The behind the scenes of our music video debut

GOD MUST BE CONFUSED

About a year ago, I felt an unnatural calling that I should put myself out there to the entertainment industry…to give it a try. It was so conflicting because this is NOT something that I would have chosen for myself.  As much as I tried to bury these thoughts they would not go away. I am a big believer that God speaks to us through our thoughts and intuition. But why would God be trying to get this message to me?  Was he confused? Doesn’t he know that I am an artist, wife and mom? I know God doesn’t really get confused so I sheepishly went and got head shots taken and sent them into John’s talent agent here in Nashville. After I sent the pictures in I thought to myself, “Okay God, do what you will with this journey,” while I secretly prayed that he would take this feeling away.

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THE CALL

Then, one evening this summer, I got my first audition call. Eek! It was for the country band, Brothers Osborne’s music video for their new song, “Stay a Little Longer.” The band’s casting call was a diverse set of “real couples with a story.” It turned out that  John’s and my story fit the bill and would be auditioning together. John has worked in the entertainment industry for years so it was nothing new to him. But I was terrified. And, although we’ve had our struggles, there was this God-infused comfort in my heart knowing that my first audition was going to be with my husband.

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On our way to the audition

THE AUDITION

That next morning we drove to downtown Nashville and signed in for the audition in what looked liked an abandoned warehouse. Waiting in the holding area, I felt like I was in a cattle call – sitting in perfectly lined-up metal folding chairs, silently surrounded by cold cement floors and plain white walls. The artist in me immediately thought of all the things I could paint on the wall while I past the slowly moving time, sizing up our competition. The room was packed with all kinds of different looking couples, none of which were rocking the preppy suburban mom and dad look that John and I were sporting. It’s safe to say that we stood out, but it didn’t feel like a good thing in this situation. Most of the other couples looked like trendy hipsters or artsy musicians. After an hour and a half of waiting, we were finally called back to audition.

We went into a small room and stood side-by-side as the casting director and a few of her assistants asked us to slate our names while they began filming. You have no idea how indescribably nervous I was! When it came time to say “Sarah Mabry,” my shuttering voice could barely be understood. John took over and started sharing more about our story before the director said, “Thank you.” The whole thing lasted all of five minutes. I was convinced we did not get the job. I mean, who would hire someone when they can’t even pronounce their own name?!?

The very next day we were out to eat celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary when we receive a call saying that we booked the job! In that moment, an euphoric feeling consumed me. It felt like the past trials had been erased and our marriage was being healed and renewed, a special moment that I will never forget!

PREPARING FOR THE SHOOT

The filming took place in a run down abandoned warehouse just south of where we live. Let me explain “run down” to you! I’m talking – there was a rotting dead bird in our makeshift changing room. And the bathrooms…oh the bathrooms! They hadn’t been cleaned for at least 30 years. The toilets had things growing in them, the sinks were overflowing with old trash, and cob webs and a foul stench filled the whole area. Ok, enough of that nastiness. After signing the required paperwork all of the couples got their hair and makeup done. The make up artists were instructed to keep all of us looking as natural as possible. Boooo! I was really hoping for a full-on Extreme Makeover: Sarah Mabry Edition. Didn’t happen. Next, the stylist picked out our outfits from suitcases full of clothes we each brought from home. Once again, I was anticipating that the stylist would select something edgy or hip. Instead, she decided on a simple pair of skinny jeans and a striped top from Loft, which is my typical everyday mom ensemble. Boring! Nevertheless, I was ready for my on camera debut.

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Getting my hair done before going to wardrobe

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Once everyone was ready, each couple was assigned their “room”, which was a semi-truck trailer backed up to the loading docks of the warehouse. The trailers were 95 degrees from the mid-summer heat and the camera lighting, making it literally a steamy experience before all the kissing began. Don’t stop reading now it’s about to get interesting!

There were five different trailers, one for each couple, that were decorated as different rooms in a home with vintage furniture and props. John and I
were assigned a living room that consisted of a Goodwill-like couch and coffee table. Not knowing what all the shoot was going to entail, I gladly accepted our room because the one next to ours was set up as a bedroom…and what exactly would they want to happen when the only props in the bedroom were a bed and two people?!?

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The director and Brothers Osborne gathered all the couples and explained that they were hoping to capture us couples facing crossroads in our relationships. In simple terms, they wanted heated arguments and passionate make out scenes. Being rather conservative with P.D.A. (public display of affection), I thought to myself, “Oh geez, what in the world did I get myself into? My dad is going to be so mad!!” After much self talk, I justified it that I am a married woman in her 30’s with 3 kids and that it is TOTALLY okay if I step out of my comfort zone and kiss my husband with cameras right up in our business. I was reminded that God put me here for a reason so I let go of my inhibitions and tried to trust the process.

We shot for eight hours, rotating between fighting and kissing scenes. The cameras moved back and forth on a dolly system while the song played repeatedly in the background and the director shouted, “I want to see SEEEEXXXYY!”  You should have seen my face when the director told me to rip John’s shirt off on camera…utter shock. Seriously, I can’t even remember the last time John and I kissed that much!  My face hurt from his whiskers and my jaw was sore.

After so much time in the dim lit trailer, I almost forgot that other people were present and that cameras were filming. Sharing eight hours of uninterrupted, kid-free time seemed to be the perfect alternative therapy for us as we continue to rebuild and strengthen our marriage. I found myself living out Brothers Osborne’s lyrics, “wishing we could Stay A Little Longer.”

 

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I am so glad that I chose to step out of my comfort zone and follow my heart in order to pursue this opportunity. Never would I have thought that God could use this industry to rekindle John’s and my love for one another. Even if this is the only ‘acting’ job that comes my way (and there is a large part of me that is okay with that), I know it was 100% meant to be for the good of both of us at this point in our marriage. It’s amazing to witness God’s work first hand. I guess it goes to show that God knew what he was doing and that he wasn’t confused after all.

Without further ado, here’s the video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to give yourself a Mommy Make-Under

Have you ever wondered how some women, especially moms, have superhero powers that can transform them from one of class and sophistication into washed-up old hags in minutes?  Like Superman ripping off his reporters’ suit and nerdy glasses to reveal the superhero he truly is underneath, I also have such mystical powers to alter other people’s perceptions of who I can appear to be 2% of the time (classy and sophisticated) into who I truly am 98% of the time (a repulsive-looking soccer mom).  There’s no need to search Google and Pinterest for days on the best how-to practices for achieving this eye-popping, unicorn-esque look where people can’t stop staring at you. I, Sarah Mabry, am here to personally teach YOU how to accomplish this one of kind look through my patented 13½ step process designed to give yourself what I call the “Mommy Make-Under.”

The biggest misconception of the Mommy Make-Under is that it’s only for ladies with kids.  Boy, do I have great news for you!  Anyone, even YOU, college sorority girl, registered nurse, administrative assistant, and grandma, can sport this all too trendy look that’s sweeping the suburbs.  Now don’t get discouraged if after following these simple 13½ steps you don’t look like you got hit by a train like I do, as results will vary.  The main thing is that you take it one step at a time, as my Mommy Make-Under program is delicately designed to build from one step to the next.  I’m only offering these closely guarded secrets for free here exclusively on MabryLiving.com for a limited time until my self-published book is released this summer.  One final recommendation before we get stated: I highly recommend that you document yourself at the beginning of Step One.  I also recommend you contact your dentist because there’s a good chance no one will be able to identify you when you get to Step 13½ without dental records.  Grab a cocktail and some bonbons because here we go!

Step 1:

Actually take a shower, wash your face, shave, floss, brush your teeth, clean your ears, moisturize your skin, pluck your eyebrows, apply make up, dry and style your hair, and dress in a cute outfit, being sure to accessorize with jewelry.

Step 2: 

Snap that selfie, you animal!  Remember, there’s a good chance you won’t look (or smell) like this again for years.

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Step 3:

Not going to lie, this step takes commitment.  Don’t do ANY of the things outlined in Step 1 for a minimum of four days.

Step 4:

Allow those nice greasy layers of “Crisco Glow,” as I call them to accumulate on your hair, which is mandatory for the messy mommy-tail (or ponytail) outlined in Step 9.

Step 5: 

Through years of well-documented scientific testing** I found that leg hair length at day four of the Mommy Make-Under process has the perfect amount of prickliness to them.  It’s not too short, not too long, but just right.  My testing also revealed that eyebrow bushiness after four days of not being plucked take on that perfect, organic contour we’re all after.  In case you missed it: shaving and plucking are No-No’s.

** The only animals harmed during testing were groundhogs. CLICK HERE to see the video of the effects testing had on them.

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Step 6:

This is where the effects of the Make-Under really start to gel.  Take off that precious jewelry you got as a gift from your significant other or passed down from your grandma; you won’t be needing it where you’re going.  Where are you going, you ask?  Well, you’re going to be busy playing football, house, basketball, dolls, wrestling, dress up, sword fighting, watching the same movie 20 times in a row, cooking, cleaning, scrapping kids’ boogers off of faces (your kids’ faces and your own face), cutting gum out of hair, and the endless job of cleaning poop off of every imaginable body part and household surface you can think of…and a handful you never knew existed.  Additionally, jewelry serves as a choking hazard; it will get tugged on during these events causing chains to snap, beads to spill, and diamonds to chip (which actually happened to my diamond).  It’s not worth the risk.  So lose the jewelry, little miss Cinderella wannabe!

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Step 7:

By now you’re probably starting to realize you can stop trying to look put-together.  You know those expensive, fitted outfits you spent your spouses’ Father’s Day money on in retaliation for getting pee in your mouth when changing your son’s diaper that your husband was supposed to change but didn’t because he was “watching the most important football game of the year?”  Throw them in that heap on your floor of your bedroom that won’t be tended to for at least two more weeks and slip into something a little more comfy and realistic.

Step 8:

Instead of “big people” clothes, I recommend a soft, CapriSun-stained tattered cotton shirt and a cozy pair of over-sized sweatpants with crusty spit up stains.  Do it quickly because you’re needed immediately in the kitchen to prepare the fourth freaking snack of the morning for your ungrateful snots, I mean perfect angels,  Make sure your brats, I mean precious mini-me’s, dangle from your shirttail with their sticky, grubby paws.  For you vintage enthusiasts out there, this enhances that distressed princess look.

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Step 9:

Quickly flop that Crisco-glowing messy mommy-tail (or bun if you prefer) that we started working on days ago somewhere on your head.  By this time your hair is guaranteed to have baby food and other unidentifiable objects strung throughout.

Step 10:

Gingerly attempt to finger comb through the gunk to secure your messy mommy-tail for a highly personalized look.  To perfect it, make sure there are plenty of lumps and randomly placed Bobbi-pins to hold back any loose clumps.

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Step 11:

Take your make up off!  Wait till most of your make up is under your eyes  before you remove all of it.This helps to polish the exhausted mom look.  Good job.  You’re almost done.

Step 12:

Feverishly wrestle your expensive glasses from your little Gremlins.  Now the lenses should be nice and blurry.  Who needs to see?  You couldn’t see even if you wanted to from the delirium of the day that never ends.  Put them on anyway so you feel like you’re at least trying to see (and care) what’s going on at this point.  The permanently crooked frames are a perfect match for your ever-digressing ensemble that has now become your staple look.

Step 13:

Hold on to your newly broken glasses because this step is where the Mommy Make-Under crescendos with the addition of the always stylish baby wrap.  A Bjorn or hiking backpack are acceptable forms of touting your screaming, teething baby around the house. makeunder

Step 13½:

Buy the book!  Don’t delay because the first 2 people to pre-order my book will receive a free used rancid smelling, unraveling, crusty baby wrap.

Well, there’s actually not a book.  Maybe I’ll make a DVD series instead.  But seriously, this blog is for entertainment purposes only so don’t anticipate an actual book on this subject…like…ever.

Voila!  There you have it.  Congrats on your new look.  I knew you could pull it off.  With a little TLC you should be able to foster this trendy style for years to come.  Be sure to post your selfies of your best attempt at a Mommy Make-Under to the Mabry Living Facebook page.  The winner will receive a free book.

*If you are you not happy with these results, you can follow my son’s instructions on how to do the proper Mommy Makeover.

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Elvis didn’t survive this, but my marriage has

Hey everyone!  Thanks for stopping back by my online home.

As you may have read in a few of my recent posts, I have been lucky enough to have been given true gifts of love by my husband of 10 years and our three kids.  The first was winning an unforgettable mommy makeover from Extreme Makeover: Mabry Edition.  The second was being treated like a Princess for a Day when my son asked to take me on a date to the mall where I had to dress up like Elsa from Frozen and he dressed up like Superman.  Both were super special to me so I thought it would only be right to pay it forward and let my husband, John, be THE KING for Valentine’s Day this year.  I can’t wait to reveal the details and photos of our oddest celebration yet, which involves John dressed as Elvis, Costco and 4 lbs of king crab legs.  But before I do, let me explain how my marriage has barely survived and how I’ve come to truly LOVE this holiday.

To me, Valentine’s Day is one of the most important holidays for several simple reasons that most people, maybe even yourself, never fully grasp in their lifetime. But see, I look at life totally different from most; almost backwards in a way.  The way I see it is that LOVE is probably the most highly demanded commodity on the planet.  And the nifty thing I’ve discovered is that it’s absolutely FREE!  It doesn’t cost anything to give your spouse or loved ones a compliment, a hug, or simply to look them in the eye when you’re together instead of your TV or smartphone.

So why is Valentine’s Day so special to me? By every “normal” person’s standard – or the world’s standard for that matter – I should not still be married.  I’m embarrassed to admit this, but there were several years I thought John and I might not ever celebrate Valentine’s Day together again because of our rock and roll marriage.  After stumbling down several rocky paths, we both hit our rock bottoms.  Luckily, God’s gracious hand kept the door from shutting completely.  We have both fought hard to overcome these obstacles so it is an honor that we can celebrate our love for one another once again on February 14, 2015. That is why today I am so adamant about giving this day the respect it deserves.

Blue Suede ShoesLike Elvis, John has struggled for over a decade with alcohol and prescription drug abuse due to several traumatic events that occurred in his life.  Along with the substance abuse came lies making it hard for me to trust him and left me “All Shook Up.”  Truth be told, there have been plenty of days where I thought, “He Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog,” due to some of the stunts he pulled.  I figured that he would be dancing himself right into the “Jailhouse Rock” in his “Blue Suede Shoes” while I moved out and sobbed my way to the “Heartbreak Hotel.”  I don’t know if you know anyone who has suffered from alcoholism or addiction, but it is a relentless disease. It can fade into the background for a while but sneak back up on you in the blink of an eye. By the grace of God, he never ended up in jail but the ongoing rhythm and blues of addiction was an all too common reoccurring theme in our home.

I still struggle daily with my “Suspicious Mind” and often find myself wondering if the demon-ridden addiction has entered back into our home without me knowing.  After the last few relapses I would let him know that “It’s Now or Never” to get his addiction under control before he was living by himself in a sober living facility.  Unfortunately, it got to that point and we separated…while I was pregnant. Elvis had left the building.  We might not have lived together for several months but we still saw each other and talked several times a day.  As we lay in our separate beds at night and talked on the phone we would both usually ask, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”  The answer was usually a yes.  Since he moved back home we have both made the choice to pour our “Heart and Soul” into our marriage while focusing on the positive blessings and not the negative curses.

Rear view mirror

Anyways…the point of Mabry Living isn’t to stare at our past in the rear-view mirror of Elvis’ “Pink Cadillac.”  Our primary focus is on the present moment and having a positive outlook on the future.  Although we’ve had our share of marriage mishaps, my cup is over flowing for my Hunk-a-Hunk-a Burnin Love this year as we gratefully celebrate another Valentine’s Day together.  OK, so enough of this sappy stuff. Let’s have some fun and see how this year’s unforgettable V-Day extravaganza unfolded…

The day started out with me giving THE KING his gift.  Although this particular gift wasn’t free I knew it was something extra special that would catch John off-guard.  I mean, what better way to say “I love you” than with a random gift of a wig, for THE KING.  As I suspected, John loved his new gift.

Elvis Wig

In keeping with our annual V-Day tradition of cooking crabs legs and watching a movie at home, John THE KING had to go to Costco to buy crab legs.  He decided it would be a great idea to wear the wig while shopping.  Let’s just say he looked more like a Las Vegas performer than a father of three kids buying fresh seafood for a romantic dinner with me.  Seeing a one-legged Elvis buying crab legs at Costco made me think, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”  Seriously, how could I possibly resist that!IMG_3167

Even Sawyer couldn’t figure out why her dad was wearing a wig (check out her face).  Honestly, Sawyer, there is absolutely no good reason.  It’s just your dad being dad.

Check out Sawyer. She's wigging out

Have you ever seen the email forwards titled, “People of Walmart?”  Well, we might have just started the Costco Crazies and THE KING will be the first one. I think it will be a hit. Look, people were lining up to take pictures with him.

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Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected Elvis to buy ME Costco flowers for Valentine’s Day with his precious  entourage.  One of his peeps, my sweet Austin, might have been too busy eating a Styrofoam cup to help select the perfect bouquet. Austin may have earned a spot as the second Costco Crazy.

 IMG_3183  Flower from Costco

John cooking is always an event in our home, but THE KING took it to a whole new level.

Elvis Cooking Crabs

I was starving after getting the kids to bed and started feeling crabby. So I told Elvis, “A Little Less Conversation,” so we could finally sit down to eat while watching our movie fireside.  We ended up watching the Academy Award nominated film, Boyhood. Then John noticed something lodged in my teeth. He said, “Hey babe, you’ve got some crab meat “Stuck on You.” Luckily I had a toothpick handy.  I’m so grateful for being able to spend another Valentine’s Day with John.  I don’t think we’ll forget this one anytime soon.

Feeling Crabby

Considering all we’ve been through I believe we have arrived to our own personal Graceland, at least for today.  Marriage isn’t easy. I have gotten furious at GOD often for continuously giving me signs as why I should stay in our marriage when I really wanted to call it quits.  However, I trust that the best is yet to come for the Mabry family if we can continue to put LOVE for God and our marriage above the distractions of the world.  “How Great Thou Art!”

Have you experienced any marriage-threatening events and wonder how you’re ever going to get through it? If so, you’re not alone. Finding support through trusted family members, a counselor, your church or this forum can help you get though it one day at a time. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below if you’re willing to share.

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Extreme Makeover: Mabry Edition

Don’t miss the behind-the-scenes video footage on the

MABRY LIVING YouTube Channel

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I previously blogged before how I am working on finding the inner ‘Selfish Sarah’ and trying to find time to discover new ways to pamper myself. As a mom of three little kids, it is difficult to find the time to fix myself up. So, while rushing to get ready yesterday morning an insane idea popped into my head.  What if I, Selfish Sarah, had a glam squad of my own for one day to transform my tired, worn-out self into a stunning showpiece that is worthy of walking the red carpet at the Oscars. Then I saw the producers of Extreme Makeover: Mabry Edition were casting a dilapidated soccer mom to makeover. I submitted my video application and guess what? They chose ME for their next makeover!

It wouldn’t be a makeover show without a before picture, right? Well, here I am.

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Jean Clint fired up The Imposteurs with a little pep rally, complete with jazz hands, spirit fingers and some spit that kept flying out of his mouth. He said the spit thing was normal and was socially acceptable in Europe.
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Fashion designer for the stars, Öestin, raided my closet and hand picked this stunning ensemble. He delicately paired a long cotton maroon skirt with an American Indian-inspired beaded waist line with a silky floral dress. Then he accessorized it with a daring necklace, beaded bracelets and a precious pair of brown dangling earrings. But here’s the kicker, he topped it all off with a pair of black velvet stilettos. I mean, who knows to do that? It was a marvelous cornucopia of styles and colors that only the great Öestin could have selected just for me.

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Öestin demands that his client’s nails perfectly compliment his chic ensemble. So he picked crimson red for my left hand and an authentic Santa Fe-colored turquoise for my right. Öestin is the assistant to Larsón so Larsón felt it was his duty to oversee Öestin’s craftsmanship.

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Onto makeup:

Larsón said he spent years perfecting trade secrets that he chooses to share with only a select few in his inner circle. Some of his makeup artistry is even used by performers globally in Cirque Du Soliel. I could hardly wait to see how I was going to look!

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My makeover culminated with Jean Clint himself designing my hair using state-of-the-art techniques only few people have the luxury of experiencing. If I recall, he used a TON of dry shampoo spray to fluff, curl, clamp and then reverse clamp my hair. A technique I wasn’t familiar with until now. With an emphatic half up disheveled up-do, my new kind of BEAUTIFUL was coming to life.

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VOILA!

What do you think? I think he did A-M-A-zing! I can’t describe to you how radiant I feel now. This experience has taken years off my life. I can confidently look in my mirror and say, “DARN, I look GOOODD!”

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Not only did I transform on the outside but the bigger transformation happened internally. I want to give a big THANK YOU to The Imposteurs for giving me the courage to proudly claim my new own kind of BEAUTIFUL. Move over Emma Stone and Reese Whitherspoon. Here I come!

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Honestly, my hope is that this experience not only made you laugh but helped you remember to love who you were created to be. The lesson here is to wear your identity, your true identity, with confidence. Be your own kind of beautiful. Don’t be so concerned with what others think of you from the outside. They aren’t the ones waking up in your skin everyday. So stay true to yourself and don’t let what others say dictate how or why you live your life. You only live once so don’t waste time doing things someone else’s way.

Check out the video footage from Extreme Makeover: Mabry Edition on the one and only Mabryliving You Tube Channel.

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