Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Need a Hero

The Planeteers. Clockwise from left top: Gi, K...Image via Wikipedia

So here we are in the final days of 2010. I hope this year has brought about something good in your life, perhaps something even great! I'm experiencing a bit of writer's block with my music right now so I figured I'd keep the writing juices flowing, but take a step of way from lyrics for a bit to hopefully find some new inspiration. 

As I reflect on this year, it's hard to believe how much has happened...for the good and the bad. The best part of my year by far has been setting the wheels in motion to pursue my acting and singing career...with some writing and modeling in between. It's amazing what you're capable of doing if you stop thinking about what to do....and just do it. I guess Nike was onto something there. 

As for the bad part of my it better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all? Well, I think so...for the most part. After writing so much about love this year, I feel like it's only appropriate that I should close out the year with some kind of reflection on it. You've heard about me falling in love, falling out of love, and my version of going green...a recycling of exes. It's dawned on me that in 2011, I want to meet Captain Planet...not that Captain Planet.

If I look at each one of my exes, I realize that each of them offers something great and unique about themselves. However, each one of them offers at least one or more characteristic which will simply not allow things to work out in the long term. Accordingly, if I could take the good characteristics from each of them to form a totally, perfect, compatible person for me, I could have the best of everything. Individually, they're not going to work out, but if I combined their forces, I just might find happiness in a relationship, ya Captain Planet. And if not, there's always He-Man...I mean, how can you go wrong with the most powerful man of the universe? 
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'll Be Home for Christmas

New York City SerenadeImage by joiseyshowaa via Flickr
It's Christmas day...and I'm in NYC, away from family and friends...but home. You may wonder why I've chosen to spend this special day by myself in such a big city. Part of me feels that I owe no explanation for wanting a little peace and quiet during this holiday, but another part of me feels compelled to share my reason for wanting to be where I am...even though it's home.

I came very close to opting out of Christmas this year all together...not the essence of the holiday, but the traveling portion of events. It's not that I don't love to see my family and friends during this time, but traveling alone year after year takes its toll and can sometimes feel like more of a task than anything else. I'm always glad that I made the trip once I'm with my family, but in the midst of making the drive back and forth, many times I just wish that they were all coming to see me for once.

Instead of skipping all the traveling this year, I decided to spend the time with my family that I wanted to without compromising all of myself...and still leaving Christmas day as a day to myself. It's something I've never done...and many times, did not have the option of doing.

I woke up this morning and took my time getting out of bed. With nowhere to be, I was tempted to just stay home and fall in and out of sleep, but I realized the significance of the day and wouldn't allow myself to let this day go by without some kind of reflection....and without doing something at least relatively productive. I got in my car and made my way onto the West Side Highway. I drove into the city without a specific destination in mind...except for a pit stop to Starbucks and a visit to one of my favorite churches, Riverside Church. I drove around taking in some of the last seasonal sights of the holiday season. I love the city every time of year, but there's something extra magical about New York City during Christmas time....which got me thinking.

I realized today, on the celebration of the day of Jesus' birth, that being in NYC is where I feel most connected to God. You may wonder why a hectic place like the city would make me feel closer to God. I suppose much of it is based on my own personal love of city life and aquatic scenes....Manhattan is the best of two of my very favorite things: the city and the water. The concrete jungle set juxtapose to the Hudson River reminds me of God's presence. The man-made structures somehow seem to fit perfectly against the backdrop of some of God's most beautiful creations. As humans, we are capable of making amazing, awe-inspiring structures. As incredible as they are, they're made that much more beautiful set against the structures and creations that only God can create. No matter how much technology comes along or how many buildings are constructed over the years, there is something about nature....the water and trees and the wind that blows....that reminds you that while, yes, man has come so far and created so much. But God, God has created man. And without God, we'd never know the beauty of any of this. Today I thank God for allowing me to have so many loved ones in my life, but I'm glad to celebrate being home for Christmas...and not just in my dreams.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Taking the X Out of Christmas: II

recycle your christmas cardsImage by timojazz via Flickr
I had originally included this as part of the first blog post regarding my rantings about replacing the word Christ with an X in Christmas, but I thought it would be a little inappropriate to follow that up with something as silly as talking about my here we are at the sequel...a separate, but indirectly related notion of taking the X out of Christmas...or in this case, the ex.

During a recent trip to Buffalo with an ex, I realized that there is really nothing left between us...nothing may be too strong of a word. We do have friendship left, but friendship is the only aspect of "us' that remains. When he had originally asked me to take the trip with him, I was flattered and thought that maybe this would be the breakthrough we needed to figure things out. By the time he dropped me off at my house, I realized this WAS the breakthrough I finally walk away. Nothing bad or earth-shattering happened during our fourteen hour road fighting, no accidents- nothing. It was in this nothingness that I realized that while he's one of my favorite people to watch basketball with or sometimes catch a movie with, that's all it is...friendship. I don't wait by the phone for him to call me. I don't care if I go through the week without seeing him. And I definitely don't have any plans of buying him a Christmas present. This year, I'm taking the ex out of Christmas...and the X.
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Taking the X out of Christmas

Away In A MangerImage by vasta via Flickr
I was initially writing this post about my general bewilderment regarding people taking "Christ" out of Christmas and replacing it with an "X," but I realized I could go in two different directions with this. But since that was my first idea, I'm going to run with that for a bit.

I go through this every year around this time....when people are diligently updating their Facebook statuses with Christmas news, plans, lists, etc. I've even had my own Facebook statutes about this very subject because I'll never understand it. Is it not bad enough that the media, advertisers, and marketers have made the holiday season more about someTHING than someONE? What kind of deals can I get? How many people do I have to buy presents for? Do people really forget what CHRISTmas is about? If you take out the Christ in Christmas...all you have is "mas"....more, more, more...excessive things...but less in terms of the true essence of Christmas. It seems that people only perpetuate this notion of thing-ness, if I may coin a word, by using the term X-mas. And why isn't Hanukkah shortened at all...or Kwanza? Where's the consistency? Ok, that's my tangent on that subject. I feel better now...until the next time I see someone writing X-mas. Happy Holidays!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spandex= Accountability?

SpandexImage by howieluvzus via Flickr
So I'm apparently on a roll with less than inspirational blogs lately, but what are ya gonna do? Anywho...I was recently having a conversation with someone regarding my wardrobe options at the gym. If you know me then you know that I'm a pretty coordinated person...color-wise. My sneakers match my pants, which match my shirt, etc...This is true in and outside of the gym. Aside from the color aspect of my gym wardrobe, I wear mainly spandex. I wear spandex for a few reasons...the main reason is because it's the easiest to move around in. Don't get me wrong, I love sweatpants...but they're not always the best to maneuver around at the gym and they get too dang hot. I reserve sweatpants for every other hour of the least when I can get away with it.

But the other reason I wear spandex is because they offer some aspect of accountability. It takes a certain level of confidence...and wear spandex (at least in terms of pulling it off). So I know that if I want to keep being able to wear spandex, I have to keep going to the gym...and if I'm at the gym, I can keep wearing spandex. It's a bit of a cycle I suppose. But if nothing else, spandex does offer some kind of accountability. Just sayin'.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where Does Weight Go When You Lose It?

Ricky GervaisImage via Wikipedia
I have a photo shoot tomorrow morning so obviously I'm staying up too late and watching television....and blogging. I'm watching Letterman and Ricky Gervais is talking about losing weight, which I can totally relate to as I'm fighting off nerves about how this shoot will go and how I'll appear. It goes with the territory of what I do...I'm hired based on how I look (and how I sound). Accordingly, my feelings about my looks have transitioned to a different place than they once were.

I'm considered a full size model. In all fairness, full size models are very average sizes. I like my body and I'm comfortable with my weight...but being in the entertainment industry, there really is a lot of pressure about your looks. Sometimes I can't submit for certain roles because they're size-specific, which can be really frustrating, For the most part though, I do really like my shape...something that took a little getting used to as I made the transition from a girl to a woman. Being curvy can be overwhelming at first...especially in a society where boys' jeans are marketed to girls. For the most part, however, I've been fortunate to be a curvy girl living in a curvy world...during a time when less than skinny girls are the trend.

But I digress...going back to what Ricky Gervais was talking about that prompted this whole thing. He said that he hasn't really changed what he's eating, he just started working out. That got me to thinking about my latest attempts at weight loss. I work out generally about 5 days a week. I was thinking about what I would look like if I worked out less frequently. My father calls me an eating machine...and I think he may be right. If I could just stick to a steady diet, I may see some further results from all that working out that I do. So where did the title of this post come from? It was another thought that stemmed from the notion of weight loss. I understand that if you get liposuction, your fat actually goes somewhere. But when you lose weight the good old fashioned way, where does it actually go? Weird, right?
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Monday, December 13, 2010

The Ex-Factor

The X Factor (Australia)Image via Wikipedia
I knew it would be only a matter of time before I really got into this subject. It's been like a ticking time that I've made certain comments about, but have never really fully devoted an entire post about. Unlike most people I know, I have an uncanny ability to stay friends, on some level, with almost all of my ex-boyfriends. Most of my friends have the ability (and arguably the common sense) to break things off in a very permanent way when their relationships don't work out. I, on the other hand, am the girl who just can't seem to let go...or is it that they can't let me go...maybe a little bit of both.

When I first started to really actively blog, I had just started dating someone that I found to be one of the most special people I've ever dated. It was a whirlwind romance and everything happened so quickly. But like most romances of that kind, it burnt out almost just as fast...though I never really did completely understand why...but that's neither here nor there, especially at this point. In a recent turn of events, I've been back in touch with this individual...something I thought would never happen after the way things ended. But I guess time has a way of allowing your heart to heal enough to interact with someone who broke it. 

So now I'm at a point in my life that I have all these exes...all of whom have not moved on in a real way. (i.e. gotten married, had children, etc.)...and I'm wondering what it says about the men I choose to date...and what it says about me in general. I'm finally at a place where I'm actively pursuing my career whole-heartedly and barely have time for any kind of real social life. As a result, my love life has taken a backseat to everything else I want for my life...which hasn't gone unnoticed. My parents have recently announced that they've given up on having anymore grandchildren. pressure. 

In a recent barrage of phone calls and contact with a few of my exes, it got me wondering what is it about me that's not quite good enough to be with for the long haul...yet, too good to completely walk away from. Even more than that, it makes me wonder if staying touch with my exes is keeping me from creating a new and meaningful relationship with someone else...and then I remembered the last few people I went on dates with...and all of a sudden, the ex-factor seems to make so much more sense. 
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Friday, December 10, 2010

1st Date Makeup

Too Many BlackberrysImage by Ninja M. via Flickr
So if you know me, you know that I may or may not be mildly obsessed with my Blackberry. But in my own defense, I depend on my phone entirely to do what I do. Accordingly, my phone is usually in my hand...or at least within arm's reach. Aside from getting my casting notices and calls via email, I use my phone for a whole gaggle of other purposes. One of these purposes is to give myself reminders for things I want to blog about. Every once in a while, I'll go to my random list of blog topics in my phone and laugh to myself. Tonight was one of those such nights.

If you've been following me for a while, you may have seen the video I had to do for a commercial submission. If not, I've recently re-posted it for your viewing pleasure. It's a bit of silliness I did with my friend, and fellow actor, Jenn Jacober. While getting reading for a music video, Jenn joined me for some antics and helped me come up with some ideas. Somehow, perhaps because of the fact I was putting on makeup at the time, the notion of first date makeup came up in our conversation. Sorry to the dudes who read may not fully understand.

Do you ever think about the level of care you put into getting ready depending on the situation? For instance, would your preparation time/ intensity be the same if you were getting ready for a first date versus getting ready for a family function? I'm just saying...certain situations just call for that extra sweep of blush and another layer of mascara....ooooh and lip gloss. Don't forget the lip gloss.

I hope you weren't expecting to read something inspirational or uplifting tonight...since all I have to offer right now is a silly blog about 1st date makeup....but I do hope that you have something to put some 1st date kinda makeup on for soon! Until then, I'll go back to my list of blog ideas and write about something more meaningful.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Storage Unit (3 of 3)Image by merfam via Flickr
I just got back from an extra long weekend up north for Thanksgiving. It seemed to be just in time to get out of New York for a little while. I always reach a point when I need to have some kind of catharsis from NYC. Don't get me wrong, there's nowhere else quite like New York. But I have to admit, sometimes I crave little old Rhode Island and the simpler things in life.

Speaking of simpler things in life, here I go again with the luh-luh-luhhhh uh forget it, you know what I'm talking about. If you've been reading my blog for any period of time, you've been with me for some of the ups and definitely the downs on the topic of l-o-v-e. If I spell it out, it's not as hard to say.

It's pretty miserable out today weather-wise...rainy, windy, and just downright scary to be outside. Accordingly, I took the day to clean my poor, neglected apartment. With all the work I've been getting and then traveling, my apartment was starting to resemble a storage unit instead of a residence. I even took some extra time to put out my Christmas decorations so I'm feeling pretty accomplished.

As I threw out a ton of unnecessary paperwork, old magazines, and newspapers, it got me thinking. It doesn't take much to get my brain whirling, but the act of cleaning my apartment made me think of cleaning out other aspects of my life. Lately, I've found certain people and things to be particularly heavy and adding to the collection of clutter that only weighs me down. I simply can't be everything to everyone...despite my best efforts. Accordingly, I'm doing a little extra "spring" cleaning to free my mind and my spirit of all the things that are keeping me from being the best version of me that I can be. I'm not directing this blog at anyone or anything in particular (at least no one that I know that reads this blog)...just airing my brain out a bit as I air out my throw rugs.

You might wonder how any of this refers back to what I started saying about love. Well, if you've read my blog about recycling (aka going green), you'll understand the importance of throwing things away once and for all. And while I'm not quite at that point yet, I feel like I'm at my breaking point one way or another. Will I take the final step in my spring cleaning? I'll keep you posted.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...Image via Wikipedia
Ahhh, the night before Thanksgiving. I just left the city, which was buzzing more than usual thanks to the upcoming holiday. The subway was packed, but people seemed to be in a particularly good mood despite being packed in like sardines. There's something about the holidays the tends to bring out the best in people, but it's also a time that can be challenging for others.

I have a few friends this year who have chosen to play it low key for the holidays, opting out of the traditional routes and seeking solace in more quiet and private settings, keeping to themselves. Being a rather private person myself, I can respect and appreciate that. Sometimes the holidays do more to highlight the divisions in families more than bring them together. I think that many times we place so much emphasis on certain holidays' logistics that we forget the essence of the holiday itself. I've done my best this year to really take the time to focus on what holidays like Thanksgiving are all about....being thankful for all of the people and blessings in my life. And though we reserve just one day of the year to express this gratitude, let us be mindful to do this everyday. I'm thankful for each and every one of you! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

8 Days a Week

Mr. Popper's PenguinsImage via Wikipedia
It's 7 pm on a Saturday night and I'm finally getting settled in after being awake for over 30 hours and working on two movie sets. A few weeks back I had submitted for a 3 weekend gig for a movie called Man on a Ledge, which stars Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Kyra Sedgewick, Ed Harris, and Ed Burns. Shortly there after I was booked for 3 consecutive days on Mr. Popper's Penguins, which stars Jim Carrey and Angela Lansbury. I was so excited to be booked in advance for so many days that I hadn't really thought about what that kind of commitment would mean.
It's now Tuesday and I'm finally starting to feel like a normal human being again. This past week was an amazing experience, but totally exhausting. After starting Wednesday-Friday at about 4:30 p.m. and shooting until between 6-7 a.m. for Mr. Popper's Penguins, Friday I headed straight to the set of Man on a Ledge. I actually ended up being late for my call time for Man on a Ledge because it was not initially communicated that Popper's Penguins would be a night shoot. Had I known that they were night shoots, I wouldn't have submitted for them since I had already committed to Man on a Ledge. I was one of about 20 people who faced the same predicament. It's a lesson learned that I hope to not run into again....for a few reasons. One reason is that it made me look unprofessional, which was my biggest concern. The other reason is because I never got to sleep. I'm still not entirely sure how I was able to not only stay awake, but function on a normal level with zero sleep. I think I was running on pure adrenaline.

With November coming to a close and the holiday coming up, I find myself a little less eager to work as much as possible this week. I'm taking some time to rest up after completely burning myself out and catching a bit of a cold as a result. Just checking in to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and remind you to take some time for yourself! Rest, relax, and try to only work 7 days a week...8 is a little excessive!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Just Add Water!

Instant Mashed PotatoesImage via Wikipedia
So I guess I'm back to talking about love...or lack there of. Working as much I have been has led to a pretty much non-existent love life. I'm certainly not complaining about the amount of work I have lately, but it's definitely highlighted some other aspects of my life that are not quite as bountiful.

Because of the nature of my work, I meet new people almost daily. I'm a huge advocate of the benefits of networking and I'm generally a people-person anyway so I love this aspect of what I do. Amongst the people that I work with, every once in a while I meet a guy that show some level of interest.

I recently was on a set and was giving my number to a friend of mine. The guy who was walking with us made this his opportunity to also take my number...despite the fact it was not intended for him. I couldn't take my number back from him once he got it so I hoped he would just forgot he had gotten it.

I got home from the set that day and got a text. It was him. His first text was harmless so I responded. I try not to be rude...a trait of mine, which usually backfires more than not. Me trying not to be rude led to several more texts. At one point, he started sending me inappropriate and unwarranted texts ranging from wanting to be in a relationship with me to...well. I'll let you use your imagination. I finally wrote back to him and told him to give it a rest.

Despite the fact that I have so little time to meet, date, and start a relationship, I'd never rush into something just to have a boyfriend...especially a creepy one. My past experiences and level of standards make finding someone that much harder, but I know it'll happen when and if it's meant to happen. Until then, I'll try my best to avoid guys eavesdropping conversations to get my number. And just a note to people who think that having someone's phone number is an invitation to prompt a conversation about being in a relationship with's not. There's no such thing as an instant girlfriend...I'm not mashed potatoes.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When Keepin' Up Real Goes Wrong

Kim Kardashian attending Maxim's 10th Annual H...Image via Wikipedia
A friend of mine works security at a few very well-known clubs in NYC. He meets any number of celebrities at these spots. So he called me yesterday to boast that his club would be hosting Kim Kardashian. His phone call was prompted because I had called him earlier in the week when I was freaking out about doing the Kanye West & Jay-Z video for Monster. I guess he thought that would be one up on me. I told him that if Kim Kardashian made amazing music that I loved that I might be jealous, but since she really doesn't DO anything, that I was still the "winner." I hung up the phone with him, shaking my head. It left me feeling a certain way even though I truly am unimpressed by any of the Kardashian girls. Their father is really the only Kardashian who DID anything worth mentioning.

It made me wonder what kind of hope is there for a regular girl like me when there are girls like Kim Kardiashian out there. She's got good looks and the money to keep them going. Where does that leave me? And then I got my answer. The same friend called me again today. He didn't even mention her while we were talking, but I couldn't resist asking how it all went. He said it was horrible. He said that she looked so fake...she doesn't have a single line on her face and that she looks disgusting. And there it was...despite the fact that women think that men want a perfect woman, what they really want is a REAL woman. Accordingly, that leaves me in a pretty good place in the world and gives me hope about people in general. Ironically the reality starlet lacks realness. I love the irony.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lost & Found

Left One BehindImage by nekotune via Flickr
Tonight I lost the bracelet I got from the fundraiser for my friend's father who passed away this summer. I've worn it everyday since I got it- it's the only jewelry I have ever consistently worn. I'm not sure at what point I lost it, but I realized it when I asked the PA on set about a similar bracelet he was wearing. I pulled up my sleeve to reveal mine...only to realize it was one. My heart sank as I looked down at my bare wrist. I had no idea where/ when it had managed to slide off my wrist, but I had a feeling it might have been when I did my wardrobe change for the 2nd scene of the day.

I must've worn the look of heartbreak all over my face because my cast mates immediately asked me what was wrong. I explained to them what happened and somehow got to talking about the last year of my life leading up to the death of my friend's father. They listened intently as I talked about the turbulence of the last year and the strength of my friend.

When we wrapped for the day, one of the women I had made friends with on set suggested that I return to our original holding location to look for the bracelet. I was exhausted and it was a bit of a hike to go back, but I really wanted to find the bracelet. Being so tired, I wasn't paying attention and managed to walk about 5 blocks out of the way back to holding. Undeterred, I made my way back and searched for the bracelet. I look high and low...under the tables, in the bathrooms...everywhere. It was gone.

The PA was coming in as I was leaving. I told him that I couldn't find it and he expressed his regrets about my loss. I looked at him and said, "It's ok. It's just a thing." And for the first time since I can remember, I meant it. I know we say that all the time, but how many of us really mean it? We place such emphasis on things. But it was this very loss of a thing that I got to share something much deeper...the inspiration of overcoming obstacles and the amazing strength of people (as exemplified by my friend this year). And the bracelet that reminds me of such an amazing man who served us so bravely reminded me how important the people in my life are...not the things. In the loss of my bracelet, I found the importance of refocusing my energy on sharing my positive experiences and making the most of everyday.
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I'm Starting My week...after the holidays

Pie eating contest at the Jefferson School, Wa...Image via Wikipedia
Eating machine. That's what my father calls me. He says I take after my mother in that regard. Gotta love the wonders of DNA. As I write this blog, I'm actually baking corn muffins...go figure.

As I've embarked on my career within the entertainment industry, my eating habits have become...well...awful. Since working on sets generally requires extraordinarily early mornings and long hours, I'm generally at the mercy of craft services. And for some reason, I always end up eating like 3 times more when I'm on a set than I would if I was home. Maybe because it's free? I'm not entirely sure of my logic.

I do my best to maintain my workout regimen, which is usually 5 days a week. There are certain weeks that my schedule just doesn't allow me to go to the gym as much...unless I skip sleeping. But for the most part, I'm able to fit at least an hour or two at the gym into my day regardless of how long I work. I try to imagine what I would look like if I wasn't working out to counteract my tremendous appetite. However, it'd be nice to actually look like I work out as much as I do. In order to accomplish this, I think I'm going to finally start my diet...again...tomorrow...maybe.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Single by Choice...or just lack of choices

chivalry is deadImage by Terwilliger911 via Flickr
29...and single. Some days, this is the greatest feeling in the world. I don't feel like I squandered my "good" years being bogged down in a relationship (disclaimer: no judgment on others who found love during this time in their life- lucky you!). Other days...particularly lately...I'm feeling a little of the pressure that comes along with being almost 30 and being nowhere near a stable relationship or a family. On any given day, I usually feel like my "singledom" is a matter of choice. After all, I won't lie...I do have options when it comes to people wanting to date me. I feel a little odd coming clean about that, but I'm sure you know by now, I'm not one to bite my tongue when it comes to being honest about my life. 

The problem is not that there aren't people interested in me...the real problem is that the feeling just isn't reciprocal. I wish that I was interested, but it's just not there. Don't get me wrong, so many people have PARTS of the kind of person I'm looking for, but seem to lack the full package kind of details. And I know what you're're too picky- no wonder you're still single. Well, tell me this...what PARTS am I supposed to be willing to compromise on? I mean really. Some things are super obvious and just too major to overlook. And some things are just against my own personal set of standards. For instance, it's not that I mind that a guy has children or has been married...but for me, I want to be someone's first. I want to be the first (and only) mother of their child(ren)...I want to be the first woman he watch walk down the aisle towards him, ya know? Is that asking so much? Well, the closer to 30 I get, it seems like it just might be. 

Another point of contention (don't judge me) are the car-less. In NYC, I get that having a car is an inconvenience depending on where you live. But a guy not having a car makes me feel like a chauffeur. And maybe picking a guy up wouldn't make me feel like SUCH a chauffeur if maybe they threw me a 5 spot for gas or something. Sure, I'm a woman of the millennium, but there's a recession going on. C'mon! And what happened to chivalry? 

Ok, I think I'm done now. I just felt like I needed to clarify WHY I'm single...since that seems to be the first question when I tell someone that I there's something wrong with being single. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being single...when it's by choice....and even when it's not. But recently someone told me that I was single by choice and it made me realize it's less of a choice lately than just lack of the kind of choices I'm looking for. 

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smoking or Non?

No Smoking SignsImage by Leo Reynolds via Flickr
I quit smoking 4 months and 15 days ago...but who's counting? As a smoker, I always felt like an outcast, excusing myself to slip out and puff down a cigarette. On any given day, I could usually be found with lotion, gum, body spray, mints, etc. I was constantly trying to hide the fact that I was a smoker. Maybe hide is too strong of a word...I was at least trying to counteract some of the gross effects of smoking...quitting obviously would've been much more effective in this regard.

Now that I'm not a smoker, I feel like I'm on the other side of the spectrum...especially in New York City. Every corner I turn seems to be filled with groups of people living my former life, standing outside smoking cigarettes. Now that I don't smoke, it feels like everyone else does. Since I'm still relatively new in the world of non-smoking, I have moments when I don't mind standing in the midst of vicariously through their second-hand smoke. But generally, I really dislike being anywhere in the vicinity of smokers, which is unfortunate since there's no real way to avoid it in the city. Luckily for me, NYC is making it harder and harder to smoke almost anywhere. Remember the days when you'd walk into a restaurant and the hostess would ask, "Smoking or Non?" I'm glad that I'm finally at a place in my life that I proudly proclaim "Non"...but walking around NYC is a lot like those ambiguous smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants, where you're a victim of smoking whether you smoke or not.

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It Ain't Easy Being Green

International Recycle SymbolImage via Wikipedia
Do you recycle? I'm not talking about separating your papers and plastics...I'm talking about dating exes. Depending on who you talk to, everyone seems to have a different answer for or against "going green." For me, I've generally been able to maintain friendships with most of my exes...though there are certainly some exceptions to this. After all, there was a reason you dated them in the first place so it seems that you should be able to maintain some level of friendship, right? On the other hand, there's a reason that they're your ex so maybe it's best to shut the door and move on. Friendship's one thing...but dating is a whole other situation. 

The dating scene is awful. I've been single more or less for about 3 years now and dating hasn't gotten any easier. In fact, it seems the longer I'm single, the easier it is to just stay that way. Of course I have my moments from time to sitting on the subway across from a couple holding hands and making googly eyes at one another. But I usually get a reality check of some kind shortly overhearing someone in a fight over plans they made in lieu of spending every waking moment with their significant other. Ugh. 

A hectic schedule and barely enough time to sleep makes this kind of recycling seem so much easier. You don't have to get to know a whole new person from scratch. That sounds sad as I write it, but it really is true. Does recycling mean that you have to give up getting romanced though in place of something more convenient? I'm not even trying to pretend I have answers to these questions...just throwing them out into the universe and out of my head. Recycling might be good for the environment, but I'm not sure it translates the same in the context of people. 

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'll Sleep...when I'm dead

english: This is the american HBO brand logo. ...Image via Wikipedia
If you can't tell by the title...I'm tired! This has been an incredibly hectic and busy week. I was fortunate enough to be cast to appear on Law & Order: SVU, a commercial for Mega Card (it's actually a Russian commercial), Running Wilde, and HBO's new feature film, Too Big to Fail, which is all about the financial collapse of 2008.

Aside from being tired though...I am so grateful and realize how blessed I truly am. Many of you who follow the blog are also personal friends...and Facebook friends, which means you've been updated pretty regularly about my latest adventures within the film/ television world. All of my latest adventures have included tremendously early mornings, endless subway commutes, long hours, lots of waiting....and I wouldn't change a thing! I am loving this new chapter in my life. I've met so many fantastic people and been a part of some wonderful productions. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to begin this journey. But even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...I'm so glad I finally took that step.

I have a relatively late call time tomorrow morning so I figured I would take an opportunity to reflect on what an amazing week this has been, express my gratitude to all of you who continue to show your love and support, and just relax. I hope that my small success story so far can help inspire you in whatever your aspire to be and do. Take that first step! LIVE while you're'll have plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta...Hold It

Women's public restroom symbolImage via Wikipedia
Not that I'm lacking any ideas for blog posts right now, but I just got home from my latest shoot downtown and I've got some ranting I want to do...for no other reason than it kinda blew my mind as it was happening...luckily it didn't blow my bladder.

I'm a coffee drinker...lattes to be more specific. The magic of coffee is that it seems to exit faster than it enters. Accordingly, I'm used to frequent trips to the ladies room after my latte...or two...or three.Today was a 2 latte kinda day. I got on the subway at Canal Street & 6th Avenue. If you're familiar with NYC, you know that I had a bit of a hike ahead of me back to the Bronx via train. I got on the A train and got off at 42nd Street. I figured since I was in Times Square, it would be a good place to make a pit stop and pay the consequences, so to speak, of my lattes. I made my way to the nearest restroom and it was locked. It was no big deal, I would take the shuttle to Grand Central and use the facility there.

I took the 7 train and walked through Grand Central to the next restroom. Locked. I walked over to a nearby  police officer who was standing on his trusty...his trusty ummm...I can't remember the name of the funny little stand-up bicycle-thing...I tried to google just those words, but nothing came up- man, Google is slippin. Haha. But I digress...when I aked him about the nearest open restroom, he said I'd have to leave through the turnstile to get to an open public restroom....which meant I would have to pay for another subway ride that I had already paid for. When I asked him why the restroom was locked during business hours, he just looked at me and said, "MTA." Ugh. I'm not cheap, but it was the principal that I objected I made my way to the 5 train for my final transfer and home stretch of my journey.

I put my iPod on and tried to distract myself with slow music...I feared anything with an up-tempo might make matters worse. As I approached E.180th Street, I contemplated getting off just to use the restroom. It was the only subway station that I knew had one, but I figured it was probably locked, too...and I wasn't fully confident that listening to slow jams would save me if I had to wait for the next 5 train so I decided to stay on the train for the final two stops and take my chances.

As I tapped my feet frantically to the music during the last bit of my commute home, I contemplated if it would be a legitimate case against the MTA if I ended up with a UTI. As soon as I walked through my door, I ran to my bathroom...which was unlocked. Once my bladder was empty and my mind was more clear, I realized that it would be a ridiculous court would obviously be much more logical to just blog about it. Lucky you.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speaking the Blessing

149th Street – Grand Concourse (New York City ...Image via Wikipedia
I was flipping channels and caught a moment of Joel Osteen (not something/one I generally watch) a few weeks back and he said, "You have a blessing locked up inside of you that's just waiting to be released." Sometimes you just need to speak the blessing in order for it to appear before you. And then a couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of learning just how true speaking the blessing really is.

I worked on a short, horror film a couple weeks back called Green Plastic Sandals. I was on the set for 3 days and met different people everyday I was there. There were a few people who were there all 3 days with me so by the end of the shoot, we were all pretty tight. That 3rd day, I wasn't particularly interested in making anymore friends. In all honesty, I was exhausted and looking forward to getting home so I could put on some sweatpants and sleep. That was pretty much the only thing I had on my mind that day.

I introduced myself to some of the newbies on set, but didn't really hold any conversations with them, preferring to stick with the people I had gotten to know over the last couple days. There was one girl that had mentioned she lived in the Bronx so we briefly talked about where in the BX we each lived respectively....but that was just about the only conversation we had during the shoot.

As we wrapped for the day, I was grateful to be one step closer to slipping into my sweatpants and starting my weekend. The girl from the Bronx offered me a ride to the subway station by Yankee Stadium since it was right by her house. I thought about it for a second and then decided why not...I'll probably get home a lot faster than if I took the train the whole way.

On the way to her car, she mentioned she needed to stop for gas before she could go anywhere. Being that we both live in the Bronx, we had no idea where the closest gas station was. It was the first time I had ever been to Park Slope and everytime I've ever been in Brooklyn, I manage to get lost so I was no help at all. We both got on our Blackberry's (Blackberries?) and started to search for nearby gas stations. She set up her GPS to the apparent closest location and we got on our way. Before I knew it, we had made a giant circle...she had taken a turn too soon and we did a complete 360. I was tired and my patience was wearing thin. For a moment, I considered asking her if she could just drop me off at the closest subway station and giving up on the ride. But almost at the same time that this thought crossed my mind, she said something to the effect that she was glad to have me with her for the ride back. I took a deep breath and settled in. After we asked for directions from someone, we made our way to the busiest gas station I've ever seen. There were cars upon cars backed up, waiting for the next available gas pump. I sighed from impatience...I'm not sure if she realized at this point that I was kind of over the whole thing. Eventually, after careful manuevering, she backed up next to a gas pump and I could feel the tension releasing from my shoulders...knowing that we were back on track and I was another step closer to my beloved sweatpants.

We reset the GPS and were on our way. We started talking and I realized how much we had in made me feel a little guilty for having not spoken to her more while we were on set. We talked about our dating history, our ethnicities (she's Dominican and referred to me as "a white girl with swag"...bonus points for spot-on accuracy haha), acting, music, our families...and somewhere along the line, we got to God and spirituality. I can't remember where it began, but it was the best part of our conversation.

We had similar upbringings and I explained being born and raised Catholic to the transition I made to a Baptist church when I lived in Florida. She had had a similar experience and had stopped going to church regularly because she had found a good church home while living in VA for school and hadn't taken the opportunity to find a new church since she had moved back to NY. I could empathize with this since I hadn't started going back to church regularly until fairly recently. I returned to Iona College where I had faithfully practiced my and was grateful to be back practicing my ministry. I invited her to join me at mass sometime since I figured she might enjoy that particular setting.

Our conversation transitioned back to acting and as I told her about the newness of my acting endeavors, we got back to the notion of God and spirituality. I told her about the last year of my life...about losing my job, the heartbreak the loss of that job had caused me, the time I spent in and out of hospitals due to sick family and friends, the time I took to help my friend plan her wedding, and several other events that I had allowed to de-rail my ambitions of getting into the entertainment industry. I talked about my prayers to God to allow my creativity to be my livelihood. It was a prayer that had become a kind of song in my heart. But in the same breath, I told her that although I had been praying to God, I still felt some kind of disconnect from Him lately. I couldn't seem to feel Him or connect with Him the same way I once had. I was feeling lost...even while the conversation was taking place, I felt the sadness this realization had caused.

In saying all of this out loud, I had an epiphany....right there and then while I was talking to her. And because I was so taken off guard by this revelation, I don't think I even told her that it was just dawning on me. I said it as if I had already learned the lesson. The last year of my life had been dedicated to others...not something I was mad about...just a simple truth. However, all the time and energy I had spent on others were blessings unto themselves. It was a blessing that I had the time to be there for those so dear to me. And all of that positivity and giving had come back to me tenfold. It was now raining blessings in my life...the auditions, callbacks, booked gigs...they were the answers to my prayers. My disconnect with God was because I forgot to look inside myself. It was with God's grace that any of that was possible. I had forgotten that God could be inside of me....I was looking for Him everywhere else. In speaking the blessing to my new friend...I can honestly call her a friend even after such a short time....I had released the blessing that had been locked up inside of me. I got goosebumps as I tried my best to explain this revelation....fumbling over my own words and my excitement at the realization.

We arrived at the subway station and I was sad to say goodbye. We traded contact information and I walked slowly into the longer thinking about sleeping...or my sweatpants. I got on the subway and smiled as I reflected on what had just happened. I got off at my stop and as I walked towards my house, I was overcome and started to weep tears of joy. I had spoken the blessing...and I hope that in sharing this that somehow, in whatever small way, I helped you discover...or rediscover...the blessings in your own life.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grabbing the World by the.....

ARRI-35mm-Kamera-im-DreheinImage via Wikipedia
I missed you! No, seriously...I really missed you! I've been so busy lately that the blog has gone to the wayside. It's been on my mind, but I've been entirely too busy and/ or tired to write anything...and there's certainly been plenty to write about with all the things going on lately. It goes without saying that I have been seriously blessed in the last month or so...things have just been falling into place.

After spending an entire year helping others and being the person that other people have needed me to be, I can honestly say that I'm living for ME for the first time since I can really remember. All of my auditions and submissions have really paid off because I'm actually DOING what I set out to do. I've been booked for small acting gigs (i.e. short films, television episodes, etc.) and a music video. I am having the time of my life...I really couldn't be happier.

I can honestly say that I am a living testament to the fact that you can live your can do whatever it is that you set out to do...and it's never too late to start. I've also learned that there is no such thing as "trying" to do either do it and it works or you do it and it doesn't....but thinking about doing something does not constitute trying. For a long time, I was convinced that if I thought about something long enough that perhaps I could think it into existence. I know how ridiculous that sounds even as I write it, but I'm just being honest. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this thinking.

I have had a constant force in my life who has believed in me more than I believed in myself many times. She has been my guardian angel here on earth, my rock, my second mother, my best friend, and anything I needed her to be at any given moment. It was with such delight that I emailed her and sent her texts about my latest projects. And this blog post is inspired by and dedicated to her...I know I usually keep my blogs (and most of everything I do) relatively PG, but I have to end this blog with the quote that she has instilled me over and over again...even though it's a little vulgar, I can't think of any better way of putting it. I am finally "grabbing the world by the balls"....I highly suggest it!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seasons of Change

Miner's Bay DockImage via Wikipedia
The end of the summer is always the saddest time of year for me. I think of those Countrytime Lemonade commercials with the somber voice-over talking about the final days of the depressing. But what can you do, ya's ending whether you like it or not. This past Labor Day Weekend, I spent less time thining about how sad it was that summer was ending and more time using every waking moment to celebrate those final moments. I spent the weekend with some of my very favorite people...friends and family....oh and food., lots of food.

There's already an autumn chill in the air and summer is unmistakably on its way out. I've held on to every last ray of summer sunshine I can, but the season is changing and with does my life. As I put away my bathing suits, sundresses, and flip flops, I prepare for the coming months of jeans, sweaters, and Timberlands. I'm also packing up my self-doubt, reservations, and fears and slipping into a new wardrobe of confidence, fierceness, and courage....this season's real "it" fashions. Auditions and callbacks are getting more consistent...I feel the change of the season more than I ever have. This new phase of my life is looking more and more familar and feeling more a favorite pair of jeans. Bring it on, fall...I'm ready!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Epic Failure Sometimes Equates to Epic Success

Broadway show billboards at the corner of 7th ...Image via Wikipedia
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Good old Albert. He wasn't kidding! As you may or may not know, last night I went on my first legitimate audition for an off Broadway show. I had less than 2 days to find a monologue, memorize it, and get ready for the audition. I've never had to recite a monologue before so this was all a little overwhelming. I ended up finding an appropriate one about this girl who loves a guy who gave her the bare minimum in return...sound familiar?

I practiced the monologue over and over again. I wrote it out. I typed it out. I recorded it on my phone and played it on repeat. I did everything I could with the little time I had to memorize it. But I guess my nerves got the best of me because it just didn't seem to stick. I remembered most of it, but I would get stuck on certain parts and just lose it. I figured it would click once I got up for the audition...I generally work best under pressure....lots of it.

I got off the train and ran through Times Square. The MTA was full of abnormal amounts of train traffic and a police investigation literally de-railed my commute into Manhattan. I got into the city a few minutes after the audition was scheduled to begin...I pride myself on being punctual, unfashionably early even, so I was already pretty frazzled.

I arrived at the Times Square Arts Center and took the elevator up to the 6th floor. The doors opened and people were sprawled all over the place...leaned against the wall and sitting on the floor with their resumes and headshots in hand. I took a second and scanned the room until I spotted the registration table. I walked up to the table, sweat beads on my face and sweat dripping down my back. The girl at the table gave me a form to fill out regarding availability and had me sign in. I took the form and found my rightful place on the floor. I was happy to have a moment to try to stop sweating and go over my monologue a few more times.

A few minutes later, another girl stood up and announced that they were at maximum capacity and that everyone needed to disperse in various locations while they waited for their audition. I made it to my feet and walked into the stairwell. I found a comfortable step and began reviewing the monologue again. I was still slipping up on certain parts...mainly in the beginning...which is obviously not an optimal point to be messing up. Again, I thought to myself that I handle pressure'll come together when it needs to.

I walked back into the main lobby and took a seat on the floor by 2 younger girls who appeared to be college students based on their conversation. They seemed pretty nonchalant about the audition. They were having a casual conversation about this and that...and then one of them broke out into a Queen song, "Don't Stop Me Now." I tried to read through my monologue during all of wasn't very effective. I looked over at them and thanked them for getting the song stuck in my head and sang part of the song out loud....thinking how easy it is for me to memorize a song's lyrics. We all started to giggle...and then they started calling names for the next group to audition. The 2 girls were I watched them leave, I heard my name get called. I got all my stuff together and made my way into the room where auditions were being held.

I walked into the room and took the last seat available. Seconds after I sat down, my name was called. I was first, FIRST! My heart dropped as I stood up. Those nerves that usually help push me through deadlines and come through in the clutch were nowhere to be found...they were just regular old nerves...that had taken over the lines of the monologue that I thought I would remember. I spoke the first couple lines of the monologue and my mind went blank. I improvised and just started pretending I was talking to the person I thought of when I selected the monologue. But it wasn't all that helpful...all I could think of was trying to get back to the monologue. I went silent and blubbered a few more lines. I apologized and grabbed the sheet of paper with my monologue on it. I tried to salvage what was left, but it was too late. I bombed. I sat back down and listened as the five other women proceeded to recite their monologues...with no problem.

I originally thought of not writing about this experience, but as you know (if you know me...or if you've been reading the blog), I don't have a problem sharing some of my less than glamorous experiences. In fact, it's these kind of experiences that I feel like are the best ones to share. Life is messy and things don't always go as you wish...but that's what makes life...well, life.

I left the audition smiling. I smiled the whole six flights of stairs down into the hot, city air. I walked down 43rd Street and bent the corner onto 8th Avenue...still smiling. Part of me was smiling at the mockery I had made of the monologue...if I didn't laugh, I might've cried. But honestly, the real reason I was smiling was because I had been brave enough to put myself into a situation like that. I've never auditioned for a show before...failing was a minor part of my experience...showing up was the highlight. Never be afraid to show'll always wonder what could've been....and that is true failure.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Standard Text Message Rates Apply

Carrying a BoxImage by pamhule via Flickr
When relationships end, things can go in so many different directions. Many times, there is some period of absolute silence between you and your ex.....strange to think that someone you spent everyday talking to, you now never speak a word. I've almost always been the kind of person who's been able to maintain some level of friendship with exes...which has not always served me well, but that's a story for another time.

Yesterday, the guy I had been dating came over to pick up his belongings. He would've done it sooner, but I haven't been around. We haven't had a legitimate conversation in a long time...last night was no exception. He sent me a text to let me know he was outside...he couldn't be bothered to call me. I sent him one back to tell him to come get his stuff because it was too heavy to carry. He sent a one letter text back, "K."

I answered the door and we didn't even make eye contact. He had his face in his phone and was busy sending more than a one letter text to someone else. I could feel my heart drop to my stomach as I pointed to the box of his belongings. He picked up the box and asked for a pair of glasses he had left in my car. It was the longest conversation we've had in was two sentences.

As I handed him his glasses, still avoiding eye contact, it seemed as if everything went silent. I walked away hearing only my heart beat so heavily I thought he could probably hear it, too. I choked back the tears that he didn't deserve anyway. I think the tears had less to do with him than they did with the realization that I was worse off than when I started with him. I've been single for almost 3 that time, I've done a lot of dating, soul searching, and rebuilding. In such a short amount of time of dating him, I feel like he made me second-guess 3 years of becoming the person I am I was somehow not worthy of the love he promised...the kind of love I had waited 3 years to find. I found myself back at square one...only even more skeptical that I'll ever find that kind of love.

I know that time will heal my honestly already has. And I'm thankful that our relationship was so short-lived. It was as if everything happened in fast-forward so I wouldn't waste too much time. I try to take a lesson out of every single thing that happens in my life...I guess the lesson in this situation is to not let a guy leave crap at your house. Ok, so I might still be trying to learn the lesson from this one...but I'm at least grateful to have an unlimited text message plan. Otherwise, those one word texts would just add insult to injury.
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