Dressing the Part: A Free Webinar with Kitty Cavalier

Dressing the Part: A Free Webinar with Kitty Cavalier

I used to detest dressing up.

As a child, dressing up meant scratchy Sunday school tights. 

As an adolescent, in the Mean Girls era of fashion, dressing up meant short skirts and belly tops, and the misconception that I couldn’t be “fashionable” if I didn’t wear these things. I thought that feminine came in one shade, and I didn’t like it. 

Becoming more in tune with my personal style has helped me own my identity.

Setting boundaries in my wardrobe based on what I want is excellent practice for identifying what I want out of life as well.

In my Leading Lady summer camp, each week is inspired by a step in the theatrical process, and so of course there is a week dedicated to getting into costume! My lessons are accompanied with interviews with performing arts pros, and who better to speak to about this topic than Kitty Cavalier, author of Sacred Seduction, burlesque performer, self-proclaimed lipstick ninja, and one of my personal heroes.

Working with Kitty has got me spontaneously dancing in my living room [this is literally part of her teaching]. Hers is a voice that is refreshing and liberating on the personal development scene, and I can’t wait to talk to her about beauty and its necessity. 

We’re recording our mini salon on Wednesday, and the recording will be tucked away in the Leading Lady armoire.

Join us live for a taster of the kind of topics we feast upon in Leading Lady! We’re talking about:

🌟 How costume can help you be yourself – not mask yourself

🌟 Where to find your signature style

🌟 How to incorporate dress into your daily rituals

Sign up to join us live on 12 April at 3pm EST, noon PST, 8pm GMT!

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

I decided that this year I would step up and be a professional.

I shared this with my friend Kerrin, who has a gift in follow-up questions, and she asked me: “What does the professional version of yourself look like?”

I replied with the first thing that popped into my head, “Well, she’s wearing a blazer”. 

For anyone pursuing a passion as a career, it is important to distinguish “the work” from “the job”.

I am a writer, and so as an artist, I write, but as a professional, I publish. I put on a different hat once the work is done, or rather, I put on a blazer. 

Of course I don’t need to wear a physical blazer to be a professional (although I would like one, and I would like it to be pink, so let me know if you see one). I can also wear the traits of heroines I admire, whose courage and certainty I need to borrow sometimes. 

This list in particular includes some flawed characters. Do not become these heroines. Draw on their strengths and be mindful of their weaknesses. Channel what resonates with you, and in doing so, be more true to yourself. You’re not creating a new character, but understanding who she is to begin with. 

HEROINES TO CHANNEL FOR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS

Joy in “Joy”

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

The character Joy, who is inspired by a collection of real-life entrepreneurial women, is steadfast and determined. No one would blame her for collapsing in the overwhelm of the responsibilities thrown on her as the sole caretaker of her family. She not only survives this situation, but sparkles with a vigor for creating. When she gets an idea, she runs with it. She is not too proud to ask for help. She demands her worth. She holds unwavering belief in her work, and defends it until no one can deny her.

Andy Sachs in “The Devil Wears Prada”

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

Sometimes you have to make personal sacrifices to succeed professionally. Andy treads this fine line, and learns how to set boundaries for herself. We watch her navigate how to further her career, bending to expectations without breaking herself (although she comes close). She learns to dress the part, play the game, get ahead, and make a name for herself on her own terms.

Blair Waldorf in “Gossip Girl”

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

From her W internship days to taking over Waldorf Designs, Blair shows up like a pro as if she were born that way. And as entrepreneurial Eleanor’s daughter, she practically was. Blair thrives on recognising her strengths (and slips into desperation when she knows it’s not her strong suit). She reigns in line with herself and her style, and when she is certain of her own success, she gets it.

Tiana in “Princess and the Frog”

I remember Daddy told me “Fairytales can come true
You gotta make ’em happen, it all depends on you”
So I work real hard each and every day
Now things for sure are going my way

Carrie Bradshaw in “The Carrie Diaries”

Heroines to Channel for Professional Success

From the little I’ve seen of Sex and the City, grown-up Carrie lives a pretty glamorous life for a writer, but The Carrie Diaries explores how a younger Carrie got herself to the top. Carrie works her way into the New York magazine scene as a teenager, channeling her creativity, putting in the hours of work, and advocating for herself. She is certain she belongs, and isn’t afraid to rank herself among the pros.

Who do you channel for professional success? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Super-inspiring films for productivity and work ethic

The Best of Heroine Training 2016

How do you measure a year in the life?

in blog posts, in cups of coffee.

The crazy wonderful thing about writing here is that I have a time capsule of thoughts, only an archive away. These are the highlights of 2016, the writing of which I am most proud, the collection that represents my year.

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JANUARY

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

The Very Best of Alan Rickman

Although I plan what I will publish weeks and months in advance, sometimes I am compelled to introduce a new idea into the calendar last-minute, and it is often these pieces that are filled with the most passion. My blog post schedule is like my philosophy on finding purpose in life: do something until you feel the urge to change the plan.

Alan Rickman’s death shook me as if he were a true friend of mine, and through his art, he was and is. Like many of my favourite actors, I was introduced to him through Harry Potter, but his body of work represents so much more scope.
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FEBRUARY

How to organise your to-do list

How to Organise Your To-Do List: Passion Planner Edition

The first of my extensive planning guides was on How to Organise your To-Do List. I have been obsessed with productivity and organisation since childhood, and only recently realised that what may seem obvious to me is worth writing out. I hope it helps!

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MARCH

TAYLOR SWIFT SONGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT JANE AUSTEN HEROINES

Taylor Swift Songs that are Actually about Jane Austen Heroines

Besides a couple of master’s dissertation-writing pomodoro sessions fuelled by flat whites, the most focused I’ve been in a while was on a train to the Isle of Skye, in deep, serious discussion with Anna-Claire (aka Mansfield Snark) over which Taylor Swift songs best suited which Jane Austen heroines. This list is one of my proudest accomplishments of 2016, and possibly ever.

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The Art of the Afternoon Singalong

My two biggest business projects of 2016 were the relaunch of my ebook, Own Your Story to include an Addendum on Depression, and writing and delivering my Leading Lady course. Nothing makes me happier than hearing from students, telling me what they have accomplished through the course.

I have been trying to find my place in the arts for years: performing onstage was an integral part of my childhood, and while I knew I didn’t want to pursue a career as a practitioner, I was not ready to let that passion go. Sharing the intrinsic value of the arts is a life mission of mine (it’s why I did my master’s degree in Theatre and Performance Studies), and Leading Lady is my love letter to the arts through self development.

The complex thing about working in the self development industry is that my own life is an ongoing research project. To prepare for Leading Lady I committed to singing and practicing music more, a forgotten habit I now deem vital to my daily wellbeing.

The Art of the Afternoon Singalong

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MAY

MY ALTER EGO, PRINCESS XANDRA THE BOLD

I regularly reflect on what it means to be ‘a heroine in training’. Heroine Training means channeling heroines you admire and creating a character for yourself, all the while being more true to your authentic self. Being a heroine is not about putting on a costume, but about dressing to express yourself. Being a heroine is not about living a fairytale, but about being mindful of the story you are in. My alter-egos and the way I choose to dress them remind me of who I am and wish to be.

my Alter Ego, Princess Xandra the Bold

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JUNE

You don’t owe anyone excuses

This simple but powerful message is the essence of ownership. A heroine’s actions do not require explanation. Period.

You Don't Owe Anyone Excuses

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JULY

I wrote a song about Harry Potter

Another big project of 2016 was revamping my YouTube channel as Heroine Training television (HTtv). I’d been sitting on so many Harry Potter parody songs written years ago, and the Monkey encouraged me to share them. Practicing the guitar parts with purpose was a fun project that I intend to continue.

I Wrote a Song About Harry Potter

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AUGUST

Love yourself as a work in progress

This is probably my favourite article I’ve written to date. It is dedicated to so many talented and beautiful women I have worked with, who have shared with me their insecurities. Vulnerability is confidence.

Love Yourself as a Work in Progress

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SEPTEMBER

You need a day off

This wisdom, of intentional work and intentional breaks, is probably the most valuable lesson I learned from my Oxford degree.

You Need a Day Off

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OCTOBER

How to socialise as an introvert

Owning my identity as an introvert has been a key to adulthood. Like my experience with depression, I wish I had heard more voices on the subject as I was growing up. My video about what it means to be an introvert is one of the most important messages I can deliver.

How to Socialise as an Introvert

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NOVEMBER

Katniss was not an activist

A big theme for me this year is that feelings are real, and are ultimately what drive us. The character of Katniss Everdeen is widely misunderstood. Katniss is motivated not by social change or revolution. She is motivated by her core value in family, by an enraged urge to protect her sister. In the trilogy, others read her actions as political statements, when really she is acting on personal motives. She is a reminder that activism and politics are driven by personal desires, and I was thinking of this especially in light of the American presidential election.

Katniss Was Not an Activist

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DECEMBER

Inspiring Books for Getting Back on Track

Lately I have been turning to these motivational texts as inspiration for doing my own work. I find myself telling everyone to read The War of Art especially, and keep a copy in my already-too-heavy bag I tote around to my coffeeshop offices. Powerful writing reminds me of the importance in my own work, and my responsibility to keep articulating my ideas.

Inspiring Books for Getting Back on Track

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What’s coming in 2017

This year marks the second year of running Leading Lady and year 4 of Lumos Your Life. These courses are my passion, and I can’t wait to meet the new students, my constant inspiration.

I will also be presenting my first in-person workshop on Hogwarts Houses and the Heroine’s Journey at the Granger Leadership Academy. I had been dreaming of working with the Harry Potter Alliance for years (it’s even on my birthday list!), so it was an honour to be invited. I hope to see some of you there this March!

This is my year of writing. I am finishing up my Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls book to send to publishers, and I will also be finding new ways to spread the values of Heroine Training through other publications. In the meantime, I will continue to write lessons for you here. I hope they help you on your journey.

I would love to know: what would you like to read about this year? Which topics have resonated with you most? What else would you like to see me cover?

Thank you for your thoughts, and thank you for reading.

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