“Caught”: Pure unadulterated theater: Amen!


When my friend Derek Meeker showed up on a Facebook chat I had no idea it would lead me to the bubbling gates of “Caught,” LA’s longest running play (and for good reason.) He was swinging in for the lead and I surely did not want to miss out on his performance.   Going in feeling a bit disillusioned about the Los Angeles theater scene, albeit optimistic,  “Caught” renewed my faith again and again as its seamless script was played out by an ensemble cast worthy of any Broadway stage.   “Caught” draws its audience in, taking us with it on a delectable domestic journey of love, courage, acceptance, and eventually forgiveness.

Click here for a full list of cast and crew.

I grew up in the theater and have been around gay men pretty much my whole life.  Hell, without gay men who would have so closely befriended the younger, more abrasive me years ago?  Welcomed my bold personality? Cheerfully celebrated me at various 80s nights and disco techs?  As friends, colleagues, and mentors, gay people have always been, well, just people to me.

Discrimination against gay people should have ended long ago like puritan witch-hunts and prohibition.  Unfortunately, as “Caught” so eloquently reminds its audience, homosexuality is still widely misunderstood and unaccepted, challenging families, friendships, and even gay partnerships themselves.

On an immaculate set only a few feet from its entranced audience, what these 6 actors achieve is nothing short of perfect.  It is a true privilege to witness actors 100% devoted to living in the world of this play 100% of the time.  Not an accent is dropped nor is a moment lost between this talented ensemble cast.  Their commitment, combined with the spot on direction of Nick DeGruccio and a flawless script written by David L. Ray, leads to an unforgettable theatrical experience right here in Los Angeles.

If you think of the romantic leads as a gay couple at the beginning of the play, I assure you that by the time you are crying along with them at curtain call, Troy and Kenneth represent any loving couple going through a period of accepting each other (and themselves) “as is” before an impending legalized partnership.

I had no idea that it was Derek Meeker(Troy)’s first time performing with co-star  Jason Dechert(Kenneth) as their chemistry was tangible even from a foot away where I could see their every, ever so slight movement.  As was the love between Kenneth and his sister, Darlene (Deborah Puette) and her daughter Krystal(a stand out performance by Amanda Keschak.) There is so much love and conflict between the 3 that with tears, laughter and a multitude of emotions between, I found myself truly invested in the success of these relationships.  Often relieving us from the weight of it all, Splenda(Michah McCain) serves as a silly and wise old soul whose interjections consistently make the audience unabashedly LOL.  Richard Jenik is perfectly unlikeable as antagonist J.P.

Without beating us over the head with religious doctrine or making a mockery of it, the story brings to light the conflict between religious hypocrisy and true righteousness proposing, “Maybe somewhere in the middle is a good place for all of us, right now.”

If you are still conflicted about gay equal rights perhaps taking someone out for a night of theater is a good way to open up a dialogue about it.  With gay marriage just legalized in New York and other states (and eventually all of them) certain to follow, now is the time to open your mind and search your own consciousness for where you stand and perhaps where you are willing to be flexible.  Experiencing “Caught” is a great place to start!

Catch it before it’s too late at the Zephyr Theater on Melrose.

Click here for tickets and show times.

Open your heart.  Be silly. Have Fun.

Hollywood

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The Burning Opera: Bravo!

Appropriately performed in a spacious and eclectic private loft nestled in the back alleys of downtown’s fashion district, The Burning Opera “How to Survive the Apocalypse” delivers a rockin’ night of FUN and spectacular performances by a multi-talented cast and crew!

Click HERE for a detailed list of who’s involved!

Produced and performed by experienced Burning Man enthusiasts and a few virgins (people who have never been to the annual event held in the desolate dusty outskirts of Reno), this multi-media production manages to capture the essence of Burning Man’s transformative highs and lows with vibrance and artistic integrity.    The costumes serve up enough fur, feathers, lace, and skin to satisfy any visual palate.  The musicianship of the alternating band members (each cast member chameleons between instruments and roles) is top notch and is matched by authentic and poetic performances of singing, dancing, shadow art puppetry, and moments of  deliberate silliness.

The story loosely follows a couple attending Burning Man for the first time.  Since the woman experiences an initial resistance/overwhelm and the man experiences a desire to explore, we follow them on separate journeys towards love, freedom, and eventually complete surrender.   What I love most about the Buring Opera experience (and it is an experience) is that nostalgia for my own personal expeditions on the playa began to spring up from my subconscious and by the end of this couple’s odyssey I found myself in the timeless mindset, or rather soul set, of Burning Man.

For a festival that is so hard to explain to those who have never been (and even harder to capture with media) this production satisfies a multitude of senses in the way that only a live show can.  Because the music and shadow puppetry often serve as metaphors and never attempt to “explain” what Burning man is, this live show is able to take us on a voyage with it begging the question, “When we stop consuming what can we create?”

There is an intermission that seems more crowd driven than clock driven offering ample time to meander around the spacious loft space and mingle with other guests, many who I had met before and some old friends, and a bar if you indulge in spirits.  After you fall in love with the costumes in the show, you can deck yourself out in similar attire as there are a plethora of vendors selling hand made clothes and accessories.

During the second act it occurred to me that Rock Opera stylistically perfectly captures both the chaotic and synchronistic nature of Black Rock City (the temporary city created by Burning Man participants).   I continually delighted in the masterful musicianship of both the instrumentalists and the vocalists.

At the end I couldn’t help but think, “What does this performance provide for the person who is Burning Man curious but has never been?”  So I asked someone who has never been what her experience of the show was.  She said that she thought Buring Man seemed like a place where anything goes and everything is accepted.  She said the show made it seem fun and interesting and that she really enjoyed the performance, the music, and the overall experience.

Bottom line: for Burners this show is a MUST SEE and if you have never been to Burning Man GO!  If what the show proposes is true that “You don’t know who you are until you find your Avitar” then you best get to it!   Attending the Burning Opera is a great place to start!

For tickets, info, and show times click here.

To read another smokin’ review of the show click here.

Love and Light to you all and as always:

Be Silly.  Have fun.

Hollywood

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Drop Box: Do Something Different


I just took the most challenging fitness class of my life.  Seriously, my arms are shaking and I’ve already made 10 typing errors.  “I feel like I’m going to puke” Michael, who encouraged me to purchase the Groupon, said as we stumbled, disoriented and depleted out of our first class.   We have 4 classes left.   Without the saving incentive I may have never faced my fear of those big scary machines that seem to stretch and bend you in every direction challenging your strength, flexibility, and as I found out tonight, your balance.  I almost fell over after 20 minutes.

I already overcame my greatest fear on Wednesday: Auditioning in a bikini, and another of my fears today.  I submitted myself for an audition for a major network TV show.  I don’t mind being submitted by an agent or a manager (or with an industry referral).  Even though I believe in myself and the work I do, for some reason I have a fear around promoting myself to industry professionals.  For some reason my mind makes me think that they are way over there in the sky somewhere and I’m just little ole’ me down here in the brier patch.   This is even despite the fact that I am a working actor and have a lot of experience on set.  My fear makes no sense.  It is holding me back.  I found out that the show Dexter is currently casting a role for an upcoming episode that I fit the character description of.  So, with the encouragement of Ken Costanza (who runs a fantastic workshop at House of Actors) I drove over to their offices today and submitted myself.

It turns out that the casting office isn’t some golden palace in the sky with bars and angry watchman waiting, not to cast me, but to cast me away.   It was just an office building in the valley with an old elevator that took me to the 3rd floor and dropped me off in front of an office with a box outside the door that said “Drop Box”

Here’s my VLOG about the experience.

I will continue to push forward through my various fears by taking action and I encourage you to do the same! And, as always, don’t forget to be silly and have fun!

Love and Light,
Hollywood

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The Bikini and The Beast: Getting Naked

6pm yesterday I get a call from my commercial agent. “You have an audition tomorrow. Please check your email and confirm”

Like always, I checked into my account to bring up information about the audition, time, place, wardrobe, etc. 10am okay, Santa Monica…. all good, Bathing Suit…..did I read that right….wardrobe: Bathing Suit. My heart started pounding as I searched for the character description. “Brunette. All American looking. Attractive and fit. Must look good in a bathing suit, but not too skinny or too muscular.”

“Oh no!” my mind races, “My agent thinks I look good in a bathing suit. My agent has never seen me in a bathing suit” thinking, “No, my agent has never seen me in a bathing suit.  Oh crap.”  I run to the mirror to lift my shirt and look at my stomach. “Okay.  Okay.  It’s not that bad.”  I take off my cloths and lean naked frantically rummaging through my drawers for every bathing suit I own. I try them on one after the other. “No…no…no….no, no, NO!” I have to choose. I turn to the mirror. “Okay.  I’m okay.  It said not too skinny so I know I have that part down.  Not too fit is what it said.” I stare at the distorted image standing in front of me. Based on my perception I decide that I fit into the not too fit category. “Why am I freaking out? OH my God I’m freaking out. Put me in a bin of spiders. Burry me alive with rabid snakes covered in grape jelly. Make me tap dance in a lobster suit. Calm down.”

“Cake,” I remember, “There’s red velvet cake in the fridge.” I run immediately to the fridge and begin to eat the red velvet cake with my fingers chasing it with milk from the carton. “Oh my gosh, I just saw this on Oprah today! Emotional eating. I am emotionally eating cake in a bikini in my kitchen” My cats sit staring at me. I put down the cake and decide to take action. I do 35 pushups, 100 sit-ups, and decide not to eat for the rest of the day. “I always wake up feeling thinner” I reflect, “when I don’t eat at night.”

I begin my nightly routine of washing my face, exfoliating, moisturizing, more pushups. I brush my teeth, take vitamins, and finally, go to fill a water bottle to put next to the bed. “Crap, I’m in the kitchen again. Fill the water. Just fill the water. You’re almost there, focus, FOCUS!” I peak in the drawer next to the fridge as I fill the water, you know, just to see what’s in there.

My eye catches an enticing box of….. “DOTS!” I contemplate, “I can eat some Dots. They’re fat free!” I begin to chew Dots in light of my open refrigerator. Dot after Dot I chew and chew. “I’m not going to loose weight in 8 hours. I’m fine” I tell myself. Many moments later, digging colorful bits out of my teeth I catch my reflection in the mirror on the opposite wall. The box of Dots is empty.

I’ve auditioned in fitness cloths a bunch of times, fine. I’m a runner. I work out. Fitness cloths, no problem. I have never, however, been required to awkwardly strip down quickly and unbalanced to a bikini in front of a camera man in a cold florescent casting room with an actor playing my husband uncomfortably watching (while pretending to look away) in his board shorts and t-shirt while the client observes anonymously behind a double sided mirror. Today, that is just what I did.

You know what? It was great! I felt great. Once I got through the strange process of taking off my cloths, I actually felt really good. The camera man had a big warm smile on his face, and the actor playing my husband willingly held my hand as we pretended to “walk along the beach” (basically we strolled slowly across the room and smiled at each other lovingly) Even when I had to do the dreaded 360 turn in my bikini I felt good. I was FREE! My mind had made a monster out of a kitten.

The mind is a cunning saboteur. When I was in college I will never forget the time a random girl I barely knew said to me, “I think you are so pretty” “Thanks” I replied. Then she followed it with, “I told my friend how pretty I thought you were and she said she thought your body was weird but I said I thought you looked like a model” My stomach sunk. Between all the compliments that random girl gave me that day, all I heard was “your body was weird.” I agreed with her friend. My body IS weird. My neck is too long, my hips too wide, my boobs too low, my ankles too skinny. My body is weird. I spent years breaking that agreement and creating a new one. I spent years overcoming the distorted image I created of myself and coming to a new understanding.

My body is awesome. Not because I’m skinny or fit, but because I can walk and run and play! My body is capable of standing for hours on end and walking long distances. My body can play instruments, and reach things in tall cabinets in my kitchen. My body is the vehicle through which I perform all of my daily functions. I am so blessed to have a healthy, functioning body!

But the mind is a cunning, cunning trickster. It didn’t take much to send me into a crazy downward spiral backward into the past. I recovered from this experience and have taken so much from it. Celebrate your body! It is the only one you have. Cherish your body! Cherish YOU! You’re the only one in the world and yours is the only body like it. You are an original model. We all are 🙂

Be Silly. Have Fun.

Love and Light,
Hollywood

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 5 Comments

Character Actor: Creating a Character

*UPDATE
After emailing the video below to the director I just got this email back:
“I didn’t even make it all the way through your video. I love you, I think you are hysterical and believable. I’d love to have you on board.” Sweet! So I guess today the process I describe below worked out for this director. Not every director will love your work, but if you work hard and discover our own process at least you always know you brought YOUR personal best to the table.

Many people have asked me what I do as an actor to create a character. The beauty is that it is a bit different every time depending on the character and the project. Here is an example of my process.

I was asked to improvise a drunken rant by a selfish but not hatable woman named Isabella. The only suggestions were that she may mention her kids, or someone from the country club. It is also a drama, not a comedy. That was all I got. So, I figured that if she has kids she is a bit older and if she goes to the country club she has money. From there I always start with Wardrobe! Wardrobe is the first step, for me, in creating a character. As soon as I step into a different “skin” I begin to feel like the person I am about to portray.

Isabella, I decided, wears pearls and a dress even when she is casually spending time at her home. This decision helps guide her actions and thought patterns. I know she is an alcoholic and that she rants when drunk, but I was not given another character to work with. I decided to make her talk to herself, so to speak, in the form of a video blog. I also think her kids probably try to help her in various ways without coming out and forcing her into rehab, so I inserted that into some of the dialogue. I decided that she doesn’t really intend to show anyone the video so she could say whatever she wants, but since the camera is still on her as a sort of third party that she would not completely let loose. She would “perform” a bit for the camera as she sees herself in the computer.

It’s hard to portray drunk without being comedic, so I tried to remember to keep it as real as possible. Then I just got in a drunken mindset, which I think is one of the hardest things to pull of and make look natural. I’m not a pro at it, but I gave it a good run in this video of Isabella. I decided to make her get progressively more drunk to show range. So if she isn’t always drunk the casting director would get a bit of both. Since she is ultimately very lonely and sad, I tried to convey that in moments but without giving her sadness away.

Here is what I came up with.

Be Silly. Have Fun!

Love and Light,

Hollywood

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Clothing Swap!

A clothing swap is a type of swapmeet wherein participants exchange their valued but no longer used clothing for clothing they will use. Clothing swaps are considered not only a good way to declutter and refill one’s wardrobe, but also are considered an act of environmentalism.
-Wikipedia

My friends and I have been doing clothing swaps for a few years now and it is such a fun way to re-invent your wardrobe without the hassle of driving to the mall, parking, fighting through crowds, and forking over your credit card only to be left with buyers remorse.

Today my friend Yvonne hosted a swap, and like always, it was a fun way to reconnect with friends and walk away with some great new additions to my wardrobe! Afterward I shot this video while sporting some of my new digs. I promise the outfit is much better without the phone that is in my pocket protruding out of my shorts. 🙂

All of the cloths are laid out on the ground and there is a LOT to choose from.  Today we all took our time.  We stayed pretty organized, but in the past swaps have gotten kinda crazy.

Yvonne put out a full body mirror so we could all try on the cloths in her room and check ourselves.  We also get opinions from the other girls so in a way it’s like shopping with lots of feedback!

Then some boys unexpectedly showed up and we tried to accommodate them.  I forgot to mention that in the video.  Usually boys aren’t invited so the girls can all change comfortably in and out of the cloths.  These boys were welcome, though, and we even tried to find cloths for them.

Here is another great pic of a swap success.  This dress used to be mine and now she is ROCKING it!

Then we decompressed, had some fun, and closed down the shop.

And here’s me blogging about it all.

Love and Light to you!

Be Silly.  Have Fun!

Hollywood

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Descendent of Royalty

I just saw my Burlington Coat Factory commercial on NBC.   Even though I know the work I do will be on the air, it is still a rush to hear my voice unexpectedly chiming out from the tube television on my dresser and I look up and there I am.  But it’s not me, again, it’s just a character that I get to play for the day.  She was a really fun one too!  I would like to play this character for many days, and I hope some day I get to.   So here is the link of me as a ridiculously snobby lady with bad taste and an obnoxious dog.

And here are some pictures of my experience on set that day.

That’s Kimberly Dollar, who plays my co-star in this spot.  She is a wonderful actress and was so fun to work with.  I ran into her at an audition 2 days ago that I am actually on hold for.

See how my feet are in a foot bath?  That seems really glam, right?  To just sit and soak in a warm foot bath on a Hollywood set.  Well, in order to get the dog to drink that water (as seen in the commercial), the wonderful foot bath I was soaking in was Chicken Broth!!  Imagine what the air around you would smell like if your flesh were soaking in warm chicken broth for hours.  It was not pretty.  But it made me laugh and remember how silly it is to take it all too seriously.  I also feel very blessed to have the privilege to marinate in dog soup in exchange for getting to do what I love.

This next one is behind the scenes.  It was one of those rare cold rainy days in LA so we spent  most of our time in the makeup trailer huddling around the mirror being girly and staying warm and dry.   Then the other actresses and makeup artist taught me how to do that arm thing that is supposed to make you look skinnier in pictures.  All of the actresses at the Oscars do it.  It is terribly uncomfortable and actually makes your shoulder feel like it’s going to pop out of the socket.  But I guess it looks hot or something or else people wouldn’t hire coaches to learn how to do it correctly (another fact I learned on set)  As you can see by my pic, I have not perfected this move yet.  I do not intend to hire a coach.

That’s Piper Hinson in the background.  She plays the French snob which you can also watch on the link above.  She was so funny!  Click on her name to also hear her amazing original music.  Everyone in this town is so talented!  I guess that’s why it can be a very intimidating place to live and why not everyone is comfortable staying here.  The talent that surrounds me is humbling and inspiring.   I truly think everyone who comes here to fulfill a dream not only has a shot, but with determination and focus has a really really good shot!

As you can see, the hair stylist put a wig on me!  I was so happy that I didn’t have to worry about my hair cooperating.   For the backstory check out my blog “HAIR” I can’t tell you the relief that came over me when he pulled out that wig!

There it is.  Me behind the scenes on the set of a commercial.  It was a great day on set I must say.  If I book the job I’m on hold for (in the industry being on hold for a job is called “AVAIL”) I’ll be traveling to Portland next week to spend another day on set.  If I don’t get it, I will be released from “AVAIL” and go back to booking it around town from audition to audition for that golden opportunity to work hard on set! Either way, I promise to keep you updated.

I hope you are enjoying your life and having fun.  Like Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss!” and like I always say, “Stay Positive” 🙂

Love and Light,

Hollywood

 


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Ugly Baby

I’m not one of those people who thinks babies are really cute.  They always seem a little gross to me with their hazed over eyes and dry patchy skin, exuding waste from every orifice.  It was pointed out to me by a friend that babies actually kind of look and behave a lot like larva, squirming about unknowingly.  At least larva can sustain themselves…or can they?  I’m gonna look that up.  BRB.

According to Wikipedia: “Animals in the larval stage will consume food to fuel their transition into the adult form.” and “Larva is Latin for ghost”  Larva is Latin for ghost?  That’s beside the point but very interesting.   So larva, unlike babies, do take care of themselves until they transform into adults.  

We respond to certain unattractive behavior with the expression “Stop acting like a baby.”  There must be some truth then that babies are sort of annoying or we wouldn’t say that.  Maybe it’s more true of other people’s babies.   I’ve watched people get annoyed with babies that are brought out into public and I myself have been annoyed with babies if I have to sit too close to a screaming one or witness a diaper change.  Not everyone feels this way about babies.  Maybe you are one of those people who loves babies.  Anne Geddes has made an entire career out of photographing them, as seen below.  Even really well lit in beautifully poetic context and sleeping peacefully, I still don’t want to look at that ugly baby.

I do, however, look at and am fond of every single cat I see.  Maybe I wouldn’t be so afraid of having and caring for a baby if in the larva stage they looked like kittens.  I would like to think a cute little kitten is growing inside of me.  I wouldn’t even mind holding it when it came out it even if it was all covered in gunk if it were just a cute little innocent kitten.

I do think kids are super cute.  When I tell you I think your kid is super cute, I really mean it. But if I say “I think your baby is so cute” I am probably lying.  Believe me, I feel bad about it.  I wish I thought your baby was cute, I promise.

I still want one some day, though.  So now I’m wondering…am I a bad person if I don’t think my own baby is cute?  Or will I think my baby is cute no matter what it looks like because it’s, well, my baby?  If I ever have a really ugly baby and I hold it up to you with love and pride and say, “Look how cute my baby is” please lie to me.  This is one of those times where I think a little white lie does more good than harm 🙂

Be silly. Have Fun.  Post baby pics if you have them!  I’ll ask my mom to send me one of mine and I’ll post it here

Love and light,

Hollywood

 

 

 

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Hair

My hair is so fine.  Not like “Mmmm Mmmmm girl, you’re hair is soooo fine!” but like hair you would clip back with a Tinkerbell barrette on a 5 year old.  It has always been that way so I’m not suffering some identity crisis like someone who suddenly loses their nice hair.  My Mom, Sister, and Aunt all have the same unmanageable hair which, with time, we have all learned to cope with in our own way.

I worked on set for 15 hours on Sunday with 20 rambunctious and sugar filled child actors, 25 chattering stage parents and 15 or so overtired hard working crew members.  I stood patiently most of the day following direction and practicing non-reactiveness in an effort to anchor peace into the chaos.  Surprisingly my hair held up pretty well.

When Monday came at long last, it felt a lot like a Sunday to me.  As the lazy morning turned into afternoon, I invited my friend Yvonne, who lives down the hall, over for a late brunch.  Making waffles just feels like something that only happens on Sunday.  I was sitting at my 50’s style burgundy diner booth clicking around on my MacBook when the doorbell rang and the door opened.

Yvonne’s hair is fine, like mine as described earlier, mostly one length just below her shoulders and a natural shade of dark brown.  She doesn’t like to fuss with it too much, so it’s usually not styled but just kinda hanging out.   Yvonne is a comedian and I have already asked for permission to be very candid in my blog. Follow this link to check her out. She actually doesn’t like to wash or even brush her hair on days she doesn’t work. Yvonne also likes to wear very “colorful” outfits that often don’t match and that she brags she got for free or at some thrift store on clearance. She refers to her style as “Hobo Chic”

She has explained that her “eclectic” style is mostly for comedic effect and I have come to respect her choice not to buy into the importance of looking hot, or well put together.  I actually once nominated her for one of those “My friend really shouldn’t be wearing that” shows and she was excitedly on board.  She has a beautiful face and a smokin’ body, so when she cares to she could pass as a movie star.  It is challenging to support her irreverence because I think that in Hollywood she could go far with her talent and good looks.

Entering my kitchen yesterday, she suddenly had long, shaggy beautiful thick rock stair hair with red highlights and wispy sexy bangs.  “Oh my God, your hair!”  I exclaimed.  She looked like a bomb shell and she wasn’t even wearing makeup.  “I hate it.” she said matter of factly.  “The show made me do it.”

Right now she is filming a reality pilot about her addiction to relationships and the producers must not have been a fan of her oily, fine hair.  The show producers recognized that with different hair, she would magically transform into a girl who would turn almost any head in passing, so they rejected her natural hair.  Instead of filming her as she is, they paid a stylist to make her more appealing for TV by sewing in long extensions for 7 hours, adding colorful highlights and chopping in some sexy bangs.  Ironic considering that the whole intent of the show is to help Yvonnne heal on a deep emotional level.  No harm in making her at least look better in the process, right?

I sat looking in awe at my transformed friend and how amazing and hot she looked and thought about how any guy in the world would ask her out and how even if she wasn’t that funny people would probably come to see her do stand up comedy.

“It’s not me.” she said in a defeated tone, “I feel like a stupid poser who’s trying to hard.  I like MY hair.  I like being natural.  I’m taking it out when the show is over.”  It took all of my discipline and patience to accept that my friend hates her fake hair.  I even found myself trying to convince her that it IS her.  Why should I care if she hates it? Why should I care if she doesn’t see the benefit it might bring her?  Why was I resisting her response to this hair?  Have I lived in Hollywood too long?  Have I bought into an industry’s continuing attempts to make everyone on TV look perfectly maintained or do I just want my friend to look hot?  Maybe I think she will be happier this way, I would be happy if my hair looked like that.  Wouldn’t I?   Am I another part in the factory that produces mass amounts of self conscious self loathing teenage girls and replaces their natural sense of self with a desire to achieve unnatural perfection?

I just want to look my best.  I want to have beautiful thick hair, full eye lashes, wrinkle free skin, a skinny waist, and a firm butt just like everyone else.  Yvonne hardly ever wears makeup and I often see her leaving the apartment on her way to a party without having put much thought into it.  She thinks it’s hilarious how differently men and woman respond to her when she is very well put together.  “I want people to like me for me.”  she said.

This blog is meant to celebrate her. Why do we care so much about image anyway?

How are we ever supposed to know ourselves and how is anyone supposed to really know us?   I know Yvonne and she’s a pretty amazing woman with or without $700 of fake hair.

I hope that we can all learn to accept our natural beauty, the beauty in each other, and take the beautiful images we see in the media with a grain of salt.  In that picture to the right I have about $700 worth of extensions and it has been photo-shopped to minimize my wrinkles.  I also cropped out my wide hips.  Smoke and mirrors 🙂

Be Silly.  Have Fun.

Hollywood

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 6 Comments

Marathon

The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought),[3] which took place in August or September, 490 BC.[4] It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “Νενικήκαμεν” (Nenikékamen, ‘We have won.’) before collapsing and dying.
Wikipedia

It’s 6:30am on a Sunday.  I am dressed like a young mom and ready to drive to Cypress, CA where I will be throwing a pretend birthday party for a group of child actors for a Party City industrial film.  Thank goodness I checked my email before booking it out the door since I was notified after going to bed that my call time was pushed back an hour to 8:30am.  No one is awake at this hour, at least not in the company I keep, so I’m doing the social media rounds, tweeting, facebooking, emailing, and now blogging.   As I surf around on various sites updating sleeping followers I am reminded in my friend Lyle’s tweet that today is the LA Marathon.

I am jealous.   I imagine standing cold and tired at a Metro Station buzzing with energy as  runners spill in and out of the subway doors each with their number pinned to their chest.  I imagine meeting my running group and making our way to start line, stretching and preparing my mind for hours of jogging down Los Angeles city streets!  I know that most people won’t have that same reaction, but I have run in 2 marathons, Honolulu and Los Angeles, and I had a most positive experience with both.  Many people think running a Marathon is something that motivated super people do, but I assure you that out of the thousands that gather before sunrise chilly and nervous with anticipation, most of them are not star athletes, but regular people, just like you and me.

Many people have placed “run in a Marathon” on their bucket list.  If this is you, I encourage you to sign up with a charity and run with a purpose!  I chose AIDS Project Los Angeles, after some research, and raised money for the organization in exchange for training an support.

Running with a charity is so rewarding.  There are leaders and coaches that help you fund raise, find shoes, tackle the challenges of aches and pains, and provide group “long runs” on weekends, so the most treacherous training days (18 and 20 mile runs for instance) are more of a social gathering and celebration of success, than a dreaded and feared necessity.

I’m not one of those people who needs to run every marathon or improve my time, or even ever run another one.  Not being pressed for time (I never care too much how long it will take to finish) makes trekking almost 27 miles through any city more of an invigorating challenge than anything else.  Of course I love to walk and try to walk most places if  have the time.  I think walking and running around on foot is a primitive way to connect to the neighborhood you live in.  There is something very old and wise about both walking and running.

Of course, as stated above by Wikipedia, the original marathon run was just one guy trying to deliver some good news after which he dropped dead from who knows what.   Imagine if every time you had something to tell someone across town you had to run or walk there!  I’m hard pressed to even get out of Hollywood for anything these days and I have a really comfortable Jetta that is temperature controlled and has my favorite music in it.

This morning I am thankful for the conveniences that modern technology has afforded me.  I am feeling very blessed to be able to travel to Cypress, CA (30 miles from Hollywood) in about 40 minutes in comfort and without too much threat of harm.   If there is traffic I will just imagine those thousands of achy motivated super people making their way around LA on foot.   And when I arrive I will think of Pheidippides who didn’t have the luxury of delivering his message with such ease and subsequently paid his life to simply share some good news with his community.

The picture there is me on the training day where I ran 26 miles for APLA.  See how happy I am?  I encourage you to challenge yourself to do things that scare you and also things that you don’t think you can do.  You may find out that YOU are a Motivated Super Human!  I truly believe we all are 🙂

Love and Light,

Hollywood

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