All Posts By Alexia

A Chat with Mary Kate Wiles – Her Path to Digital Fame

by

Actress, producer, and creative Mary Kate Wiles is no stranger to digital fame. Over the past decade Wiles has been featured in a number of successful web series. Wiles stared in the groundbreaking Emmy award winning YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012), Squaresville (2012), and now Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye (2020). Additionally, Wiles is a member of “Shipwrecked Comedy”, a Los Angeles based comedy production group. And, gifted with a divine voice for storytelling, Wiles produces a Podcast series, Anne of Green Gables, that features the classic tales of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Wiles does it all – but she knows all too well the hustle it takes to make it as an actress. In this interview, she discusses her background in english literature, her beauty routine, what she wishes she knew earlier, and how Quibi quickly failed to follow YouTube as a web series platform.

Q. Which of your characters do you most relate to? Do you take roles where the character is a lot like you, or do you prefer characters that are very different from you?

A. Oh wow. Well, in the past few years I feel like I’ve gotten used to playing characters that are very stylized – characters who have a very distinct voice, or accent, or way of carrying themselves which is very different from mine, and that’s made playing characters that are closer to me – like Artemis in Wayward Guide, who is fairly like me in voice and mannerisms – a lot more uncomfortable in some ways. I’ve found I have to trust myself and my instincts more when I don’t have a super character-y character to hide behind. But as far as which of my characters I relate to most, probably Zelda from Squaresville. She’s a teen and she just so desperately wants to get out of her town and do something big with her life, and that was very much me when I was a teen as well. She also holds everyone around her to an impossibly high standard, and I am kind of guilty of that, too. 

Q. How did your formal education at USC prepare you for your acting endeavors? Do you think it is a path more aspiring actors / actresses should consider?

A. I definitely wouldn’t change it – my time at USC was invaluable just in terms of the growing and learning and practicing my craft (as silly as that sounds) that I did. I do wish I had learned more about the actual business of acting – the day-to-day real life things you experience as an actor. Getting representation, working side jobs, doing taxes – all that. I didn’t really learn any of that in school and I think I would have benefited a lot if I had been able to learn those things ahead of time rather than spend the first few years of my career figuring them out on my own. But I think college is hugely important and I am glad I went to USC – I had a blast and I made connections with other alumni and professors that will last a lifetime. And I also studied English Literature and in a lot of ways I think that helped me become a better actor just as much as acting classes did. 

Q. Is there something that you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your acting career?

A. A lot of things, haha. Like I hinted at before, I wish someone had walked me through the whole process with agents and managers. I’m so, so happy with my agent now, but I spent a lot of time with agents who weren’t really doing anything for me and I didn’t realize that I could demand better from them. I wish I had had that confidence.

Q. Who has been the biggest motivator of your acting career?

A. This is sooooo cheesy, but…me. You can’t keep doing this career if you don’t get up every single day and want it. And there have been a lot of times for me that were really, really difficult. But at the end of the day, I keep going, because there’s nothing else I want to do with my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of support around me and I’m so thankful. My dad is a creative soul and I think he’s proud of me for embarking on this as a career. My mom took a little more time to warm up to the idea, but now she’s very supportive. And for the past (nearly) seven years my partner Sean has supported me and I have supported him, and we get a lot of joy out of helping each other succeed. But yeah, when it all comes down to it, it’s up to you. You’re the one who has to want it the most.  

Q. What is your beauty routine? What are the products that you cannot live without?

A. Oooh. Well, I love makeup and I always have. I used to experiment with a ton of looks, but now I’ve kind of settled into a routine. I’m a big fan of L’Oreal True Match foundation.  I love Maybelline’s Age Rewind Concealer, and I always always always have to fill in my brows with a Rimmel brow pencil, because my hair is naturally blonde and my eyebrows are too. I’m constantly trying out different skin products, but CeraVe moisturizer has been my best friend recently.

As for my beauty routine, if I have to see people I will put on a full face of makeup. I always have – my features are very light and I feel like I disappear without makeup. If I’m in a hurry I whittle it down to just concealer, eyebrow pencil, mascara and lip balm. But most days I do the whole thing. It’s also, like, part of my routine – listening to the news while I put makeup on, getting ready for my day. I also do masks a couple times a week and steam my face at home. Trying to use this at-home time during the pandemic to nurture my skin as much as possible!

Q. In your new Podcast, Anne of Green Gables, you read the classic tales of Lucy Maud Montgomery. How did you come up with the idea to start this podcast? 

A. Yeah! Well, this idea was born out of my Patreon – I have a Patreon (and have had for over six years), which is a way that people who like my work can support me as an actor and also become a part of my community. Since I’m not a writer and it’s very hard to creating “acting” work in a vaccuum without other filmmaking artists, it’s been a challenge for me to figure out what sort of thing I can offer as a perk. Musicians can write songs; artists can draw – there’s only so many monologues one can do. So, considering that a lot of the work I’ve done has been based on classic literature – The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party – I started to think about that and realized that I could read a book, and bring in other actor friends to read the different characters, and add sound effects, etc. And classic literature is in the public domain so it’s all fair game. My patrons actually voted on Anne of Green Gables – I gave them a few different books to choose from – and I’m so glad they did. It’s been such a fun project and I’ve so enjoyed experiencing the story again in this way. 

Q. The Lizzie Bennet DiariesSquaresville, and Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye have garnered lots of views. How do you think YouTube has evolved as a format for episodic TV?

A. You know, when Quibi was announced it kept being advertised as “quick bites” and this revolutionary way of storytelling, myself and all the digital creators I know just had to roll our eyes because, come on. We’ve been doing this for YEARS. The internet has made our attention spans very short! And I think digital storytellers have found ways of telling some truly compelling narratives over a series of short episodes. That said, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is actually the longest adaptation of Pride & Prejudice ever made at over eight hours long – but told over many, many five minute episodes. I think it’s clear that digital storytelling is having an impact and traditional networks are starting to realize and try and copy this format. My only hope is that they would – instead of trying to do it themselves – start hiring some of these YouTube writers/creators that have been making content in the digital space for the past ten years, because we understand it. We’ve proved it over and over again – The Lizzie Bennet Diaries won an Emmy, for goodness sakes! Felicia Day, like, pioneered webseries with The Guild! And she recently tweeted that Quibi wouldn’t even take a meeting with her. I just thought that was the stupidest thing. Lots of cool and engaging stories are being told via YouTube series and I hope traditional networks – or digital networks like Amazon and Netflix – will take more notice. 

Q. In these different YouTube projects that you have been a part of, how much creative control were you given? Was the creative process fluid or traditional? 

A. I mean, it’s a case by case basis, but I have found that no matter the project, if I have a good relationship with the director/writer/creator, it just inherently becomes collaborative. I took that a step further with Shipwrecked Comedy when I came on as a producer for Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party – and have gone on to produce many projects with them. But even with projects that I wasn’t producing on, like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I think when you’re all in the trenches together creating low-budget narratives, it just can’t help but become collaborative. Or maybe it is for me because I care so much, haha. I may be just an actor, but I want to do everything I can to help make the project the best it can be. And I have wonderful collaborative creator friends who are kind enough to let me chime in every now and again.

Q. You’ve tackled Theater, YouTube series, Podcasts, Production; what would you like to do next? 

A. Oh man. Well, I wouldn’t say no to more steady TV work. And I’ve really loved recording the podcast for Wayward Guide – I’d love to do more VO/audio acting in the future. And Shipwrecked has a lot of big ideas for big budget series – I hope we get to make them someday. 

Q. Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell us about? Where should we look forward to seeing you?

A. We haven’t announced what it is yet, but Shipwrecked had plans to do another big multi-episode series this year, but of course the pandemic put that on hold. But we’re still planning on crowdfunding in early 2021 and hopefully will be able to shoot and start releasing next year as well. It’ll be a return to our roots in some ways, but also something new and completely different than anything we’ve done before, and I’m very excited about it. Other than that, I’ll be continuing to release Anne of Green Gables episodes for the foreseeable future. And just waiting for the next big adventure! 

Be sure to check out Mary Kate’s Instagram, YouTube, and Webpage to keep up with her ongoing and upcoming projects! 

Read more at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Christopher Higgins and Eric Carroll

 

Basic Clothing Staples for Every Wardrobe

by

Changing your style can be a fun way to experiment with fashion and signal a growth in your personal life. But, if you’re anything like I am, you’ll want to change your personal style every few months. That and keeping up with the newest trends can do a number to your bank account. Owning these basic clothing staples will allow you to change your style as you desire without needing to buy a completely new wardrobe. These items will never go out of style and will keep you up to date with the ever-changing fashion trends! 

Quality Denim

Jeans are the single most versatile article of clothing. So, I suggest investing in a high-quality pair of jeans. Durable jeans can last years if not a lifetime. There’s a good reason Levi’s have been around for over 167 years. Levi’s are trusted to be comfortable and fit your desired look. They are constantly making new styles, but my favorites are always the vintage finds. 

Leather Pants

No surprise here! Per our previous article, leather never goes out of style!  If handled with care and delicacy, leather pants can also last a lifetime. The hefty price tag may be a deterrent, but vegan leather is becoming more widely produced. Still, nothing beats scoring the perfect leather pants from a second-hand store.  

White and Black Tank Tops

Tank tops are basic, but basics are important for an ever-changing wardrobe! The tops linked below are made with stretchy and chic fabric that can be worn professionally with a cardigan or worn casually on their own.

Little Black Dress

A classic staple with a long and infamous history. Originally designed by fashion icon Coco Chanel, the LBD can do it all – professional, casual, and chic.

Black Boots

If I were a minimalist, I would say black boots are the only pair of shoes needed in a wardrobe. Boots have the extra benefit that they can be worn all year round. If you pick up the right pair, they can be durable, comfortable, and versatile. Whether you prefer a higher heel, chunky platform, or flats, black boots are quite possibly the only shoe you need! 

Hoop Earrings

Gold or silver, hoop earrings can complete any look making you look and feel put together. 

Read more Fashion Articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, &  Pixabay

Fall 2020’s Hottest Fashion Trends

by

Fall is underway and 2020 has proven to be unlike any other – your clothing should do the same. Here is your guide to Fall 2o2o’s hottest fashion trends to look your best, stay warm, and stay safe! 

Leather Pants

Whether or not leather ever went out of style is debatable, but Fall 2020 has surely made leather pants a staple. Real leather can be expensive but many stores now offer premium vegan faux leather as a more affordable option. Or, head to your local thrift stores and see what you can find… you might get lucky!

Collared Shirt

A classic look re-birthed! Sometimes the hottest trends aren’t new at all, but become popularized again by the younger generation. A collared shirt is great because it can take you from day to night. Wear a collared shirt as your typical professional look for work, or wear it more casually under an oversized crewneck sweater paired with jeans, shorts or a skirt.

Sweater Vest

Preppy is back! Sweater vests are doing well this season because of how cozy and versatile they are. It’s easy to find ones with basic colors or bold prints and patterns. Wear a sweater vest on its own or layered with a collard shirt underneath. If preppy isn’t your thing, a sweater vest can be edged up by adding accessories like chunky platform boots and a leather jacket.

Lime Green 

Lime green is THE color for Fall 2020. Maybe it’s because we feel deprived on all the fun summer colors from being stuck indoors, but, nevertheless lime green is a good change from the typical fall rustic reds and oranges. This pop of color will be sure to make you stand out on the streets or on your zoom calls!

Face Mask!

The most important accessory we should all be wearing this Fall (and the unforeseeable future) is a face mask. Since we all have to wear one, might as well make it the statement piece of your look – just make sure it’s doing its job! I like to get mine from Etsy. There are tons of patterns and styles to choose from, and it supports smaller businesses. Don’t be caught without one!

Read more Fashion Articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, &  Pixabay

 

 

How to Elevate your Makeup to Stand Out

by

Glitter in makeup is nothing new but shows like Euphoria generated a makeup movement that encourages creativity and individuality. Doniella Davy is the makeup artists behind the show’s iconic looks. Her looks incorporate glitter, crystals, bright colors, unique eyeliner, and geometric designs. Whether you are just beginning or are more advanced, your makeup can be bold. Here are five makeup tips to elevate your everyday makeup that will make you stand out.

1. Colored Mascara

Colored Mascara is a fun way to add a pop of color to the eyes. If you want the look to be more subtle, apply the mascara only to the bottom lashes. To make the look bolder, apply mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. Colourpop sells a variety of bright colors to choose from that will make your eye color stand out.

 2. Neon Monochrome

Monochromatic looks are typical for the fall season. To elevate this classic look, try using a neon color like hot pink, coral, or red. Use the same color shade for the eyes, cheeks, and lips. Try a product like e.l.f Cosmetics Monochromatic Multi Stick. This product can be used on all areas of the face. Apply the cream-based product to the eyes, cheeks and lips, then apply a powder-based product over the eyes and cheeks to enhance the color.

3. Stenciling

Makeup stencils are a great way to create patterns and designs on your face (like a temporary tattoo). If you don’t have a makeup stencil, get out the sticker booklet! Use stickers to create the reverse effect of stencils. It’s important to first place the sticker on the back of your hand and then apply it to the area on the face you wish to pattern. This is to remove excess glue from the sticker, so there is less chance of irritation on your face. Once applied to the face, use powder, liquid or cream products and pat over the sticker. Blend and diffuse the makeup. Remove the sticker and voilà! You should be left with the sticker design framed by makeup.

4. Drawn-On Eyelashes

Drawn-on eyelashes were made popular in the 60’s by iconic mod supermodel Twiggy. She would draw eyelashes on her bottom lash line to emphasis her large doe-eyes. To get the Twiggy effect, use a black liner (liquid, gel or pencil can work) and simply draw flicked out hair-like strokes underneath your real eyelashes. The goal is to create an illusion of full bottom lashes, so the application does not need to be perfect. You can be as dramatic as you like! If you want to take this look further, take eyeliner and draw a thick black line in the crease of your eyelid. This will emphasize deep set eyelids. Finish the look with a couple coats of volumizing mascara to both the top and bottom lashes.

 5. Bleached Brows

Bleached brows became popular after being featured on the runway shows of Valentino, Prada, Givenchy, and Alexander Wang. This look is for anyone daring enough to try it! Bleached brows will highlight your eye color and emphasize your bone structure. If you’re trying to make yourself look more edgy, bleach brows will do it. But always use caution when applying strong chemicals, especially around the eye area.

Read more Beauty Articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay & @maccosmeticsuk

Clean Skincare Routine While on a Budget

by

Prevent acne, wrinkles, and keep your skin hydrated with a good clean skincare routine. And, do it on a budget! Finding good products that don’t break the bank is challenging. Below is a carefully curated list of skincare products that will help your skin and save you money. Your initial skincare regimen should focus on three products: Face Wash, Moisturizer, and Sunscreen. You can add more products – toners, masks, and serums – as you become more knowledgeable about your skin. To help avoid unwanted side effects, you should perform a patch test before applying product to your face. 

Face Wash 

This may surprise you, but makeup wipes should never be used. They are super irritating to the skin, leave products on the face, and are wasteful. Instead, use the double cleanse method. Use an oil-based cleanser and then follow up with a water-based cleanser. Oil-based cleansers easily break down makeup, sunscreen and dirt. However, an oil-based formulated face wash is different than an oil such as olive oil or coconut oil because oil-based cleansers contain emulsifiers. Emulsifiers allow oil to mix with water. Washing with a water-based cleanser will remove the oil-based cleanser.

Oil-Based Cleanser
Water-Based Cleanser

Toner 

Finding a good toner is tricky. Denatured Alcohol is the main ingredient in many toners which can strip and irritate your skin. Avoid witch hazel because of its stripping effect. Apply toner after washing your face by pouring product into your hands and patting into the skin. 

Exfoliating Face Mask 

Dermatologists recommend the use of chemical exfoliants and are against physical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants eliminate excess dead skin cells and promote cell turnover. Physical exfoliants cause microtears, irritation, and long-term skin damage. The most commonly used chemical exfoliants are Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid. Use these products with care and attention; they are strong acids and if you are not careful can burn the skin. When using these products, make sure to wear SPF in the sun. If you have sensitive skin, use extra caution when using strong chemical exfoliants. Remember to always do a patch test! 

Clay Face Mask

Clay ingredients are good for their ability to cleanse clogged pores and prevent acne breakouts caused by oil.

Serum 

Either apply serums separately before moisturizer, or mix different serums together in the hand with moisturizer and then apply it to the skin.

Moisturizer 

Moisturizer helps keep your skin plump and youthful. Everyone should be moisturizing their face. Skipping moisturizer can actually make your skin oilier!

SPF 

Everyone should wear sunscreen every day! Even if it is cloudy outside the sun’s radiation still penetrates the skin.  SPF blocks both UVA and UVB sun radiation that cause premature aging and skin cancer. These sunscreens don’t leave a greasy finish, white cast, and are reef safe!

Read more Beauty Articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Unsplash