TALENT SPOTLIGHT: GILLIAN TODD

We’re so excited to feature Bicoastal MGMT model/talent, Gillian Todd, on our blog this month! We’ve loved having her over the years and watching her talents grow and spread into different paths like developing and producing film, starting her own company (theBlox), and more! Continue reading to learn more about Gillian…
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How long have you been with Bicoastal as a fit model, print model and actor?
I  am very happy to say I’ve been a part of the Bicoastal family for going on 6 years.
Tell us about your background?
I’m originally from Montana, where I studied acting & modern dance, before coming to New York to pursue a career in acting. I had a multitude of supplemental jobs when I first moved here- everything from teaching pre-school, to working events to running my own private chef business. I have always been creative and entrepreneurial and I think that’s one of the reasons I connected with Marco, my business partner and new fiancé! His background is in writing, directing, producing, but business as well. We actually started working together and creating more quickly than we developed our romantic relationship and that’s when I got more involved in producing, in addition to acting.
GILLIAN_0540 2.jpgHow did theBlox come about?
I joined Marco in the Bronx about 5 years ago, shortly after we began our  company, Round Seven, where we develop and produce film, TV and branded content. While we were working on a Bronx-based documentary, we started to see that our Borough is portrayed very negatively in the media and on Google. Being marketing and social media savvy, we joked that we should use our skills as content creators to blow up the internet with positive SEOs about the Bronx. The notion became a more serious conversation when we started to see our area changing. We decided now was the perfect time to use content to protect and elevate the identity of the Bronx. Here at theBLOX, we like to say: Brooklyn has Vice, Manhattan has everything, the Bronx needs theBLOX.
What, in a nutshell, is it?
TheBLOX is the only new-media platform in the Bronx. It is made up of a community of media professionals, committed to amplifying and Bronx-centric, entertaining content that celebrates culture and diversity. Stylistically, think Buzzfeed, Complex, Vice, Vox…
Where and how can people watch?
Our website is www.theblox.tv and we are on all social media platforms @thebloxtv. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest videos!GILLIAN_TODD_381.jpg
Do you have any favorite episodes?
It’s hard to pick my favorite segments, because there really is something for everyone. Of course I have to shamelessly self promote my sports segment! Check out my recent videos highlighting NYCFC and Yankees. I am very excited about and think the Bicoastal family will appreciate a couple style-based segments we have coming up. One is with Men’s Style Blogger Dandy in the Bronx and the other with Designer and Influencer Jerome LaMaar, called Stylin’ Out.
What’s your future vision?  
My vision for theBLOX is to continue to create opportunities for young, talented creators in the Bronx and to produce content that will be consumed by everyone. I really think we are on the path to compete with the new-media big boys… not naming names 😉
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BICOASTAL MGMT fitness model-Marisa M

So happy we were able to sit down and chat with BICOASTAL MGMT fitness model Marisa M- fitness, health and wellness expert; read below to hear her story and for tips + tricks for healthier living! Also, make sure to check out our new and improved fitness board!
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JAY_SULLIVAN_PHOTOGRAPHER_53091.jpg1. Tell us about your fitness journey?

I’ve always been a little obsessed with being physically active. I started to going to Jazzercise at the Roller Skating Rink in my hometown with my Mom when I was 4 and used to get up before school and put on legwarmers and a leotard to do Mousercize on the Disney Channel when I was in Elementary School, at that point I think I liked the outfits more than the workout.

I grew up dancing, I was a competitive baton twirler and gymnast and played 3 sports in high school. In college I majored in Nursing and minored in Dance. I went on to dance professionally and had a traumatic fall early in my career that resulted in multiple surgeries on my back, foot, and hip. I did pilates through my recovery and since I wasn’t physically stable enough for several years to go back to dancing or be on my feet for 12 hour nursing shifts, I started modeling and doing commercials. It was a struggle to maintain my weight without being physically active in a dynamic way so I really had to clean up my diet and stay consistent with pilates and low impact conditioning. I found a niche in fitness modeling and have appeared in multiple workout videos and print for Beachbody, Women’s Health, Reebok, Self, Capezio, Target, and several other companies. This introduction to the fitness industry gave me the opportunity to work with some of the top trainers in the industry and opened doors to become an instructor and trainer myself. In addition to the surgeries, I also have scoliosis and hypermobility issues. After struggling with years of chronic pain on and off, I finally found relief and stability through practicing the MELT Method and bodyART. I’m still doing fitness modeling and commercials but over the past year I’ve transitioned from my dance career to teaching MELT and bodyART, hosting workout videos for Qinetic.com and working with Dancers, Broadway Performers, and Athletes to help them recover from andMarisaMerliss_ChrisFanning_med rez fitness prevent injuries.

2. What are your newest endeavors?

My newest endeavor is launching a fitness and wellness retreat company with my colleague Becca Pace, REVIVE Restorative Retreats. Becca and I met doing a fitness video in 2013, she is also a bodyART instructor and a trainer for Daily Burn. Since bodyART and MELT are such complimentary restorative techniques we thought it would be a great way for people to hit the reset button with their fitness routine and also recharge and relax in a beautiful environment. We’re hosting our first retreat Oct. 31st-Nov. 6th in Bali, Indonesia. http://www.reviverestorativeretreats.com It’s sold really quickly, we only have 2 spots left…..we’re so excited for this new adventure!!!!

3. Advice for people to change their bodies, energy levels, etc.:

I think consistency is the key to creating change in the body and improving energy levels. Find an activity/class/video you love and do it regularly(2-5 times/week). Even if you’re short on time, it’s better to go for a 10 minute run or turn on your favorite music and dance around your living room rather than not do anything at all. Taking 5-10 minutes to do planks or abs is one of my go to activities on a busy week, you won’t even break a sweat so you can just carry on with your day.
Regarding nutrition, don’t deny yourself the things you love just eat them in moderation. Make sure you eat a diet consisting mostly of fruit, vegetables, whole foods while limiting sugar, meat and especially dairy. When choosing what to eat, think about what it will do to nourish your body. If it doesn’t provide strong nutritional value it better taste AMAZING, like donuts! 😉 I’d rather save the calories for a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s than to eat frozen yogurt 5 nights in a row. One of my favorite nutrition books on improving energy levels is the Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.

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To keep up with Marisa, make sure to check out her website