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

Posted in Editorial Blogs, Video Blogs | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Editorial Blogs, Video Blogs | Comments Off on Clothing Swap!

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

 


Posted in Editorial Blogs, Video Blogs | 1 Comment

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

 

 

 

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 2 Comments

Alive Day: A celebration of Life from an unlikely source

I sat down today to write about being ethnically ambiguous.  That is what I am considered to be as an actor and what roles I am submitted to play.   I sat in the waiting room today at an audition surrounded by other dark-ish ethnically hard to place actors who were paired together as husband and wife.

I struck up a conversation with a girl who I thought looked Hispanic, and an guy who was pretty obviously African American.  The girl said she was once instructed to “get a tan” in order to book a role in West Side Story because she wasn’t dark enough to pull off Puerto Rican.  The guy chimed in that he isn’t “black enough” for most of the roles he goes out for.  “Everyone thinks I’m Jewish,” I interjected, to which they both nodded in agreement, “or Italian.” I concluded, to which they also gave the nod of approval.  I am neither Jewish nor Italian.   I can play both on TV, however, as well as a mom and a bitch and a bunch of other things that I’m not,  and in this industry that’s really the only thing that matters.

That being the extent of my inspiration on the ethnically ambiguous, I moved my computer to the bedroom, climbed upon my raised day bed, clicked the remote, and turned the channel to ABC.

“People don’t know what to do”  Oprah compassionately expressed to a man in a soldier’s uniform and the concerned woman by his side.  The soldier had a large scar across his shaved head and each of his eyes pointed in a different direction as if he was unable to focus.  The topic of the show: The Bravest Families in America  I visited the Oprah website to get up to speed.  “While serving with the National Guard in 2005, Corey and his outfit were hit by a roadside bomb. Three men were killed and Corey was gravely wounded. Doctors initially told Jenny that Corey wasn’t going to make it, but miraculously, Corey survived.”

“I heard that you celebrate the day he was hit?” Oprah cautiously inquired.  The wife responded with a smile that yes, they do indeed celebrate it and refer to it as “Alive Day.”  The other 3 people hit that day all died, and Cory, although blind and suffering from major irreversible brain damage,  was alive.  Cory’s wife stated that “Soldiers move on.  It’s what they do.” Cory and his wife and their children appeared to be doing just that in the best way they knew how.   I now had tears in my eyes.  I thought of my brother who served a year in Iraq and the friend of his who lost his legs in a road side bomb, and his other friends who lost much more than that and about their families.   I thought about my sister who is a Navy pilot and about the friends she has lost and about their families.

Then I thought about a man interviewed on KCRW this morning in Japan who lost his house and his boat and his lively hood and all his belongings but who was laughing and smiling.  “We all lived” he happily stated, referring to his family and friends.  “There are more important things to think about than what was lost.”

Is whether or not I look Jewish or Italian or like a Mom or if I write my blog or if you read it even important at all?  Now that I’m thinking about global issues it all seems pretty inconsequential.  Is it narrow of me to write daily and not mention the enormous catastrophes happening around the world.   I searched my conscience.

I don’t think the point of allowing ourselves to connect to the stories we hear is to then belittle the things that mean something to us.   I’m assuming that if you are reading this,  you weren’t blinded in Iraq by a roadside bomb and that all of your life’s belongings weren’t lost in the Tsunami.  Even if they were, you are here now.  If you are here with me now, then today is “Alive Day” for both of us and THAT is worth celebrating!   It is also worth spending the precious time we have with purpose and positivity.   After all, there are more important things to think about than what has been lost.

I hope that you take it all in with a light heart, give what you can, stay positive, and pass a smile along to someone you encounter today.   I’ll do my best to do the same 🙂

Love and Light,

Hollywood

That’s my cat O’Joe who brings me great joy.

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 6 Comments

Ben Harper and “Forever”


Yesterday on The Bachelor “After the Last Rose” Brad turned to his estranged Emily and longingly pleaded, “Give me your forever.”  I immediately thought of Ben Harper’s song “Forever” from which that exact lyric is derived.  I’m not sure if Brad Womack was making a reference or just a genuine request, but it got me thinking about the concept of promising someone that you will be with them forever.

Ben Harper makes it sound not only sane, but beautiful to request from someone their “forever.” It has always been one of my favorite of his songs and I’ve always felt that it holds a childlike truth.  We all want to believe that the love we give will be accepted and reciprocated.  We certainly don’t want for others to put a cap or a time limit on the love they give us.  I mean, if you fell for someone you thought was pretty amazing and finally decided to express your truth to them and in a moment of vulnerable clarity said, “I love you!” the last thing you want to hear is “I love you.  I mean,  right NOW, but I can’t make any promises babe.  Love comes an goes.  You know? But stick around.  We’ll see.”  That would suck.  Nice people don’t say that.

I’ve never wanted to get married.  Even as a little girl, I never fantasized about it or gave it any thought.  People, and more specifically most of the guys I date, think that’s weird.  Some even attempt to argue with me that I’m not a healthy person because I don’t want to wear a white dress and spend $20,000. on a banquet hall and fancy steak and declare my forever to someone in front of 100 or so people I may or may not know.  Other people avidly argue that I just haven’t me that “right” person who I’m willing to declare my forever to.  I haven’t looked up the statistics, but the divorce rate is pretty high.  It seems to me like promising someone forever doesn’t hold the same clout as it used to.

I’m no relationship expert.  With that said, here’s my take on a better way to go about getting someone’s “forever” if that’s what you really want.   Give loved ones the full extent of your love right now.   I’ve always said, “Forever is just a bunch of moments strung together over ‘time’.”   If someone is expected to stick around forever, one would expect that they should be having fun and enjoying their time.  I can’t think of a better way to spend time with someone than staying in the moment with them.  If both people are having fun and enjoying their time won’t all of the moments they keep deciding to do that together eventually add up to forever?  If and when the fun ends and endless unsolvable drama ensues, isn’t it healthier to lovingly let someone go?

I am admittedly obsessed with the The Bachelor.   I am absolutely fascinated by it.  In watching season after season I have noticed a common theme.  When a girl begins to get heady with the bachelor, it takes the guy right out of the moment.  The second that one of the girls starts focusing her thoughts and conversations around the future, or the other girls in the house, or her insecurities about being hurt in the future, almost across the board the bachelor will soon eliminate that girl.  The bachelor always seems to end up with the girl who has fun with him in the moment, that he is at ease with, and feels that he can be himself around.

But then again, those couples usually get divorced too.  I was going somewhere with this.   Remember, I’m no expert and I might be wrong.   What do you think?  I appreciate your comments and whatever conversation follows.

Be Silly.  Have Fun.

Hollywood

Posted in Music Blog, Video Blogs | 4 Comments

The Bachelor

Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or may be thought to be.[1] In its widest definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible.
-Wikipedia

*Don’t like to read?  Scroll to the bottom of this blog to see my Video Blog link.

I can see directly into the window of the apartment across the street.  There is a blue canvas hanging on the white wall across from the bed.  Burgundy curtains in the adjacent room are pulled slightly open relieving a splash of red on a canvas against the wall.  The brunette that lives there just walked from one room to the next fully clothed.

I’m sitting on my bed at window level.  My curtains are drawn, the lights are on, O’Joe (my Tonkinese cat) rests upon my arm, and Brad Womack is rambling on about love from the 15 year old tube television that rests atop an aged teal dresser once owned by my Grandmother.  Reality.

Brad’s challenge is tougher than mine.  All I have to do is think of something interesting or clever to write about and make sure I convey it in a way that keeps your interest for the time being.  Hopefully I inspire you to visit my blog again, perhaps bookmark it, or share it.  Brad Womack has to ask a woman that he has never known in realty to marry him, lest he come off as arrogant, bi-polar, gay, or whatever other perceived reality onlookers will derive from his estranged behavior.

An interesting trick of reality TV editing, if you watch attentively, is that before and after every segment a good deal of time is spent going back over what you just witnessed and teasing you with an exciting revelation you are about to watch next.  “What you just saw was so incredibly engaging and it means that you are privy to information that will now change everything you ever thought you knew”  and then, “Next up you will witness the most incredible, surprising exciting stuff, as seen in this teaser clip, but in slightly longer clips that will reveal only slightly more information. Stay tuned!”   This is a trick also used on entertainment news shows like TMZ and Entertainment Tonight.   Have you ever noticed it?

This method of stringing us along is something we do to ourselves all day anyway.   It’s the human condition, really, and the kind of thinking that prevents us from living in the moment.  I spend a good portion of my day reflecting upon events from the past.  “That audition I had today went pretty well.  I wonder if I looked scared instead of excited.  I should have made sure not to do my scared face.  I look kinda constipated when I do that face.  Oh no!  I hope I didn’t look constipated.  Maybe that’s why the casting director was short with me. There were so many things I would have done better if I would have known then what I know now.” Although my mind tends to project into the future even more often.  “I wonder if I will book that job.  That would be so great.  I could pay off my Mac and get a camera.  That would be cool.   I could make a web series with a camera.  If I had a successful web series I bet I would get more auditions.  Auditions….I have an audition  tomorrow.  I should work out.  What can I eat.  How much did I eat today?  I’ll do better tomorrow.   Tomorrow I’ll do everything the way I’m supposed to.”

The girl across the street just closed her curtains.  Lights flicker in the Hollywood Hills and the reflection of the TV appears hovering in the window.  Brad just chose a wife (although he already did months ago) and Chantal is riding off in a limo with makeup streaming down her face not yet able to grasp what just happened to her.  I am eating leftovers from my Groupon dinner.

Getting back to the moment.  Again and again and again.  Straying away and getting back to the moment.  Reality.  Typing words on a computer is what grounds me in reality these days.  I hope that taking a moment out of your busy day to connect to my words does the same for you.

Finally, at the after the final rose ceremony show where Emily and Brad are reunited it was revealed  that Emily has been struggling quite a bit with their relationship since the airing of The Bachelor and her experience watching her “fairytale” romance unfold on the show.  When questioned about it she replied, “I guess I’m just trying to decipher between reality TV and MY reality.”

May you be present with a light heart 🙂

Hollywood

PS.  My friend suggested I do a V-Log and here is the silliness that ensued:

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 2 Comments