April 29, 2006
Stop! Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult!
How did I miss this?!? Thanks, TV Squad. Y'all rock.
April 28, 2006
Best Movie EVER
Okay, actually this was more than the best movie ever. It was like the best late morning/early afternoon date ever. But first the important part: THE BEST MOVIE EVER! (That'd be Stick It! Duh.) NOTE: SPOILER-FILLED POST (you've been warned).
Now, you know I've been looking forward to this movie for a while now. Def Jam Becca MC, KiKi Longpost, and Babes McPhee and I have all been talking about the greatness that we knew this movie would be. And being the best movie ever, it did not disappoint. Like a Christian kid on December 24th, I went to bed early (read: 6am) so that I could get up at the earliest possible moment after Santa had delivered my goodies (read: 10am, to get goin' for the 11:10am showing at the Promenade) and begin tearing through the wrapping paper.
Keith said, "Wake up! Time for your movie." I replied, "This is not just a movie. This is the beginning of my professional teenage gymnastics career." But wait... first there were previews (and really cool commercials).
Did you know that TLC is running a brilliant series of ads that depict life lessons such as the importance of NOT becoming the Crazy Cat Lady, why you should read instructions before using power tools, and how merlot and email don't mix? (Note: I've just realized that movie theatres are like the only place to see commercials anymore, what with TiVo and all. Hmm.) You can even order these figurines (like the one above) or customize them online like I did, below (seriously. That little one below. Click it. Read it. It's so me). Coolest part, in the Crazy Cat Lady PSA they screened before the movie, is that she leaves to go on a date and says, "Okay, you're in charge," to one of the cats. I so totally do that to whichever cat I see last, as we leave the house. Heh.
Okay, so there was also a really great commercial for Coca-Cola (woo) that must've cost a bazillion dollars. This kid is riding his bike through the city streets during an incredibly intense and beautiful parade of many eras and worlds. It's a gorgeous fantasy world that exists as long as he's drinking his Coke. Rockstar. Up my stock, kids. Thanks.
Oh, and before we go into the review of THE BEST MOVIE EVER (Are you totally feeling like you're sitting through trailers for this review? I am.), let me just say that in addition to the must-see Wordplay about which I blogged yesterday, now there's The Heart of the Game. Yup. It's now the documentary time of year for my moviegoing pleasure. I'm in. Totally.
Now, for greatness.
You've been to the movie's site, so you know the story. Hell, you've seen Bring It On, so you know the story. Well, sort of. Seems the film's writer/director (Jessica Bendinger--love that name, like she's a bending-er, like all of these flippy kids she writes about) is also making a political statement about the arcane rules of judging in the sport of elite gymnastics. She does it quite effectively, too.
But not as effectively as she writes coolass lingo. Holy hell, that's some great stuffs. My favorites:
*Dude! Why you always gotta bite my moment? It tastes good?--Poot, when Frank marshes his mellow or kills his buzzOh, but it's not just the quips I love!
*Well if it isn't Pariah Carey.--Joanne, upon seeing Haley's unwelcome return to the gym (BTW, I totally think we need to just refer to Mimi as Pariah from here on out.)
*Come here, rebel without applause.--Coach Vick to Haley, on one of many of her walk-off-in-disgust attempts
*I'm so sure I'm practically deodorant.--Haley about how positive she is she'll nail a particular trick
*(Q): What's a corsage? (A): It's the universal symbol for "whipped."--exchange between Poot and Frank, when facing a prom purchase (No, we don't get to go to prom in this movie, but we do brilliantly, gorgeously, gloriously shop for it.)
*(Insult): Diva! (Comeback): Dee-vil!--our heroes upon entering the gym before Nationals
No ma'am! It's also the New Miss Malaprop on the block! Rock it. This girl has the most lazily written character (she's so NOT the juicy wonderful villain we got to know and love in Bring It On or any other decent movie of its ilk), but it's totally worth falling in love with her just for the malaprops. Wow! Greatness. Just a sampling:
*If you do that, I will have a cardio-vasectomy!I mean, COME! ON! That shit is OUTSTANDING!
*Can we get rid of the long-sleeved leos? We have a constitutional right to bare arms.
*I earned my spots. I'm practically a Dalmatian!
*I don't appreciate your instimulation.
*You got a GED? What does drunk driving have to do with school?
I predict lots of happy fun drugged-up movie-goers really enjoying the phenomenal prescription drug dream sequence and super-imposed bodies flipping and tricking simultaneously. The fun soundtrack includes a song entitled "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me." The sense of humor throughout this whole film is just rockstar. It never takes itself seriously, even when it has its "O Captain, My Captain" moment featuring my favorite flipper: Tarah Paige.
I cast Tarah as Cupid in Still of the Night last year. She's amazing. Her brastrap moment is only one of a few really unforgettable, scene-stealing offerings. That so rocks. Well done, cutie! You GO!
Other favorite items include Polly Holiday (I feel shame that I was certain she had died not too long ago) delivering a great line: "There are a lot of great people who had jerks for parents. We've gotta stick together;" and the Buttahara, probably my new favorite trick.
In the "we're going to nail the point of this movie home" line, Coach says, "Floor it." Keith leans over to me and says, "I thought the movie was called 'Stick it,'" to which I reply, "This movie is all about the subtlety." Keith then snorked. Luckily, there were only a dozen of us in the theatre, so I don't think many people heard.
As we left the theatre, glowing with delight (okay, maybe that was just me), we crossed paths with the "noted" Nolé Marin from ANTM, sans puppydog-on-princess-pillow.
And then we were given free samples of the new Dr Pepper Berries & Cream flavor. My review of that? The creamy stuff is really amazing... and the berry stuff is probably just kind of normal for the nectar-of-the-gods that is Dr Pepper... but there's some little aftertaste. Or perhaps it's just that I don't drink soda, so it's always a big trip for my tastebuds. Not sure.
Finally, after a quick stop into the bookstore for two books that should prep me very well for my big meeting next week (bought on a gift card I'm FINALLY redeeming, even though it was given to me almost a year ago as a thank you for a casting gig), we crossed Wilshire in front of the great Robert LaSardo, whom I wanted to cast in the above-mentioned Tarah Paige movie last year (but he was too busy with a soap opera gig). Anyway, big fan (me). And a great guy (he).
I'm still basking in the afterglow that was my morning with Stick It. I am certain that I will remain inspired to be the best professional teenage gymnast I can possibly be. Training began today. My rips have rips!
I just saw the BEST MOVIE EVER.
In addition to it starring a gal I cast in the last feature film I worked on (YAY! Go, Tarah Paige! You rule!!), it was also just freakin' GREAT!
Oh--and as we left, we got free samples of the new flavor of Dr Pepper AND celeb-spotted both Nolé Marin (sans puppydog-on-princess-pillow) AND Robet LaSardo (another actor I *tried* to cast in the last feature film I worked on).
Major blog entry coming soon with reviews of all things. First, I have to go practice my dismount.
How Whole Foods lost us to Wild Oats:
Dear Whole Foods (specifically Whole Foods at 2201 Wilshire),
I'm a special-needs eater (read: I cannot eat wheat or wheat gluten). And that means that grocery shopping can be a high-maintenance activity, any time I'm branching out beyond fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy. Beyond the very serious allergy issues, there are also picky-eater-type issues of taste. There are things I enjoy more than others, flavor-wise, and when I find something really wonderful that doesn't send me into migraine hell WHILE TASTING YUMMY, I'm going to be your best customer for it. Count on that.
But on Wednesday, April 26th, you lost me. I didn't know you had been replaced until Thursday, April 27th, but I did know for sure on Wednesday that I would not be back to Whole Foods for my gluten-free shopping needs.
See, on that day, my wonderful husband (who is also the head chef around here) went to your store with a fairly typical list of gluten-free goodies with which he was to return home. But when he asked your bakery department clerk, Diego, to help him obtain some Kinnikinnick pizza crust, he was dismissed.
Let me get specific.
You don't actually carry Kinnikinnick pizza crust. You never have, in the four months since I discovered that it exists (and that it is wonderful). But after having called, having been assured it DID exist, and then having driven to three of your other locations--none of them nearby--only to find that it did NOT exist, back in January of 2006, my husband finally decided to ask someone at your store--the one closest to our home--to place an order for the product. And some wonderful employee, back in January, actually did order a case for us, which we bought at a 100% markup from the list price as advertised by the company, because at least you went to the trouble to get it for us.
When my husband asked Diego to please place an order for us again on April 26th, he was scoffed at. "We don't do that," Diego said. My husband replied, "Oh? Well, you've done it for us before. Is there someone I could speak with about placing an order again?" The response was, "We stopped doing that. How long ago did you do it? We don't do it anymore." And then Diego walked away. He was finished engaging in customer service.
My husband called me from the store to ask what the name of the other product was that I'd been looking for. That'd be the Sahale snack blends (for which I've been jonesin' since a week ago, when one of the blends was in a gift basket I'd received). I told him the name of the product and he informed me those weren't at your store either.
Now, this is particularly odd since, on the website for the product, your exact location is listed as one of THREE stores in our area that regularly stocks Sahale Snacks. After my husband's encounter with Diego, however, he chose not to inquire further about any "special requests" (even though this wouldn't be considered "special," since it's allegedly a product you regularly carry).
I knew I wanted to be sure to share my displeasure with you over the way in which my husband was treated in his attempt to purchase something from your store--something we had been able to purchase from you previously (and pay quite a lot for, seeing as it was a CASE of the product, priced at single-serving markup levels)--but it wasn't until April 27th that I learned what my real "problem" was with this whole thing.
See, on the 27th, my husband and I went to Wild Oats (specifically Wild Oats at 1425 Montana) to see if they had some of the items we were unable to find at your store the day before. Now, we didn't find either Kinnikinnick or Sahale Snacks at Wild Oats (and neither product is listed as available at Wild Oats locations, on their respective websites), but what we did find was EXCELLENT customer service in the form of our cashier, Courtney.
As we began our interaction, I asked Courtney whether Wild Oats might be able to order a product for us. She asked what it was and I told her about the Kinnikinnick frozen pizza crusts. She paused and then said, "Oh, yeah! I've heard of that! It's good, right?" When the light bounced off her nose-ring, I smiled, as she was so perky and eager to discuss a PRODUCT (How novel! Right?) with a CUSTOMER. She then proceeded to find out what shift the manager was working the following day (after explaining that the current manager on duty was visiting from another store and probably wouldn't be able to assure the order would go through without a hitch) and suggested that we phone in the morning in order to place any special order we might have.
Now, before you start thinking that she's a "Susie Policy" kind of gal (the teenager who is the Future Business Leader of America type and not just some kid working an after school job), I can tell you that I certainly didn't get that vibe from her. She simply seemed like someone who enjoyed her job enough to interact with those she came into contact with over the course of her shift--and even if she couldn't help us, didn't mind getting information to us on locating someone who might be able to do so.
Perhaps this is as simple as someone in your store (Diego) not caring enough about his job or the customers who shop there to step up and make a difference. Perhaps your corporation is "health food oriented" but not "co-op vibe" in nature and that filters down to your employees. I don't know. And it doesn't really matter to me. What matters is, I'd rather do business with a company that--through its EMPLOYEES--respects its customers, whether they have a debilitating food allergy for which they need special items or not.
Oh, and speaking of which, I noticed little tags ALL OVER the shelves at the Wild Oats store, highlighting "GLUTEN-FREE" products in an easy-to-spot manner. My husband mentioned that the other nearby Wild Oats location doesn't have such tags. Another point in the favor of this particular store. (Don't worry, their letter to the customer service department is on its way--and it's a little lovey-dovey, as we special-needs customers like to be treated with such concern and empathy. So, I'll be letting them know that's WAY appreciated.)
Finally, as we were leaving Wild Oats, I mentioned to Courtney that I had picked up a sample of the cucumber body butter, in case she wondered what was in my hand as I was heading out. She said, "Oh! Those are great! Go back and get the shampoo and body wash too!" So, now I have one each of the lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash samples from Giovanni. Wow! Good customer service is so easy. And it means so much. (And, as we all know... people love free stuff!)
We bought far more than we should have, considering the fact that we were walking home (having only planned to pop in and buy a couple of things), but it was totally worth it and I can't wait to go back to the Wild Oats on Montana again. Oh, and tomorrow we shall call manager Alex and place a very large, very expensive special order. And if it's not expensive? We'll order double. As a thank you. (And as a little bit of an F-U to Whole Foods.)
April 27, 2006
I'm not going to get very deep into a post about this film here, but I just have to say that EVERY TIME I see the ad for United 93,
I bawl. I cry and cry and cry. JUST BY SEEING THE 30-SECOND AD. Say what you will about the zillions of things people seem to need to say about this film, but that's some brilliant effin' trailer-making.
I will come back to this:
I need to blog about a comment from Babes that inspired me: I have quite elaborate, spontaneous fantasies.
A love letter to one of the most endearing traits of my lovey-hubby (and it has to do with his dad-hood).
The lengths I will go to to avoid getting a haircut.
But right now, I have to get ready to go for a walk. Yay!
This has got to be a joke.
Nabbed from Shouting into the Wind.
|You Should Be a Joke Writer|
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.
Oh, and I know that this will be two entries in a row in which I send folks to WWdN, but you seriously need to read this post and remember that the best way to prove you ARE somebody is to be calm, normal, and not batshit crazy paranoid a-hole jaggoff actor-types.
PPS--Anyone ever set up a rather large, non-private Wiki before? Any advice? Thankee muchee in advancee.
Best Quote Ever
Just saw this at WWdN and I love it. I had to share it. I can't wait to use it about me.
I hung up the phone and ran around the house like a hummingbird being chased by a dog that shoots bees from its mouth.Awesome.
Not Quite Geeky, But Trying
I set up a BlogRoll thingy and I have no idea whether I did it right. I did it because I'm OVER Rojo not telling me when feeds are failing and I also want a backup of my feeds for when Rojo isn't accessible. But I'm so seriously NOT tech-savvy about feeds that I'm predicting failure.
Avoiding the Crazies
Day one of operating as a shut-in (which I declared I would become over on Somesuch after dealing with all of the batshit crazy people coming out of the woodwork so far this week) was a huge success, in that I was visited by the greatness that is FWA. I so love my cousin!
I've been having issues with my neck for over a month now. Well, that's not true. A month ago, I had major neck pain (all muscle, all on one side). And now I have it again. So, some women have a menstrual cycle. I have a muscular cycle. And I've been taking Midol to try and ease the muscle pain because I figure, well, the drugs know where I'm cramping, right? Ugh.
When I DO Sleep
I keep having these recurring dreams that take place at school and involve things like forgetting my locker combination, showing up for final exams in classes I've skipped all semester long, not being able to find the classroom because they've renovated the school decades after I've been in it, etc. Does that ever stop? Will we still have school-anxiety dreams at 60? Just wonderin'.
So you LIKE the crazies?
Thank you, everyone, for the comments on the Decisions, Decisions post. (Hell, on all posts, really... because, like CoCo says, everybody loves comments!) I will do my best to craft an exotic, grippingly exciting tale that weaves the best of the most brilliant wonderful actors I encountered and the worst of the most bizarre freakshow actors who tried to "encounter" me this week and make sure that everyone is unidentifiable so that I don't get in (more) trouble. Hmm. Maybe if I make them all real estate brokers or midwives or grocery baggers or something....
But then, really... you have to know they're actors to just hit the BASELINE of what makes them so very... VERY.
Loves Me Some Office Supplies
Okay, so does everyone get as excited as I do about a new, real-wood, freshly sharpened, super-pointy number two pencil? No? Just me? Damn.
Countdown to GREATNESS
I am sooo freakin' excited!!! T-minus 31 hours 'til Stick It!
April 25, 2006
Do I blog about the brilliant, amazing, talented, wonderful, charismatic actors I met at today's showcase and industry panel discussion...
...or the certifiably insane unstable paranoid obnoxious a-hole actors whose messages were waiting for me when I returned home?
April 24, 2006
People are weird.
I know, that's not a groundbreaking piece of information, there, but it's just so very strange to me how obsessed people get about things...
...and then excuse them away as "a part of the creative soul that I am," since--see--without the drama, they wouldn't be able to be as brilliant, as artists. So it's a trade-off.
Mind you, I'm talking about myself here (or at least my younger self). Something really neat about being mid-30s-ish is that I now find it terribly entertaining (and a little sad) watching creative types self-destruct, blame failure on everyone outside of themselves, and then assure you they've got it all under control and will take the world by storm... next time.
I guess watching it is more fun than it was BEING that person, back in the day.
Ah, hell... maybe we're all just a bunch of delicate princess jaggoffs anyway.
April 23, 2006
Hey... you loved that comic about "nothing to say," right?
Big thanks to rattus rattus for the connection!
Happy Birthday, Pamela!
Since I only a few hours ago learned it is the dear sweet Pamela Jansen's birthday today, I HAD to make sure and post about it.
Pamela, you are an inspiring, amazing woman. Thank you for being my friend!
PS--You share your birthday with the lovely Kathryn Johnston (featured in SMFA) and the WildOgre himself, Bill Tarling. How cool that such great actors and FANTASTIC people were all born today?!? Love that!
April 22, 2006
A quiz... and a FUN thing!
Congratulations! You scored 48!
You haven't quite managed to scale the heady heights of geekdom, but I have to admit, you've got potential. Keep working on the Latin. Average Joes tend to be the most popular and successful types though, so don't let your mediocrity get you down. Famous Average Joes include...actually, just about any famous person you can think of.
You scored higher than 29% on geekpoints The Sexy Geek Test written by littlecellist on Ok Cupid
You KNOW you want to!
Best Seven Words EVER
Who's in for a Friday movie date? Like... lunchtime on the Promenade? Word.
That's the Soledad Blend. But from the looks of the website, Sahale Snacks sells a bunch of stuff I'd love to eat. Oh... and what's that? RIGHT DOWN THE STREET at the Whole Foods on Wilshire? Yeah, baby! Yum!
I've been really really really busy (I swear) uploading demo reels to the Cricket Feet server for producers to see (re: casting HILMMAKS) so it's not JUST my weird mood that's kept me from blogging today.
Maybe there will be an entry of interest later. I'll try. I promise. ;) At LEAST a quiz. That's easy enough.
Happy Earth Day! Go hug the yard.
April 21, 2006
Gift Basket! Yay!
Last night, I went to dinner with the producer of a film I'll be casting later this year. One of the themes we came up with, in discussing the project, the reaction actors have when we give away free copies of my books at speaking engagements, her excitement over getting free software in exchange for a contracted service was: PEOPLE LOVE FREE SHIT. It's seriously true.
Well, look at what showed up here today! Wow! I'm in shock! This is soooooo cooooool! I did my little guest speaking engagement over at Argentum (as a part of their Fireside Chat series) and this was their thank you. Wow! So totally unexpected! I am in heaven!! There are even gluten-free goodies in it, so I don't have to give it ALL away. ;) And what a cool picnic basket!! Yay! I'm so so so happy! Giddy even! Yay! Thanks, Argentum! Y'all rock!
April 20, 2006
Need advice from NY actors.
Hey, y'all. Happy Thursday. Any NY actors out there who read my blog, could you do me a favor?
I've been asked (several times, actually) to recommend a Self-Management for Actors that is more NY-based. Having never spent more time in NY than a few weeks at a time, I'm certainly not the one to write such a book (and that's not what these folks are asking), but I'm wondering if there isn't already something out there like my books, but NY-based.
Is there? Lemmeknow. Thanks!!
PS--Meeting about the next feature film I'll cast later today. Woo! Will share details when appropriate. ;) Hee!
Okay, so Keith and I have been talking about home ownership. It's just conversation time, as we need to settle out his financial picture from having lost his house back in Michigan (unless I can, on my own, qualify). Either way, we're just talking. (Same as we're doing about kids. Just talking.)
Anyway, we've begun to look at what homes in our desired area are going for. And, sure enough, we've noticed condos around us suddenly becoming available. Now, we of course want to buy A HOUSE, but... heck... might as well have a conversation about how much condos cost around here, since neighbors are moving and what the hell do they care if we know how much they're getting for their place, when they're moving to another continent?
Neighbor Steve who drives a Miata too is selling his condo (which is the same top-floor 2BR, beach-facing unit as ours, just 100 ft. away and WAY customized) for... one point three million dollars. WHAT?!? Yes. He bought this condo 20 years ago for $165K, put about $200K worth of improvements into it in the past two or three years and now... wow. Just WOW.
We sooooo need to get into real estate.
April 19, 2006
Oh, how I love this universe! Abundance is a beautiful thing!
Received yesterday a cute little teacup filled with precious flowers from a dear, sweet person: Deb Cresswell. PS--She's amazingly talented and brilliantly business-savvy. I adore her, and somehow she thought I deserved flowers. Yay! THANK YOU, Deb!
And last night, we won the lottery! No, not the $265,000,000 big prize... but that's okay. We had our best ticket so far this year: $7. Woo hoo! Yay!
Life, she is good! Argentum Fireside Chat tonight. Hope to see you local actor types there. Fun!
April 17, 2006
Predicting TV Show Success
Most of y'all know that I write a weekly column for actors called The Actors Voice. Well, I wanted to specifically mention this week's column for those of you who (like me) enjoy a little behind-the-scenes calculation about which TV shows will be given the best shot each season. Yes, I'm a big ol' math geek. I embrace that truth.
Ever wonder why some shows (Emily's Reasons Why Not) will be given only one episode to prove themselves while others (Joey) are kept on life support far longer than ratings should allow? Well, there's actually some measure of predicting you can do this time of year to get an idea of what the fall season will look like.
I hope you'll enjoy the piece and share your comments here. Thanks.
April 16, 2006
I have a craving.
It's for something I haven't had in YEARS.
And considering I gave up fast food for 2006 (yes, it's true... not even a case of the hangover hungries can send me to the drive-thru this year), this craving is pretty intense.
If I don't blog again today, you can safely assume the black and white shake (86 the whipped cream--that's nasty) and chili cheese fries with diced onions from Johnny Rockets have, in fact, killed me.
April 15, 2006
Keith's wrap party for season four of CSI: Miami was wonderful. I loved getting to meet his friends from the casting office (and one keyrayzii boss... wow), listen to the interns joke about goosing Bruckheimer (and how much he'd like it), schmooze with TV people, and connect with Sunil Nayer (who wrote a great testimonial for Acting Qs, but whom I'd never met 'til last night).
The best part was--as is a "best" at most TV wrap parties--the gag reels and best-of-season video. The gag reel was effin' brilliant (the kind of thing that would be in heavy rotation on YouTube--with all of the pranks and jokes among cast and crew) and the best-of-season video rocked mainly because Keith's scene made the cut!
When they started the video, I whispered to my finally-no-longer-nervous hubby, "Hey, maybe you'll be in this," which was met with, "No. I didn't shoot with any of the series regulars; just the episode's bad guy and dead guy." So, when his mug was up there on the big screen, I squealed (and I think Keith kind of teared up a little bit).
It was a great night. Congrats on your first network co-star wrap party, honey. You done good! (Tune in for the show May 1st.) Woo!
April 14, 2006
So in love with you am I.
I've only been using it for two days but I way love ToRead. Way.
ToRead sends you the text of a website you want to read later... sends it to your email. So that you can have it with you offline or in your handheld or wherever the heck you want it whenever the heck you want it and you don't have to do that stupid trick that never works very well (for me) which is commonly known as bookmark-a-bunch-of-tabs and (maybe) come back to read them later... oh, but wait, now the page is archived or for paid members only or some other such nonsense. This solves all of that. So effin' cool.
Headed to the season four wrap party for CSI: Miami with my husband the co-star later today. Woo! Excited to support him and meet some of his people. ;) And it's nearby. Again, woo!
I've been spending most of my time finishing my updates to contributions to Judy Kerr's awesome book, Acting Is Everything, fielding pitch calls on HILMMAKS (now that pilot season is over, everyone is getting way antsy on how casting might be progressing--which is slowly, but they don't want to believe that. Agents are all afraid we're missing their people during sessions we're not yet having), working up a column that is perhaps the most business-minded of any I've ever written (way ambitious too), and gearing up for a
meeting lunch with a major player (and I'm about to start calling producer friends to figure out what the heck to expect from this encounter--while Keith begs me to just go in "open," which I will, but dangit I just want to get some idea. SOME).
Five Books I'll Read Again and Again
I was in bed the other morning, looking at my "for pleasure" bookcase (which is the only bookcase allowed in the bedroom, as feng shui dictates work books must remain in work spaces) and came up with a quick list of five favorite books that I will (and do) happily read again. Obviously, I'm not counting any of my books, because much of the reason I read those again and again has to do with editing and updating (and only a wee bit of narcissism). Anyway, I'm now going to take a moment and share those books (and reasons for my great affection) with you. Books are listed in the order I first discovered them.
Click any image for the Amazon.com page associated with the title.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, graduated from high school, and gotten hired as a bartender at Chili's. I was preparing for my trip to Madrid, where I would stay in a model's crashpad/hostel with my lifelong friend Becky Hewes, who had been modeling in Paris and Madrid for the year since she had graduated from North Springs. I had been looking for some good travel reading and "the guy" at the bookstore saw me thumbing through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. He handed me The Tao of Pooh and said, flirtatiously, that he was sure I'd dig it.
And dig it I did! I spent most days in Madrid roaming the Plaza Mayor, visiting with street artists, and reading this little guide to life in terms any lover of the One Hundred Acre Woods could understand. The fact that the first play I ever did was The House at Pooh Corner certainly helps with the endearing level. My notes are scribbled all through the book, which makes picking it back up a pleasure for several reasons. The life lessons (never a Bisy Backson be) are still valuable and the information about how to get to El Corte Inglés makes me smile.
Lovingly, Georgia: The Complete Correspondence of Georgia O'Keeffe and Anita Pollitzer compiled by Clive Giboire. Mom and I used to love going to Oxford Books (RIP) in Atlanta. We'd pretty much make a day of it. After I graduated from college (but just before I moved to Hollywood for the first time), I was looking for books that would help me understand who I was (or who I *potentially* was) as a woman, a feminist, an artist. Georgia O'Keeffe did a great job of helping me GET myself; not through her work, but through her correspondence with a lifelong friend.
I had had similar correspondence with Faith Salie (and continued to, later, when we'd each gone to grad school and again when we took turns living in Los Angeles--but never at the same time until 1999). I never thought of any of our 20-page hand-written letters about our experiences and travails through creative expression and love while being strong, intelligent women as anything special until I read the eerily similar exchanges between Georgia and Anita from nearly 80 years before. Suddenly, living alone for the first time, 3000 miles away from "home," I felt a connection to some purpose. I didn't understand it, fully (and I suspect I still don't), but I sure as hell knew it was right for me to be an artist in Tinseltown.
Sadly, this book is out-of-print (and therefore all the more valuable to my personal library).
Nine Lives: From Stripper to Schoolteacher: My Year-Long Odyssey in the Workplace by Lynn Snowden. Having been driven home to Atlanta by the Northridge Quake and an inability to stay on-task with my Brilliant, Age 23 Life Plan in Hollywood, I was facing the all-too-typical quarter-life crisis, unsure of what the heck I wanted to be when I grew up. That's when I found this amazing book (also out-of-print) from a participatory journalist. (I began reviewing my time in Journalism School to see if I'd missed some cool course, which would've given me permission to write books like this one. No such luck.)
Snowden spent a year living the lives of nine different women (yeah, way before Morgan Spurlock started his excellent series 30 Days), trying on the careers of Skid Row pyro-technician, ad copywriter, publicist, substitute teacher, Vegas cocktail waitress, housewife, stripper, rape crisis counselor, and factory worker. Two things happened while I read this book for the first time. I learned that it is, in fact, possible to have a bunch of different jobs and remain sane (but it would take reading Barbara Sher's I Could Do Anything... If I Only Knew What It Was in 1997 and Deborah Jacobson's Survival Jobs: 154 Ways To Make Money While Pursuing Your Dreams in 1999 to really change my life). And, I began to appreciate the role of the journalist-columnist-author. I'm pretty certain--based on the two journalism degrees, five years of weekly columns, and four books I've added to the world's library--that this book was a big part of laying that groundwork.
I'm beginning to believe that I only ever pursued acting as a means to write about it. And, as I develop the book on understanding casting (for filmmakers), I wonder if perhaps I'll look back and say that I pursued casting as a means to write about that too. Hmm.
Anything by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The book I've linked above looks pretty similar to what I would've read in grad school (but really, you could read anything). Of course, I'd read Emerson's works throughout high school and undergrad, but it wasn't until the early spring of 1995, when I spread out a blanket under the trees in Athens' Memorial Park with my Aussie Love, Dominic Hughes, that I really GOT something meaningful out of essays like "Self-Reliance" and "The Over-Soul." I was just in a very receptive place, spiritually. I'd done a hard reset of my life's plans, surrendering to the purgatory to adulthood that is grad school and becoming quite open to whatever new path might lie ahead.
It wasn't until Bob Brody wrote a review of my second book in which he said, "I swear Bonnie Gillespie is Emerson reincarnate," that I spent a little more quality time studying the dude. While I'm sure Brody was likening Self-Management to "Self-Reliance" (a comparison which I'll humbly accept on the basis of the similarity of title alone), I'd love to think I have it in me to someday be remembered as a leader, a teacher, a philosopher, a poet, a person whose words have staying power. I should be so lucky.
Excuse Me, Your LIFE Is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings by Lynn Grabhorn. The above-mentioned Faith Salie gave this
amazing astonishing book to me in late 2003, right after it had changed her life (which it then did mine). Definitely heavy on the touchy-feely, Wayne Dyer/Deepak Chopra/Caroline Myss scale, the late Lynn Grabhorn did a wonderful job bringing that woo-woo to a more accessible level. I know that is true because of the response others--to whom I've given copies of this book--have had. Cynics have become believers. Eeyores have become Tiggers. Those without... suddenly have.
The Law of Attraction is real. Keith and I are living proof of that. But just as yoga, feeeeeeeeling good (or buzzing, as Grabhorn also liked to call it) is a practice. Sometimes the overwhelming humanness of us overtakes what we've read, learned, and experienced... which is why this book is such a frequently re-read one in our home.
So... what are your happy re-reads?
April 13, 2006
If you're married to a Keith, this conversation won't surprise you.
Keith (upon coming home from the market with a gallon of milk; more milk than we'll be able to consume before it spoils, typically): It was a dollar cheaper than the half-gallon size.
Me: We'll never be able to finish that whole thing!
Keith (pulling a large package of cookies from another bag, triumphantly): Ah! That's why I bought cookies!
Me: To save a dollar on the milk?
Keith (deer-in-headlights look... then): Uh-huh! That's my logic and I'm stickin' to it!
What's Your Theme Song?
|Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC|
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"
Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!
April 12, 2006
Elitist: The Video
Okay, gang. You asked for it. You got it! Rebecca Romijn as skewered by David Spade, after her appearance on The Tonight Show.
April 11, 2006
This is where it becomes clear that I do nothing but post articles about stuffs that shouldn't be happening.
< Ali> Word < / Ali >
Corey, Corey, Corey
Okay, seriously, I'm blogging as if I have no life of my own. Believe me, there will be news here before too long. I've been doing a casting consultant gig, I'm gearing up for the next SMFA seminar, and How I Lost My Mind and Killed Myself is about to take off in the major way that most actors are looking forward to (read: shifting from the name-offer status to actual casting sessions). But not today.
Today, I must share another of the ridiculous Corey quotes (Can YOU count the grammatical errors?) and let you know that tomorrow I shall post about a raccoon, a shrimps, and a link to video of the Romjin interview. Yeah, baby.
The evolvement of my career has always been kind of a wonder and a mystery to even myself.Seriously, kids. Stay in school. And hopefully a school where the teachers know something. Wow.
April 10, 2006
Revisiting Rebecca Romijn, the Elitist
Holy bejeebus has my blog traffic spiked since I posted the transcript of the Rebecca Romijn interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as brilliantly interpreted on The Showbiz Show with David Spade! So, here's some info you may like, searchers...
While Rebecca Romijn's appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (originally aired on Friday, 31 March 2006) has likely already rerun in that lovely 2:05am slot that features week-old episodes on NBC, I noticed that she will be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC tonight. That's 12:05am tomorrow, technically.
Let's see... will she extract her foot from her mouth or cram it deeper inside? Place yer bets, folks!
The brilliant episode of The Showbiz Show with David Spade that I transcribed at this earlier post is rerunning TONIGHT on Comedy Central at 7:30pm/10:30pm and 9:30pm/12:30am (check local listings). Sooo... perhaps some wonderful person who loves to YouTube will grab it like this guy did with the previously brilliant bit David Spade did on Vin Diesel's talk show appearances. If you haven't seen it, go enjoy. And remember, actors... you should TRY to sound natural and unrehearsed when you do your big talk show visits.
Ah, showbiz. I love it so much!
Class of '88
Nabbed from MCJ.
Your senior year in High School is supposed to be "the best year of your life." Let's see how much you remember:
1. Who was your best friend? Candy Klein, who was away at college. God bless the Delta dad and long weekends at CMU.
2. What sports did you play? I was more of a mathlete than an athlete. I did, however, letter in sex.
4. What kind of car did you drive? 1980 Toyota Celica... "The Hatchmobile."
5. It's Friday night, where were you? Getting into some sort of trouble with my guys (the Greenstein twins and Avi, plus Snoopy and Pigpen, if they were in town).
6. Were you a party animal? 100% drug-free, but I did have a few nights of drinking (and by "a few," I do mean like single digits for the whole school year).
7. Were you in the "In Crowd"? Yeah. I just didn't realize it at the time.
8. Ever skip school? Oh, hell yeah! It was senior year! Duh!
9. Ever smoke? Not senior year. I was seriously good.
10. Were you a nerd? Was then, am now. Proud of it!
11. Did you get suspended/expelled? Ooh, came so so so very close! The story of how I was either going to receive an F in YEARBOOK, not be allowed to walk at my own graduation, or do a public apology in front of the entire senior class for having been drunk with power earlier senior year is still legendarily comedic. I'll tell ya some time over drinks. It's a great story.
12. Can you sing the Alma Mater? North Springs has an alma mater? Hmm. Who knew?!?
13. Who was your favorite teacher? Senior year? Hmm. Gosh, I guess my Spanish teacher, whose name escapes me right now. Man... that's sad. Well, most of the high-impact teachers I had were from earlier on in high school.
14. Favorite class? Trig/Analysis/Pre-Calc/Calc. Yes. Big geek. LOVES me some math.
15. What was the name of your school? North Springs High School. Go, Spartans!
16. School mascot? Oh... um... Spartans.
17. Did you go to Prom? Three times. Good fun.
18. If you could go back and do it over, would you? Nope. I'm good.
19. Favorite memories of your Senior Year? Doing the morning announcements with Keith Greenstein and Chip Thompson ("Good mornin' North Springs!"), doing Miss Aphrodite (again) with Faith Salie, nailing my SATs, working three jobs after school and on weekends, and nearly being thrown out of school over one of many "Bon takes a stand"-isms in my life.
*giggle* That was fun!
April 9, 2006
I'm down with that.
April 8, 2006
That is all.
April 7, 2006
We see a lot of odd stuffs in our 'hood. But the guy who comes in the wee hours and poops in the yard between our building and the building between us and Wilshire has now been named Magoogahpahpah.
I said to Keith, "I can't post this. It makes me look bad." And he said, "Say I said it. It's okay if I'm an asshole."
And, well... I guess he's right. We've learned (this week, especially) that actors can be assholes. Bless 'em. They still earn scale.
Of course, David Spade makes this topic screamingly funny on his brilliant Showbiz Show with David Spade, but in case you missed it (or can't catch it in reruns on Comedy Central), I'll do my best to capture the moment.
David: Promoting her new show "Pepper Dennis" on "The Tonight Show," Rebecca Romijn made the unfortunate mistake of telling the "I'm too good to eat lunch with regular people" story.Rebecca: They broke us for lunch and I'm like, "Okay, so which way to the catering tent?" And they were like, "Yeah, you're going to have to get your lunch over there," and they point at the commissary--which is a fancy word for cafeteria.
David: Hmm. Is it just me or is this story coming out wrong? Hopefully she'll turn into the skid.Rebecca: And it was crowded. It was like all the crew members and the background artists which is another fancy word for extras.
David: Oh my God, you had to eat with your co-workers? I did that once. It was effin' horrible. What a nightmare!Rebecca: I ended up in the fajita line, hoping that I would make it to the front of the line before they ran out of the dried-up meat that they were cooking.
David: Y'know, I'm sure the guy serving your lunch will make sure your food is nice and moist from now on.I think the thing that makes that whole sad story from Ms. Romijn so screamingly sad/funny is the way she cupped her hands around her mouth like she was whispering something like "cancer" near someone who would freak out upon hearing the word... and she did it twice.
The words she "cup-whispered"?
Careful, honey. You don't get to BE an actor who eats at the "cafeteria" without enduring the "extras" who make it look like your shows and films take place in some real world (yes, even X-Men employs background artists). And I think that "crew" you're so offended to eat with... yeah... they really aren't the people you want to piss off with your elitism. They're Teamsters.
Request for Info
Quick request of those of you in the industry who've been through the process of courtship by an entertainment attorney. Could you make contact with me, let me take you out for a cocktail, and allow me to pick your brain about what to expect from a "let's do lunch" meeting at a pretty freakin' high level? That'd rock. Thanks.
April 6, 2006
How We Work
Okay, so Keith's having trouble getting work done today. Why?
Well... fatass Archie has a new favorite spot.
PS--Next entry is number 1111 at the BonBlogs. I'd better make it a good one!
Save Our Shows
Have you voted in the annual "Save Our Shows" campaign? Please strongly consider shows with which my buddies are involved: "Commander in Chief" (Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Steve Tom), "Sons & Daughters" (Fred Goss, Alison Quinn, Greg Pitts, Dee Wallace-Stone, Nick Holly), "The King of Queens" (Victor Williams), "One on One" (Camille Mana), and "Reba" (Melissa Peterman).
My Old School's Goodness
I'm pretty much always proud of the fact that I earned two degrees from one of the best Journalism Schools in the country.
I also really love any chance I get to mention the fact that I was the first ever recipient of the Dr. Worth McDougald Broadcast Pioneers Scholarship. Dr. Worth McDougald, of course, was the long-time director of the Peabody Awards and--much more importantly--was almost my grandpa-in-law.
...that there is speculation as to whether Katie is even pregnant?
I really don't pay enough attention to this type of stuff. Or is that a good thing?
Neat story: Why it pays to be nice to the casting director.
Not cool: my blog right now. I'm bored. Yawn.
Sources say Keith's CSI: Miami episode airs May 1st. And that he's been in promos airing on CBS already this week. Woo! (Thanks for the tip, Liz!)
April 5, 2006
I think I got it.
Okay, in just ten days' time, I've had a couple of pretty significant confrontations with people who don't (or won't) own their feelings in public. And somehow, this offends me. I think I've figured out why.
I'm a big fan of "living out." I have been inspired to be "out" about my damage (and my gifts) ever since ending my ten-year prescription drug addiction eight years ago. It's like something inside me decided I could not, and would not, ever live with a secret (shadow self) again. And so I don't. If I feel strongly about something, you know it. I show where I'm broken and I show where I'm strong. And I think that's why I'm offended when others don't live like that. Offended? Is that the right word? Not sure.
So, what does any of this have to do with Domino's Pizza?
Remember that urban myth from the '80s about Domino's Pizza's profits going straight to Operation Rescue? Boy, I do. I remember friends in high school who refused to eat Domino's Pizza because they knew that their pizza dollar (or even their willingness to eat a FREE piece of Domino's pizza) lined the pockets of those who staged the most obnoxious and violent of protests outside Planned Parenthood (even those locations that only covered family planning and exams, not abortions). I remember then thinking, "Hey, if you want to 'fight' Operation Rescue, go down to Planned Parenthood and volunteer. What the heck is your pizza choice going to do about anything?"
Well, a few hours ago, I noticed that there weren't nearly enough signatures on the petition to end the private auctions of shirtless boys' headshots on eBay, so I posted the request for support on several of the actors' web boards I frequent. Within moments, I got an email from an angry visitor to one of those boards who--get this--refuses to sign the petition (even though he agrees with its principle) because the website run by one of the sponsors of the petition includes an article about the realities of going FiCore within the actors' union.
The thing is, instead of just choosing NOT to sign this petition because of this other issue, he chose to TELL ME about why he wouldn't be supporting this cause. THEN HE ASKED ME TO KEEP THAT CORRESPONDENCE PRIVATE.
I wrote back and basically said, "Look... sign the petition. Fine. Don't sign the petition. Fine. But to feel strongly about your reasons to not sign the petition and then NOT want to share those reasons in public, but instead privately to me, well... that's just bizarre. If you don't feel strongly enough about this to be OUT about it in public, I certainly don't see the reason to come out about it to ME."
Okay, done. Thing is, his email stayed with me. I couldn't figure out why this guy got under my skin so. I mean, so what? If I really don't care whether he signs the petition (much less why he does or does not do so), then why do I care that he needed to be so righteously indignant... in private to me?
Ah, yes! Now I get it. It's the same reason I got so weirded out by a very dramatic phone conversation Monday morning. Someone who is livid about something I never wrote (but that he somehow read, interpreted, projected) in my column wanted to tell me all about how he felt... but didn't take me up on my offer from last week, where I basically GAVE HIM the rebuttal space in my next piece, should he choose to take it.
It's not that these folks mind disagreeing with me. It's that they don't want to do it IN PUBLIC.
Keith says that's probably due to the fact that they know they couldn't win an argument with me and wouldn't want to be embarrassed. Look... I don't even see it AS an argument. These are people who want to fight about something that has NOTHING TO DO with what I've said or done. They have issues with things that somehow got triggered by something I said or did... but actually don't relate AT ALL to me. So then why do they want to fight with me? And why are they more frustrated when I shrug and ask, "So, what do you want to have happen, here?"
Hmm. Probably because what they WANT is for me to engage them in a fight about the issue THEY have. I'm just not going to do that. Whatever is going on in their world is about them... not me. And I can't fix their perception that something I did "started" this "whole thing" (which I see as a non-thing).
I guess the moral of the story is this: BE WHO YOU ARE whether you are in public or all alone. And that person, that YOU, shouldn't look different in either setting. It's all the same YOU that the universe sees, no matter what.
And... if you have a problem with what Operation Rescue does outside of Planned Parenthood, go to Planned Parenthood and take it up with the Operation Rescue people. Don't boycott Domino's Pizza, cuss out the guy who works at the franchise, or throw yourself in front of the delivery guy who's working for minimum wage and tips after school.
April 4, 2006
Lots of work. Amazingly productive. Swirls of activity that inspire and floor me.
Followed by a tiny smack to the ego, a disproportional emotional crash, and the overwhelming thud of sleepiness.
At least this pattern has become predictable.
Figured I'd blog about it since I'm nothing if not open about my process. Perhaps it may help someone to know that even those of us on the path to world domination get the funk from time to time... and then choose to go to bed. Right, CoCo?
Yes, even insomniacs hibernate every now and then. ;) It's fun! G'nite. Zzzzz....
Is It Just Me?
Or does everyone still do the "A-B-C-D-E-F-G..." twist of the stem before biting into a yummy apple, using the letter of "break off" as an indicator of the initial of future spouse? I mean, I've been married for ten months now (almost) and I still twist the stem off to find out who I'll marry. This morning: G is the magic letter. Sorry, Keith.
Okay, so this is going to be a way catchupy post. There is so much going on.
Apparently, my talk at SAG was pretty rockstar. Now, I've done a lot of talks at a lot of places for a lot of actors. They're always good. (That's not me being obnoxiously over-confident, it's just true. I'm a generally fantastic public speaker.) But this one was just pegged-to-the-wall perfect on about every level. No idea why, but the group assembled (170 RSVPs, plus waitlist) was just READY to laugh. READY to learn. READY to be inspired by something I said at some point. It was really awesome.
I started my time on Miracle Mile with a lovely solo dinner at Marie Callender's: a tuna melt 86 all bread-type stuff and a glass of Ferrari-Carano. Yum! My waiter saw me reading (and annotating) a script and asked about it. Natch, he's an actor and will be submitting on the film I'm currently casting (which is not the script I was reading at dinner). That's always fun. That's twice in two nights I've chatted up a waiter type about coming in for something I'm casting. It's LA, right?
Well, one of the items on my plate at dinner that I didn't eat AT dinner was a lovely little red apple. I just had it for a wee-hours snack. Yum!
Okay, so... I didn't want to scoop KiKi about our IRL meeting (and dinner with Keith and KiKi's PAM), but he's blogged about it now so I can say: WHEEEEEEEEEEEE! It was so cool! And he TOTALLY wore one of the red shirts (still not sure which one). We really were all over each other with giggles and comments and crosstalk and tangents. He's right, it'll be even better when we meet up again and have a little more focused energy on... well... just about anything. ;) Focus was just NOT our priority. What fun!
Y'know what else is fun? Receiving an email from the director of one film I cast, who was in Florida for the film festival screening and Q&A for said film. She also happened to catch screenings of other films at the festival, including another film I cast. She didn't know it was a film I cast until my name came up in the final credits, at which point she said, "Of course. Another great Bonnie Gillespie cast." And she emailed me to say so. What fun! Maybe I'm competent as a casting director after all. Yay!
Okay, back to work. Oh, but first, a comment I made over at an actors' web board that was met with much love and applause:
If you play the odds, there's no reason to attempt this career.< Ali >Word.< / Ali >
If you live your dreams, there's no reason NOT to give it a shot.
If you like to analyze your chances... well... that's actor mind taffy, plain and simple.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
April 3, 2006
Too busy to actually post (speaking to like 175 actors at SAG in a couple of hours, dealing with drama--real and imagined--from others, all while doing the actual job I have to do... y'know... casting a movie), so here are some links and non-linked update stuffs.
Darwin Funny: flat-screen TV scam.
More Internet Survival: Geek to Live, which reminds me of a quote Keith found on one of his gaming sites (something about arguing on the Internet being like competing in the Special Olympics... sure, you can win, but you're still "special").
Writing for TV: when staffing season begins.
Pitching: details on a pitch.
Activism: seriously, go sign this petition to get headshots off eBay. *shudder* (See my post at HHH for gory-gories.)
Haven't done the rounds at the blogs yet today... did get a call from Argentum, which has booked me for an upcoming Fireside Chat. "Queen of Cactus Cove" is at Method Fest tomorrow (woo!) and the Atlanta Workshop Players will be here for a talk with me and a favorite agent (Robin Spitzer of Origin) and a favorite manager (Kathy Colorado of Unique Artists) on Wednesday. Way cool fun... I'm just too busy to write about it all, lately.
BTW, how am I supposed to get from the Westside to SAG without encountering UCLA traffic? Ugh. I need a nap.
Oh, and Lydia, you get to the site that does the fake movie posters by clicking on the linked text below the one poster I included in that blog post. ;) Have fun!
Junk on the Trunk
In true "lemme show ya how it's done, sister" fashion, Salema took a roll in the 'nip in front of Thwok.
And struck a couple of poses.
You go, girl!
April 1, 2006
Not new, but...
seriously one of the funniest things I've seen about the whole navel-gazing navel-gazing that is blogging.
Number one best piece of advice: GO OUTSIDE. Sheesh!
PS--Keith has named one of the shrimps Leon. Which one? "The big one," says my loving hubby. Yeah. He's weird.