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I Met Felicia Leatherwood or That Time I Was A Reality TV Star

Welp. I've officially fulfilled my dream of becoming a Hollywood starlet. Easy enough, especially considering I never really had that dream in the first place.

For those of you who get antsy, go ahead and watch the episode of Head Cases that I'm featured in. If you can hold on to your pantyhose, keep reading to get the full story.

Several months ago I went to my first casting call. The request was for ladies with natural hair who could use a little help taking care of their hair. I really just did it to help a friend and to see what the heck a casting call is even like. 

A few things made me feel like going was the wrong choice:
1) I made a number of immature decisions the night before the call, which resulted in a debilitating hangover the morning of. 
2) I had to drive to Hollywood. On a Saturday. 
3) There were tons of girls with varying levels of professionalism and high levels of judgment. 

Waiting outside the audition room

They had us "audition" two at a time. They asked us a bunch of questions about our hair, the struggles we have, and how others perceive us because of our hair. I felt horrible and thought I looked pretty haggard, so I expected nothing of it. It was a cool experience to see what actors and such go through. That was enough for me. 

Apparently they were looking for hungover, haggard-looking chicks because a few weeks later I got a call back to be featured on an episode of Head Cases

Immediate thoughts: What? Me? Really? Did I look that bad? 
Am I gonna be famous?

It may have been that I looked bad. It may have been that they thought I was silly enough. It may have been my mention of having a white boyfriend. It could have been any number of things, but I successfully booked a gig after my first casting call. 

I'm a natural natural. 

In February, we drove to Long Beach to an apartment to film. They asked Mike to join me, which I was happy about because he works on sets all the time. He couldn't resist the urge to help me put my microphone on. I was told to bring a few outfits and that someone would do my makeup. I was happy about this because I normally don't wear makeup, and have no clue how to apply it really. 

When I got there, I didn't have a chance to change (I should have demanded it) and no one did my makeup. Again, I looked really bad. 

But there was a silver lining: Felicia. FELICIA LEATHERWOOD. She flies all over the world doing hair. She touches Ava DuVernay and Jill Scott's hair. And I got to meet her. And talk with her. Felicia talked to me. She TOUCHED MY HAIR. And I bout died. 

We talked about a lot on camera, but also off camera. They cut a few things out, including Mike's entire segment. (I was a little sad about that because I thought he was funny and he also said some sweet things about me). 

Felicia and I talked about my trichotillomania. I almost started crying but was able to hold it together. It's really hard for me to talk about. More on that later, when I get the courage. 

She taught me how to moisturize my hair overnight. I tried it several times and it does work. (Duh, because of course Felicia knows what she's talking about!) The Beautiful Textures line works well and smells great. It's honestly not my favorite, but my hair doesn't hate it. When I don't feel like sleeping saturated, I wake up early and spray my hair and let it sit for about 30 minutes as I get ready. That does the trick as well. 

Perhaps better than the tips she gave me on my hair, Felicia opened my eyes to the fact that I don't take the time to take care of myself. It's a chore to me, and I skip it whenever possible. There are days I walk out of the house without even looking in the mirror because... why? I pull my hair out all the time because I'm constantly anxious. But why? Watching the video was 20% cool and 80% troubling for me because there are obviously so many things within myself that I need to work on. She told me to stop waking up and immediately thinking of all the obligations and fires of the day. She told me instead to remind myself that I love myself, that I love my hair, and that today would be a great day. I've never thought of doing anything like that before. 

It was a fun experience. I learned a lot. Felicia mentioned she wanted to check back in with me to see how things are going and I hope we can keep in contact. Mostly because she's amazing. Just being in her presence made me feel beautiful, and I felt she truly cared about my hair but also about me. 

I scored some free product and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae, which I've been DYING to get my hands on and read. I felt honored to be a part of Issa's production, to get to meet Felicia and all of the wonderful people that pulled Head Cases together, and to realize what my next adventure should be: learning to take care of me.

Your reward for reading all the way through? My Head Cases episode! Enjoy...



  1. This is so cool, Dori! :) I love reading about all your LA adventures.


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