Actress, writer, producer, blogger - you name it, Grasie Mercedes does it…and she does it in style. As a NY native residing in LA, our June Sunday Girl thrives in all opportunities that Hollywood puts in front of her, both on and off screen. Grasie gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her love for the entertainment industry, fashion, beauty, and travel.
On your career…
You are tackling blogging and acting, all at the same time! If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, what would you pursue as a career?
That’s a tough question especially now as I dabble in writing and directing. I just love entertainment and more specifically television! I grew up on it and always loved it. But if I had to choose a career outside of entertainment, I would pick a field in scientific research. I’m so curious about how things work and I’m fascinated by space, our brains and biology. I probably don’t have the mathematical mind for any of this but in my next life I want to be a scientist.
What inspired you to start blogging and sharing your life with the world?
Well, I never really decided to share my life with the world…it just kind of happened. In 2009, I became a freelance wardrobe stylist for personal clients and a campaign stylist at American Eagle/Aerie. I also started on-camera hosting. My hosting agent told me I needed a niche and I told him about my styling. It was then that I turned my personal website into a blog. Two years later in 2011, I discovered personal style blogs and started doing outfit posts. By 2013 I was making a living from blogging and slowly but surely I started sharing more personal stuff along the way.
You have spent significant time both behind and in front of the lens. How do you think this helps you understand and create content?
My time behind the lens helps me be a better business person and professional in front of the lens. When I was a producer, I was in charge of talent a lot of the time. I had to floor produce MTV VJs, interview celebrities and do A MILLION OTHER THINGS. The last thing a producer wants to deal with is a late, rude, unprofessional or lazy talent. I know what that’s like so I make sure that I’m always on time, prepared, nice and professional.
Your blog features fashion, beauty, lifestyle and travel – which of these did you start with and did it naturally expand into the other categories?
I started with fashion but because I wore bright lipstick I was also seen as a beauty blogger. Something I always found funny since I do the most basic makeup all the time. Then in 2013 I got married and shared how I planned for my wedding, which opened up into lifestyle. Finally, the longer you blog, the more travel opportunities arise, so I got into that too! My life dictates what I blog about. At the end of last year, I wrote my most personal blog post ever about infertility and IVF. After two and a half years of keeping it to myself, I felt it was time to let it out. I plan on sharing more on that as we continue on the journey.
Which of the categories on your blog is your favorite to cover and why?
Fashion and travel because those topics are the most natural for me and therefore easiest to write and shoot.
Favorite on-screen project you’ve done?
I just recently got a TV/film agent in January…before that I did mostly commercials. My first audition with the new agent was for a show on FOX called 9-1-1 with Peter Krause, Connie Britton and Angela Bassett. Well, I have had a crush on Peter Krause since “Six Feet Under” so when I booked the part and found out I was going to be in a scene with him I almost died! And the fun didn’t stop there because I played a pregnant woman who goes into labor during a yoga class and Peter’s character delivers my baby! It was amazing. I spent 12 hours shooting overnight and came home deliriously happy. Not to mention Peter Krause is the nicest man on the planet and even dreamier in person…so yeah, that’s definitely my favorite on-screen job so far!
Favorite television show or movie you’ve helped produce?
I haven’t produced in years except for my own personal projects but when I worked at MTV, producing the special programming like Spring Break or the Summer Beach House were equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. MTV was a special place where 20-somethings were in charge of other 20-somethings. We worked our butts off and barely slept but had an amazing time doing it.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of acting is being able to act. It’s the most fun thing ever and I love every second of it. It’s the toughest job in the world in the sense that in every other field if you work hard you will eventually be successful. You can climb up a corporate ladder and get somewhere. Actors have to work so hard but they are never guaranteed success. In fact, statistically they are more likely to fail. So as an actor you really have to do it for the love of acting. Do it because you love it not because you want to be rich and famous because in 2018 there are SO many easier ways to be rich and famous! The best part of blogging is making a living on my own schedule doing something I love to do and being creative. It’s especially a great job for me as an actor because it gives me the freedom of a flexible schedule and financial stability.
The best piece of advice you’ve received, or would give?
Get to work! People love to make plans, talk about their dreams and ideas and never actually do anything about them. If you want to blog then start blogging, if you want to act then start acting. Stop waiting around for the perfect time and just go for it. And never, ever use your age as an excuse! You are never too old to start something new! I didn’t start seriously pursing acting until I was 30! I didn’t start blogging until I was 33. It’s never too late to try something new.
On style & beauty…
Describe your style in one sentence.
East coast hip and cool meets Cali color and chill. Or something like that…I never know how to answer that question.
Being that you are from New York, now residing in CA, which place would you say your personal style reflects more?
LOL (see above question) I think I have that New York “cool kid” thing but I also rarely wear black which is so NY. Instead I gravitate towards prints and color, which I think is more of an LA thing.
What style are you most coveting for summer?
I wear color and prints all year long but in the summer I really step it up a notch and gravitate toward floral, pastel and neon.
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
Other fashion bloggers mostly…I love Angela Fink when I want cool girl inspiration, or Jacey Duprie when I want to tone it down and put together a chic ensemble. Some actresses that inspire my style are Tracee Ellis Ross, Zoe Saldana and Emma Stone.
What is your fashion mantra?
Wear what YOU feel great in! Don’t be a slave to rules or trends.
Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter?
Cali Summers/NY Falls (is that allowed?)
Which part of your beauty routine do you refuse to skip?
Makeup removal, wash, moisturize. Since the first time I wore makeup when I was 15, I have NEVER gone to sleep without removing my makeup and washing my face. Like never ever…not even in the party days of my 20s
What are the products you can’t live without?
It’s funny because before I was a blogger I religiously used about 4 products. Now, I try everything and change up products every few months! There are just so many great things to try from hair care to skincare to makeup! I’m currently loving DevaCurl Decadence line for my hair, Caudalie, Boscia, Rodan + Fields, Belif and Alba Botanica for my skincare and Fenty, Nars, Burts Bee, BareMinerals, and Benefit for my makeup. Plus a million other things I try here and there!
Any upcoming vacations planned?
We might go to Maui in August but until then we are just taking a lot of weekend getaways to Palm Springs and Laguna Beach - our two favorite easy places to visit!
Top 3 favorite places to visit?
Locally I would have to say Palm Springs, Laguna Beach and Malibu. Outside of California I always love going back to New York for a few days to get my NYC fix. I love Maui and Italy too!
Somewhere you’re dying to go?
Oh man, so many places! I’ve never been to Australia/New Zealand so that’s definitely on my list, but I also want to take Damien to Dominican Republic, where my family is from…I want to visit Japan really bad, see more of Africa and visit Bora Bora.
If you could live anywhere in the world, and still focus on your career – where would you go?
Honestly I really, really love LA. The only thing I would wish for is the financial freedom to have a house in the city and one on the beach!
Do you prefer traveling with your husband, with friends, or alone?
I only travel alone sometimes for work, which I don’t love. I’d much rather travel with my husband or my bestie or even my mom! She met me in Paris last year and we had an amazing time. One of the best things about traveling is sharing that experience with someone. At the same time, I’m lucky to have a husband, bestie and mom who are all great travel partners.
On LA living & love…
You live in Silver Lake, LA - what do you love most about your neighborhood?
I love that Silver Lake is diverse with great bars and restaurants, super hipster but also kind of gritty. But what I love most is that it’s one of the few neighborhoods in LA where you can walk to things.
Favorite places to shop in LA?
I love the Grove and the Americana and I’m not afraid to say it…ha! They are like Disneyland for adults!
Do you prefer the coast or inland?
I prefer the coast but not Santa Monica or Venice…I like the beach towns like Manhattan or Laguna Beach but they are too far for work stuff, so inland it is!
You live with your husband, Damien, who you’ve mentioned quite a bit on your blog… How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight?
Well not really…we first meet in our early 20s! I was a producer at MTV in NY and he was a VJ. We hung out a few times and kissed here and there but we were both too young and insane for anything serious. Then about 5 years later we reconnected (he messaged me on MySpace! #wereold). Damien lived in NY still but I had moved to LA by then. After a lot of texting and phone calls he came to visit. In that one week we fell in love. From then on we did long distance for 6 months then I moved back to NY for a year to be with him because he was still on TRL. The deal was we would stay for as long as the show was on knowing that it would end soon, then move back to LA. We did just that and the rest is history!
Does he help inspire your work or try not to get too involved?
He’s not really involved besides when I torture him to take my photo here and there. He helps me run lines a lot on the acting side though.
Your “My White Boyfriend” series is hilarious… What does your husband think of it?
Ah, thanks! He loves it! He was really impressed with the on-screen chemistry Clayton and I had from episode one! When we shot that we had only known each other for a week! We met in acting class, starting chatting and were like “let’s make something together!” We’re lucky it worked out. Damien is super supportive of it and all my projects.
Shop Her Picks
Rayson Top$128.00 $76.80
Kishina B Jacket$298.00 $119.20
Radeli Top$278.00 $111.20
Leolani Leather Jacket$898.00 $359.20
Kaylara Sweater$198.00 $118.80
Maddalina Mule$298.00 $178.80
Jazbeth Top$198.00 $79.20
Paden Sandal$298.00 $119.20
Perlyn Silk Pant$278.00 $111.20
Paciencia Sandal$298.00 $119.20
Daynna Short$148.00 $59.20
Hiwalani Maxi Skirt$328.00 $131.20
Lilianaly Dress$328.00 $131.20
Jaklynn Short$148.00 $88.80
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