

Today, we have Ruth Speer who creates the most wonderful art under the moniker of September Wildflowers.

Her work is just so beautiful and it’s impossible not to say, “Whoa! You painted that?!”

She also strikes me as a person who really loves what she does- and works hard at it. Also, she works with different media: pencils, oils, acrylics and watercolours-so there’s variety and exploration in both her work and journey as an artist.

There’s something striking and just kinda awesome about it all- read on to hear what Ruth has to say!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Ruth, and I’m an artist, learner and all-around creative dabbler who loves flowers, tea, being outside, books and listing off things I like.

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I can remember! Really, I always knew I wanted to be something creative when I grew up.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

I truly believe art can be found anywhere and everywhere, if one is only interested in discovering it. In a person’s freckles, or the way they take their coffee, or the combination of colors and textures in a building, or ivy creeping around a window, or even pretty words like “effusive” and “scintillating”. Finding beauty in the little things is a favorite lifestyle choice of mine.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

(photo by Ashley Rose Productions)

What is your general process while creating an art piece? 

I usually begin with an idea or several elements I want to put together. For example, I might think of bird wings and gold paint and brown paper and wistfulness and come up with the piece below. As I didn’t have any large pieces of brown paper, I found a paper bag and trimmed it. It’s now hanging in my friend’s living room!

The last example was a spontaneous project that I completed in a few hours, but typically, especially when working with oil paint on canvas (which is what I use for most portraits), I’m a very slow painter. It can take months to finish a piece as I add layers and ideas. It’s like embarking down a path you’ve marked out and going off-route every two steps to enjoy the scenery. Time-consuming and worthwhile!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How do you balance running a creative business along with maintaining your natural creativity?

Remember why you started! I wanted to bring more beautiful, colorful, thoughtful things into the world, and every once in a while I have to remind myself of that fact. The logistics and business and marketing sides are fun, but it can become a distraction when all I need to do is sit down without a plan or strategy and just play with colors. Artists (myself included, obviously) can take themselves way too seriously – art can be serious and contemplative, but it’s also play.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It actually depends on the medium and purpose!

Commissions, which I usually do with watercolors, take longer because I like to make sure the client loves the piece; and this requires a lot of back-and-forth emailing for different stages. It usually takes several weeks, or up to 2-3 months if I’m busy.

My own pieces, when I use watercolor, ink or pencil, take only a few hours. As I mentioned above, however, when I’m working with canvas it’s a different story! On average, oil portraits emerge over three to six months.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

I have several favorites! One of them is this orange-haired lady. Last September, I was in Europe for two weeks, and in a little London art shop I bought a 6B graphite pencil. The day after I got back home, I sat down and drew this piece with my new pencil. I mostly remember the sunshine through the window and Edith Piaf playing in the background.

I’ve since lost the pencil, but the portrait is still hanging in my studio.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?

I love music, reading, exploring and picnicking in the woods near my house, spending time with my wonderful friends and Jesus, and finding new coffee shops and book stores. I’m also a freshman Studio Arts major at George Fox University in Oregon!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

 

How did you create a more or less consistent style with which you draw?

Personally, I don’t think I’ve developed a totally consistent style yet – it’s still in flux a bit. But I do think having a consistent style all comes down to creating and drawing and making consistently. If you make one or two pieces of art a year, you won’t get very far with recognizing what you love to draw or make, which I think is the key element to developing your personal style.

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

On most weekdays I have several classes at my university, which, including homework, take up a lot of my time and energy (as they should – I love learning!) I try to get my assignments for coming weeks done fairly early, so that I can take time to paint and draw and not feel like I ought to be working on something else! It’s a bit ironic, as I’m going to school for art.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What’s your outfit staple and flower and colour?

I love so many colors! I love pale periwinkle blue, deep orange and shades of green and rose. I love peonies and daphne. I like wearing dresses!

 

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

People and their stories, always. I’ve been wanting to paint wings – bird wings and dragonfly wings and butterfly wings. I like the color violet. And I’ve been wanting to use metallic gold oil paint.

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media  you use?

Vivid oil colors are always my favorite! I use Gamblin and Blick for the most part. I also use Schminke watercolors and have recently discovered the magical properties of gouache through my art classes.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

I love your colourful canvases and the precision with which you draw! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make original and distinctive drawings?

Why, thank you! I would still describe myself as an aspiring artist, so this advice is for myself as well: look at a lot of art and see what inspires you the most. What catches your eye about it? What makes you think “Dang, I want to run home and make something now!” Don’t try to replicate it in your personal style (though you can practice by recreating a particular style, and it’s really fun, and it helps add stylistic tools to your mental tool-box). Try to recognize what you love about other art (bright colors! Human subjects! Peaceful landscapes!) and see if that’s something you want to work with.

Most importantly; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more: make things. All the time. As much as possible. Make things you despise, make things that you come back and change, make color palettes and experiment with the same compositions, make a billion and one paintings and drawings and your style will reveal itself.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Feeling happy about the end result is really a personal thing, and I think it depends on what the artist was originally setting out to do and whether they think they achieved that end goal, or even reached a different, better one. As an art student, I’ve been gaining wonderful insight into the technical part of what makes art look like a good art; but in the end, I always come back to this quote from Amanda Palmer: “You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via Opinion9.com

A little insight about your name ‘September Wildflowers’?

I was born in September, and I love wildflowers! It’s pretty simple – I chose that username a lot time ago for something inconsequential, and it’s stuck with me ever since!

Thanks Ruth for sharing! You can find Ruth over at her instagram and on etsy.

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Book Reviews coming soon!

Book love <3

Just an update that I’m going to be starting book reviews, discussions about literature and more about the wonderful world of fiction! (and also a bit of fun non-fiction!) So excited to share this..stay tuned and keep in touch via my instagram @opinion9! -Aaria

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The Freelance Life 2: Yes, yes…or no?

yeah yeah yeah - The freelance life via Opinion9

The Freelance Life 2: Yes, yes…or no?

When it comes to saying yes to new creative chances, and work opportunities- this is usually what happens in my mind. (top image.)

I think of all the possibilities and at that moment..there’s no room in my head for a ‘no’. But unless it’s really worth my time and effort, it’s always a no, thank you.

I’m talking about people asking you for showcasing work, skills, getting an art project order, any sort of commitment that’s required from you. There are great opportunities to be found while freelancing.

But one thing to always remember is – you’re the boss.

-If you really like something and understand that it will help you in showcasing your work and it maintains the standard you have so carefully built, then consider it.

-If you’re on slightly shaky ground, take a few days to think it over.

-If there’s something particularly bothering you about the product, the work details, or anything remotely- then say a firm no. If it bothers you now, it’s going to bother you later too- if you continue working on a project and don’t appreciate the criteria it’s based upon.

Since I started my website Surely Simple and this one, I get a quite a lot of sponsor emails, and ‘amazing’ projects. I filter out most of it- and focus on only one thing: what do I want from myself and my work?

As a creative person working on your own- before you say ‘yes’ to any seemingly good opportunity that comes your way, it’s always best to consider the following:

– Have I worked/interacted with this person in the past? (if you have, you can understand their work ethic. If not, then it’s best to do your research and get all the details you need from the person.)

-Is the project genuine? Will my work be recognized accordingly and credited properly?

-If the other party is being purposely elusive and not answering your questions- big NO alert. Working with someone who’s not honest is a major no-no in my book.

-Is the person/party friendly and accommodating?

-Do I like the project? Do I have freedom to do whatever I like with it?

Extra: if you have already worked with the person, and they ask you for a continued project- consider :

1- how the past project benefited you and your learning

2- if they are asking for you to work with them again, they must appreciate your work. At this point, you can have the reassurance that your work is rightfully credited and valued.

3- are their conditions for deadlines, submissions acceptable and flexible?

Always think carefully before taking on new projects. Sometimes it’s not always about the project, it’s also about the person who’s alloting them. Both go hand in hand.

Freelancing is a tricky business that way, because it involves networking and great work- one without the other makes it very difficult to progress. Say yes to really good opportunities which will reward you well in the long run. Reserve saying yes and say no more often.

It’s your time and your effort on the line, always remember. And when you get a good opportunity, you’ll realize being selective is always the wiser option.

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