February 28, 2007
Didjy'all See This?
Be logged out of your IMDB-Pro account and click here for the real deal.
Benefit for Bringing Uma Home!!!!!
LA WEEKLY PICK OF THE WEEK: "His exceptional story of illness and recovery is a stirring testament to our shared humanity, in all its pain and victory..."
Tickets are $75 and may be purchased at eBay.com.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO "THE UMA FUND"
Uma Nithipalan is a vibrant, snarky, funny, loving, 27-year-old woman. Theatre critic Rob Kendt called her "one of LA's essential theatre actors" after she was last seen onstage as Vanya in the Evidence Room's production of "The Cherry Orchard." On January 30th, Uma flew out to New York City to visit her fiancé John, a musician who was in the city for a gig and who had proposed to Uma on Christmas Eve. The next morning, Uma had a series of seizures. Fortunately, she was with John and he was able to get her to St. Vincent's Hospital, where they discovered she had a brain aneurysm, which had burst. By that afternoon, they had coiled the aneurysm, but Uma was in a Stage 5 coma and the doctors told us Uma would either die or remain in a vegetative state the rest of her life.
That was a month ago. Since then, Uma has had a truly miraculous recovery. She has had many ups and downs--including a stroke--but despite what the doctors told us on that first day, her health and neurological condition improve every day. On Day 13, she opened her eyes for the first time; on Day 15, she started focusing her eyes on us and really waking up. Since then, she's been trying to talk (the tracheostomy in her throat prevents her from making any sound, but she is TRYING), she's been trying to move the right side of her body (this is the side of her body that was affected by the aneurysm and has shown only limited movement, but there is SOME movement), she's been smiling, she's been frowning, she's been rolling her eyes at us when she gets annoyed, and she's been laughing at (some of) our jokes. She's also been getting frustrated at her inability to communicate as she becomes more aware of where she is and the journey ahead of her.
Now we need to get Uma home and we are raising money for an Air Ambulance to transfer her to a neurological rehab facility in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Uma doesn't have health insurance, so it's all a bit costly, but the generosity and love that people have shown has been amazing. This morning, John was at Uma's bedside and he started explaining what we're doing to get her back to LA. When he mentioned that the Air Ambulance was going to cost upwards of $20,000, Uma started crying--afraid that would be impossible. But John told her not to worry, that hundreds of amazing people--friends, family, strangers--have already donated thousands of dollars and that we would definitely get her home soon. And then Uma smiled and cried again, this time out of joy.
When David Nathan Schwartz--himself a survivor of brain trauma--read about what Uma's been going through, he offered to help, and we couldn't be more grateful. Please join us this Sunday, March 4th, at 7pm, for a ninety-minute benefit performance of David's acclaimed one-man show. It's funny, it's moving, it's in honor of Uma and all who have beaten insurmountable odds. Stay after the show and drink some wine with us!
"In his triumphant one man show David Nathan Schwartz seamlessly guides us through his tour of hell... witty writing and a brilliant performance..."
For more info on "My Brain Tumor," please visit MySpace.com/MyBrainTumor.
If you want to help but can't make it to the theater on Sunday night, please visit TheUmaFund.blogspot.com to find out more about how you can help Uma.
Seating is limited, so please book your tickets now!
What: My Brain Tumor: A Mind Expanding Comedy
When: Sunday March 4th at 7pm
Where: ELEPHANT LAB THEATRE, 1078 North Lillian Way
(At Santa Monica Boulevard, One Block West of Vine)
Los Angeles, California 90038
Why: For Uma!
Touched. Inspired. Moved. THANK YOU.
Where do I begin?
I have so much emotion about the outpouring of love, vibes, well-wishing, prayers, and donations that have come in for our lovely Uma in such a short period of time.
And in a dozen hours or so, I'll be rolling out a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about a major fundraising event that is a mitzvah on the part of an amazingly talented actor friend. OH, HOW I LOVE THE INTERNET!!
As I keep an eye on the Uma-Meter over at TheUmaFund.blogspot.com, I am in awe. I see the names of friends and loved ones who I know would reach out to take care of me if ever I were in need... and they're all reaching out and taking care of Uma... because her story is so touching and they all want to see OUR friend come home.
It's like we've all adopted Uma (and she is sooooooo going to kick our asses over all of this fuss). I sincerely cannot wait for her to bust our chops about it all. Bring it, Urp. Bring it!
February 27, 2007
Dear, sweet waitress at Beechwood.
Yes. I am over 21.
Thank you for asking.
February 26, 2007
Raising Money To Bring Uma Home!
This email is going out to all of Uma Nithipalan's awesome friends and family (and friends of friends):
Uma should be able to move out of the New York ICU and into a neurological rehabilitation facility within the next two weeks—possibly as soon as this week. We are planning on moving Uma to a rehab facility in California so she can receive the best neurological care possible, be near her friends and family while she goes through her rehab, and be eligible for Medi-Cal disability insurance. We are close to finalizing her rehab facility, and will let you know as soon as we know. Thank you to everyone who has helped on that end. Uma has received so much love and support, and we are all incredibly grateful for it.
I'm sending out this email because we now need to arrange for Uma's safe transport from New York City to California. Because of her still-fragile medical condition, it looks like we must book an Air Ambulance with a nurse escort that costs approximately $20,000. We're hoping to raise this money in the next week so John doesn't have to put it on a credit card. I'll explain how you can help out in a moment, but first, in case you don't know all that Uma's been through this past month, let me backtrack:
Uma is a smart, mischievous, funny, irreverent, snarky, deeply passionate 27-year-old woman. On Tuesday, January 30, Uma flew out to New York City to visit her fiancé John, a musician who was in New York for a gig and who had proposed to Uma on Christmas eve. Uma's usually the type of person to take her time before making any big decisions—if you watch "Grey's Anatomy," Uma is very Cristina Yang—but this was a moment that I think Uma was secretly hoping for, waiting for, ready for; she said "yes" to John immediately and then started calling her closest friends. I've never heard her sound so happy. John has been by her side at the hospital since this happened and he will be with her every step of the way as they continue on this journey.
Early in the morning of Wednesday, January 31st, Uma had a series of seizures. Fortunately, she was with John and he was able to get her to St. Vincent's Hospital, where they discovered she had a brain aneurysm, which had burst. By that afternoon, they had coiled the aneurysm, but Uma was in a Stage 5 coma and the doctors told John that Uma was probably going to die or remain in a vegetative state the rest of her life. That was a scary freaking day. BUT:
That was 27 days ago. And Uma has repeatedly confounded her doctors (in a good way) since that scary freaking day.
Uma has had many ups and downs this past month—including a stroke—but despite what the doctors told us on that first day, her health and neurological condition continues to improve. On Day 13, she opened her eyes for the first time; on Day 15, she started focusing her eyes on us and really waking up. Since then, she's been trying to talk (the tracheostomy in her throat prevents her from making any sound, but she is TRYING), she's been trying to move the right side of her body (this is the side of her body that was affected by the aneurysm and has shown only limited movement, but there is SOME movement), she's been smiling, she's been frowning, she's been rolling her eyes at us when she gets annoyed, and she's been laughing at (some of) our jokes. She's also been getting frustrated at her inability to communicate as she becomes more aware of where she is and the journey ahead of her.
She is showing us many signs of Uma-ness. Every day is like a little miracle. The doctors are weaning her off of her ventilator, as well as weaning her off of all of the other tubes and machines that she's currently connected to. This is all very exciting.
And now we need to get Uma home. Any help you might be able to offer would be incredibly appreciated. We have already raised $1,000 (and THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who have already made donations to Uma) and I feel like we can raise another $19,000 easily. If we can find 950 people who would be willing to donate 20 bucks, then boom: we've made our goal. And if I've learned anything in the past month, it's that anything and everything is truly possible. Dream big, live big, HOPE big.
If you can donate more than 20 bucks, that's awesome and amazing and much appreciated. If 20 bucks is way too much for you right now (and believe me, I know the feeling), even a five dollar donation would help. Thank you in advance. We couldn't do this without all of your love and support and visualizations. You are all rockstars.
We are collecting donations via PayPal. If you don't already have a PayPal account, please follow the simple instructions (listed below) to open an account. It literally takes 1 minute. Then click on the SEND MONEY tab and send your donation via John's email ( email@example.com ).
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO ON TO ANYONE YOU THINK MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP.
I've posted a fundraising thermometer at http://www.theumafund.blogspot.com , so you can check on our fundraising progress. I will update the thermometer daily. Let's get Uma back to California!
much love and gratitude,
Erik (and John)
HOW TO OPEN A PAYPAL ACCOUNT:
(My grandmother asked for "explicit paypal instructions," so I'm going to make this as easy as possible.)
1. Log on to http://www.paypal.com/
2. Click on the "sign up" button at the top of the page
3. Select "personal account," select which country you live in, then click on "continue"
4. Enter your personal information, choose a password, then click on the "I agree, create my account" button at the bottom of the page
5. You will receive an email from paypal. Open the email, click on the link, enter your password, and voila, you have a paypal account. (See Grandma? Very easy.)
THEN, TO MAKE A DONATION:
1. Click on the "send money" button
2. Enter John's email in the first box ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), the amount of your donation in the second box, in the "category of purchase" box you should select "cash advance," and then fill out the other boxes as you please. Then hit the "continue" button.
3. Enter your credit card info and billing address, then hit the "add card" button.
4. Then you should be brought to a page that has your "payment details." If everything looks good, click on the "send money" button, and you're set. Paypal will then send you an email to confirm that the payment went through.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
February 24, 2007
My husband's disorders.
I love my husband. Yes, yes I do. (I'm still amazed, daily, that I even got married, as that's SO not my thing. But whatever. I dig this boy and he's stuck around longer than anyone else I've shacked with--and believe me, I do my best to scare the boys off within a year [and I usually succeed].)
Keith has a couple of disorders that I must share, as maybe someone out there can commiserate and advise.
Keith will always: vacuum the floors (Yay!) and then take the vacuum cleaner back to the closet in which it lives. And park it. Right outside the closet. Seriously. Like two feet and a tiny thickness of DOOR away from its HOME. And there it will sit. As evidence that hunter man has killed the dust? Not sure. I really don't get this. It's so dang close to "put away." What IS that?!?
Expiration dates: Keith doesn't believe in them on things like eggs or milk. See, I'm super-hyper-obnoxious about expiration dates (except on drugs, because I figure if the Rx is yummy-fun today, it's got extra special magical qualities after its expiration date), so I want to throw out foodstuffs within hours of their "best before" dates (and typically on the early side of those dates). Keith, on the other hand, will just eat and deal with "it," digestively. (Lucky me.) But tonight, as Keith swam in the tub and readied his face for shaving, he asked me to bring him his razor and I offered up some shaving cream... mine. "No. Yours is old!" he said. Huh? What?!? My super cool girlie shave gel is awesome and what the hell does it matter if it's old? Define OLD as chemicals go.
"No. I need mine. It's newer."
Say it's more butch. Say it's better for hearty boy beard stuff (as opposed to my girlie creamy gel stuff made for fair-haired girls' occasional needs). But say it's NEWER and that's what makes it okay to use?
Anyone with insight, I'd love to hear it.
February 23, 2007
What are my Gmail Sponsored Links telling me?
Um... I know I've been making out with Keith a lot in public lately, but this sponsored link in my Gmail account has me a little weirded out.
Cuddle Party Los Angeles - www.cuddlela.com - Check out this amazing way to get touch needs met, expectation-free.
Apparently, there's an event down on the 3rd Street Promenade tomorrow. Who's with me?
I smell a RAT!
Oooooooooooh, it's rat season.
You KNOW how I hate the actor-scams. HATE.
Well, I found a DOOZIE and I am mad as HELL about this one!
In fact, I am SO mad that I'm TABLING the Bad Headshots, Good Headshots IV piece (I know, I know... I'm sorry... I have to) to do an exposé on this a-hole who is really costing actors some money AND their reputations/relationships with CDs, agents, managers, directors, and producers.
I have to do this before he knows I'm doing it and changes his business model or takes down his site (Don't worry, I've already saved the whole site--every file--in anticipation of his "packing up and going home" act anyway.) and definitely before any more actors spend money on this "service."
Have I mentioned how much I HATE actor-scams? Have I?
The latest from Erik.
Hello friends, family, rockstars:
It's six in the freaking morning and I'm wide awake because (1) I still can't get used to New York time and (2) I've been thinking about how much Uma has improved this last week and it's exciting. Her daily neurological improvements are like our new caffeine. (Except everyone in the waiting room is still getting plenty of actual caffeine thanks to Adam Day and his daily hot chocolate runs.) (Thank you, Adam.) (Seriously, I was kind of already a hot chocolate addict before Uma's damned brain aneurysm, but now it's, like, nuts.) (Like, five hot chocolates a day doesn't sound unreasonable at all.) (And Adam, I think you've even gotten Nithi hooked on the stuff too.)
Okay, three things: (I'm gonna start with a thank you, then give you an Uma health update, and then I have a fun thing for you to do for Ums.)
1. First off, thank you to everyone who sent us suggestions and offered help re: UCLA and other rehab facilities in Southern California. We're still talking to people and following up on leads and figuring out exactly where Uma's going to do her neuro rehab, but I think we've made some headway and hopefully we'll know where Uma's going to be soon. John's really in charge of making all of the phone calls--I'm just sorting info--so if anyone has any more leads, let me know and I'll pass it on to John. We still have a little bit of time to figure out where her neuro rehab is going to be--it looks like Uma will stay here at the ICU in New York for at least another week, possibly two more weeks--but we'd like to get this matter settled soon. (Not just to get the NYC hospital caseworker off of our backs, but also because it'll be nice to know that we've gotten Uma into a fantastic facility close to friends and family--that'll be a relief.) Again, thank you for all of the legwork many of you have done for us.
2. Uma can't talk to us yet, but she is completely off of all sedatives and she is very alert. We are pretty certain (we continue to HOPE) that she is aware of what's happened to her (i.e. that she had a damned brain aneurysm burst) and of the fact that she's in a hospital in New York City. And she seems to remember us; the way she looks at each of us--John, Nithi, Erica, Marie, Adam, me--definitely shows signs of recognition. She will squeeze our hands in response to things; like, for instance, when we asked her if she wanted us to make a deal with the nurses to get a television wheeled into the ICU on Sunday so she could watch the Academy Awards, Uma's eyes opened really wide and she squeezed my hand tight, which I took as a definite "hell, yeah"--we've spoken to one of the nurses, Fernando, and he said that he would make it happen, so as long as he pulls through with the television set, Uma will be watching the Oscars from her hospital bed this weekend. Which will be pretty rockstar.
Uma isn't responding to the doctor's morning neurological exam yet. But the operative word in that sentence is "yet." The exam basically consists of the doctor asking her to hold up a certain amount of fingers and Uma complying; the thing is, Uma has definitely held up different amounts of fingers for us throughout the day today (the way I just phrased that makes it sound like she's been holding up other people's fingers, but it's almost five in the morning so forgive any awkwardly worded sentences), she just hasn't done it for the doctors, and I have a feeling that maybe she's being stubborn and she doesn't want to "perform" for the annoying docs who keep poking and prodding her head--after all, this is the same woman who once tried to sneak into a movie at the AMC Burbank (I was with her, so I'm guilty too) and when we got caught she tried to get away with our crime by pretending not to speak English or comprehend English--so I could fathom her not showing the doctors how many fingers she can hold up merely because she thinks it's a ridiculous thing for them to ask of her. But passing these simple neurological exams is important--it's huge--so we've asked Uma to comply with the docs and hopefully she'll get those fingers going for them tomorrow.
Some other details about Uma's progress: she's been smiling a lot, which is awesome to see, and today it looked like her smile was getting a little bit bigger and fuller. (Hello, Angelina Jolie.) For the last few days, her smile has mostly been on the left side of her face, kinda crooked--but today we saw some of the right side of her mouth smiling with the left. She's also scratching her face and pushing her right leg off of the bed--both signs that she's feeling more sensation throughout her body. At one point today, we saw Uma lift her right hand with her left hand and look at her less-mobile right hand. She started poking and prodding at it with her left hand. As if she was really realizing that there was less sensation in that right hand and she wanted to poke it back to life. We told her not to worry, maybe she can't feel that hand right now, but the rehab doctors are going to help her with that. She seems to be more and more aware of what she's going through, and sometimes she looks sad. But those sad moments are tempered by the joyful moments she's been having with all of us. Those moments when she smiles, or even laughs at something one of us has said.
Uma has started her occupational therapy--which means that they are putting splints on her arms and legs to keep them strong (since they aren't getting so much movement these days) and a therapist came in today to help Uma perform some basic arm and leg exercises, to get the blood on the ride side of her body flowing a little bit better. It's good to see that they are starting her on rehab while she's in the ICU, hopefully she'll have a headstart when she gets into her real rehab facility.
The doctors are also working on weening her off of her ventilator, weening her off of her tracheostomy, weening her off ALL of the tubes she's on. The trickiest tube to ween her off of is the ventriculostomy (the draining tube in her brain); she definitely can't travel to a rehab facility until that tube is gone, daddy, gone. (Which makes sense because who really wants to travel with a tube sticking out of their head?) The doctors have said that Uma could potentially travel to her rehab facility while she's still on the ventilator and some of the other tubes (the key thing to get rid of is the ventriculostomy), but the safest way for her to travel would be independent of any freaking tubes, so that's what I'm visualizing right now: the doctors successfully weening Uma off of every last stupid tube that's sticking into her body.
Okay, that's today's update (or, yesterday's update, I suppose). It's amazing to see the changes and improvement Uma makes every day and I'm sure she's tired of all of us telling her how amazing she is, but whatcha gonna do?
3. A REQUEST (something fun):
It's been awhile since I've given all of you an Uma task to do, and I'm sorry for being a slacker. But I've got a task for you now, something to do this weekend.
I was thinking... now that Uma is so awake and so alert, it would be nice for her to really get a sense of how many people are out there rooting for her, praying for her, sending her good thoughts, visualizing her health. I know that there are literally thousands of people out there, all over the world, doing little Uma dances and hoping--HOPING--that she will get well soon. We've been showing photos to Ums in her hospital bed, but we only have a certain amount of photos here in New York to show her and I'm sure she's tired of looking at the same damned photos, so here's my very simple request:
I want you to make a Photo Card. In other words: take a photo of yourself that contains a message to Uma.
(a) In the photo, you should be holding a piece of paper. The piece of paper should have a short note to Uma written on it. This is where the "card" part of this weekend's activity comes into play. The key thing is that your message to Uma be short. A simple "Uma Get Well Soon!" will be much easier to read in the photograph than a long-winded love letter.
(b) Feel free to make your note pizazzy; i.e. feel free to color it, to illustrate it, to bejewel it. Whatever. (But if you're like me and you're really bad with coloring and illustrating and bejeweling--don't let that hold you back: you can also feel free to just stick with words.)
(c) Once you have this photo of yourself holding a short note to Uma... scan it, or upload it, or do whatever it is that you do to get it onto your computer, and then email the photo to me at dimsumday AT gmail DOT com. If you could get your photo to me sometime this weekend, that would be great--but there's no cut-off date. As I receive photos, I'll print them out and get them to Uma. It'll be nice for her to have a visual representation of all of the love that's out there, all of the love that has been flowing her way since we started on this journey a little over three weeks ago.
(Note: I was talking to my friend Thyra tonight--Thyra's never met Uma, but she's been following Uma's progress and thinking of Uma and hoping for Uma every day--and tonight Thyra said something along the lines of: "When Uma gets through this, she's going to be so weirded out by me because I'm abnormally excited to meet her." But I think that's cool--it's cool that so many people who don't even know Uma are thinking of her and sending her love, so please feel free to participate with your own Photo Card for Uma even if you've never met her. The more photos, the better.)
Feel free to pass this email on to anyone who might not be on my email list who's been thinking of Uma. Feel free to repost this email on your own blog or on MySpace. Let's spread the word, we're going to give Uma something to hold and to look at, we're going to collectively show her how much love is out there.
Thank you so much,
I'm so excited to see your smile, Uma! We love you!!!!
(Previous updates are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
February 20, 2007
Okay, so today I was interviewed for a show called BBC Breakfast. Their crew is in Hollywood for the week, covering the "countdown to the red carpet" and all that jazz.
We talked about aging and actors and Hollywood and the IMDB's policy on posting ages and my next film, in which I'll need to cast a half-dozen octogenarians. It was an awesome interview, poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
So, if you are reading this in the UK, do me a favor and tune in, wouldja?
(There is a chance that the story would get shared with BBC World and that would lead to an airing--perhaps--on BBC-America, but I have been assured that it will definitely be on the BBC website at some point. Yippee!)
I'm global, baby! Woo!
A great day with the lovely Communicatrix and some very cool Brits. Had a blast. Can't wait to do it again.
February 18, 2007
Being in love...
Being in love is a beautiful, wonderful, blissful thing.
And whenever I answer a meme about my love life, the answer to: "ever been in love?" is always: "constantly." Because I don't know how to NOT be in love.
I love my friends. I love boys... lots of 'em. I especially love my hubby and his brilliant son. I also love all of my best-best friends... and those folks may or may not understand how important they are to me on a daily basis.
Point is, I'm constantly in love. And what the hell can be wrong with that?
February 17, 2007
I just love this photo.
Keith is out of town and I miss him.
But this photo makes me think of him... and us... and our wedding. Y'know... since it's the spot where we got married and all.
Oh, and because of some drama that Keith and I have both faced in the past few years, I close with this lovely quote from Wayne Dyer:
Your friends are God's way of apologizing for your relatives.
Right on, right on.
February 16, 2007
The latest from Erik.
Thursday was a rockstar day. Uma is making progress. Lots of progress. She is not out of the woods yet--we still need to visualize the rest of the blood draining from her brain area, we still want the swelling in her brain to go down, we still want her to start talking, to smile, to laugh, to fully Wake Up!--but she is definitely moving in the right direction.
John and Nithi and I had been saying all day that we felt like Uma was being more responsive than usual--that she was moving more and that she was focusing her eyes more--and then when the doctor brought us out into the hall for the day's update, that's the very first thing he said to us: "she's more responsive today." It's always nice to hear the doctors affirm something you hope and believe (and know). The second thing the doctor said was that Uma isn't following his commands yet (emphasis on the word "yet"). I like to think that she's just being stubborn because she's not the type of woman to really follow any random dude's "commands." I'll have to remember to tell her that Dr. Herschfield is a pretty cool guy.
They haven't done another CAT Scan yet (the next CAT Scan is scheduled for sometime today), but they assume that the edema (I'm not sure if that's how you spell it or not) is the same as it was the previous day ("edema" is the swelling in her brain) (when the doctor first used the word "edema," we were all like, "um, huh?" but we didn't ask him what it meant until he'd used the word about ten times and then we all felt a lot better listening to him talk because we suddenly understood what he was saying), which is to say: swollen but stable and not swelling any more. The fact that the edema isn't getting worse is definitely a good thing. But we want that swelling to fucking go away, so let's keep visualizing the swelling going down and the tissues in that part of her brain reforming and coming back to life. There's a chance that the swollen part of Uma's brain is dead, but since she's young there's also a good chance that the rest of her brain can compensate for a little bit of dead brain. And hey, anything is still possible at this point, so there's also a chance that the swollen part of her brain is still alive and let's keep visualizing THAT too. (Life is filled with possibilities--that's one of the things that I'm really starting to learn from all of this--sure, life can suck and your loved ones can get brain aneurysms and be in comas and all, but nothing is freaking impossible. Uma proves that simple fact every single day.)
It was mostly just the three of us at the hospital--John, Uma's dad Nithi, and me--Jason came by for a while too--and we all got to spend a lot of time alone with Uma. When I was in there with her, we held hands for about thirty minutes. Which is totally something I'm going to make fun of her for when she's all better because she is so not the hand-holding type. At least, not with me. And I think that our thirty-minute hand holding session today might have been the longest amount of time we've ever touched each other in all of the years we've been friends. At one point I asked Uma, "Is this okay? Do you want to let go of my hand?" And then she squeezed my hand even tighter. It was a definite response, a definite "no, I do not want to let go of your hand." And her eyes are much more focused today, which is really wonderful. Earlier in the week, when she first started opening her eyes, they didn't really seem to focus on anything, but now you can tell that she's looking at you. Now you can really see Uma there.
Uma's left wrist is restrained to the bed so that she doesn't reach up and pull out any of her tubes and at one point while we were standing there, holding hands, I noticed that Uma was staring at her wrist restraint. And this wasn't an idle stare, this stare was like: "why the fuck am I wearing a wrist restraint???" And so I asked Nancy the nurse (my favorite nurse, the one who yells really loud) if Uma had to wear the restraint and Nancy yelled to Uma: "DO YOU WANT ME TO TAKE IT OFF, UMA!?!?" Uma squeezed my hand tight and I told Nancy that was a yes. So then Nancy yelled out: "OKAY, UMA, BUT ONLY IF YOU PROMISE NOT TO PULL OUT ANY OF YOUR TUBES, OKAY?!?!?" Uma squeezed my hand tight again and I told Nancy, "she promises." So then Nancy loosened the restraint and Uma definitely appeared relieved. She looked tired and I told her it was okay to take a nap if she wanted to because we'd all still be waiting for her when she woke up. Uma closed her eyes for a few minutes, but then she opened them up again--she never closes them for very long because I think she wants to know what's going on around her.
At one point, I saw Uma move her right hand up and over several inches until it was resting on her stomach. This is HUGE. It may sound like a little thing, but I swear to you it is something to celebrate. The right side of her body is the side of her body that was affected by the aneurysm and this was the biggest movement I've seen her right hand make. All of these little big moments give me more and more hope, and they should give you more and more hope too. Uma is feeling all of our love, all of our support, all of our prayers, our visualizations. Our little acts of anarchy and visualization. Our wicked dance moves. They're all reaching her in that hospital bed and they're making her stronger. So let's keep it up!
A couple things you can do today (or tomorrow) (or the next day) to help keep Uma at the forefront of your thoughts:
(1) Share one of your favorite Uma anecdotes in the comments section of TeamUma.Blogspot.com.
(2) Go to 2220 Beverly Blvd. in Silverlake, where the fine folks of the Bootleg Theater have started up an Uma Prayer Wall--I think it's the main wall right outside the theater, there's a big green heart in the center of the wall so you shouldn't be able to miss it--and spread some Uma love with your sharpie. Consider it guilt-free vandalism.
Here's John's email update from Thursday:
there has been a different answer today than two days
ago. inexplicably, uma has begun opening her eyes and
moving her limbs (even on the right side) more than i
have seen since i saw her at our hotel on jan.31st.
when she hears your voice she looks at you. she
reaches for the rail of the bed with her left hand.
she reaches her left hand up to look at it. she raises
her eyebrows. her left leg moves all the time. i saw
her right hand (remember, this aneurysm/stroke
affected the left side of her brain which controls the
right side of her body) move at least five times today
and once, when i was rubbing lotion on her right arm,
she very briskly pulled it back from me.
she looks very irritated whenever i use the suction
tool to clear her mouth. (how very uma!) and she
routinely squeezes you hand with her left.
the ventriculostomy continues to drain more and more
clearly. it has a yellow tinge to it now (as opposed
to red) which indicates the continued breakdown of the
excess blood from the aneurysm. if this doesn't clear
up as soon as they'd like, she will be fitted with a
permanent shunt which would draw the blood from her
cranium to her abdomen.
she is much more relaxed and responsive today and her
dr. said that he is much more optimistic than he was
two days ago. her breathing is even and slow now -
she's not fighting it today. when i asked him again
about the angioplasty he said that many blood vessels
were reopened and that, in fact, there is a
possibility that the swelling is due to the re
infusion of blood in those areas.
tomorrow is the next catscan - this would correspond
to about a 72 hour period after the stroke. of course
we will look very much forward to another 'different'
answer then as well.
one of the last things i did tonight, after having
lots of time alone with her today (!), was catch the
focus in her eyes and i just smiled so big! you know
when you can be looking at someone's eyes but see
their whole face, too? and you feel there is some
connection there? that's what i felt and the left side
of her mouth rose up and her eyes crinkled ever so
slightly. (this mouth motion differed markedly from
the wince i saw yesterday - she was relaxed). wherever
she is in her beautiful but horribly beat up brain, i
think there was a warmth that was given and received
on a very basic human level.
a rehabilitation person came in for the first time
today to measure her for a splint for her right arm
which will provide passive resistance to it for
awhile. she hasn't been moving it that much and they
want to get started on that.
so - yesterday i felt like a ghost. i asked you for
your help and i am so grateful for all the emails and
calls i got today. i got help and so did uma. and it's
so nice to give you all some good news.
we've all been praying so hard and sending her so much
love (strangers email me to tell me they have yelled
for uma to 'wake up!') and i believe its important to
really celebrate the good news. it's a brave thing to
do when you think about it because tomorrow could be
bad news again. but still.....if you CAN smile, you
SHOULD! please have good smile for our girl tonight.
she's so brave and is working so hard against this.
i want to tell you that i truly think she's on a very
long road with all of this, but that she is not alone.
we are all with her however long it will be. to think
that she is out of danger is not wise right now. to
know, in all of our hearts, that she is doing better
is very wise. just before i left tonight i heard the
nurse say to the doctor something about her
intercranial pressure being up and they began working
we want her swelling and intercranial pressure to have
we want her awareness, her uma-ness to emerge as soon
as it can, specifically that she can, very soon,
follow a simple command and breathe on her own.
we want her to be able to avoid a permanent shunt.
we want no more stroke, no more vasospasm
we want no divisiveness against all of the bonds she
has chosen in life.
however loudly or boldly you pray for these things,
give a prayer of thanks just as loud, becaus this IS
the direction we want her to go in.
reading your emails and feeling all the love and
prayer and support in so many different ways....AND.
seeing uma the way she was today has made me feel like
a brand new copper-top battery. in some way, i can't
wait to see what she'll do tomorrow.
all my love and gratitude,
Okay, time for bed. Lots of love to everyone,
February 14, 2007
Stuff I have to get done.
1. Showfax.com/The Actors Voice-related.
a. Choose which of the 120 headshots I received should be used in Monday's Bad Headshots, Good Headshots column.
b. Edit those headshots into the format that works for presentation in the column itself (half of this task is already done).
c. Write the column.
2. Showfax.com/The Actors Voice: POV-related.
a. Decide which of the half-dozen contributions from CDs in other markets (I know! I can't believe how many people came through at once!) gets to be tomorrow's piece.
b. Notify the others that their contributions will run in March, April, or May (and hope they aren't mad).
c. Edit the piece I choose and write the "framework" piece to go with it.
d. Update the Wiki to reflect above.
3. Broken Windows/San Diego local hire-related.
a. Decide how many of the actors who said they would work as San Diego local hires but who refuse to make it to San Diego for an audition actually even deserve a response (I'm thinking: none).
b. Decide whether we should schedule new people into the slots left open by those who somehow can't make it to San Diego or leave the schedule a little "open" so as not to over-exert the production team during auditions (I'm thinking the latter).
c. Field the seemingly non-stop calls from people pitching themselves or their clients for these roles (some of which have already been cast by now).
4. Broken Windows/Los Angeles callbacks-related.
a. Confirm all callback appointments that were given out yesterday (in progress).
b. Find receipts from December prereads' production meal we covered, plus parking, and the callback space rental, so that I can get reimbursed.
c. Get a casting intern confirmed to run sign-in, since Keith will be OOT.
5. Broken Windows/name actor offer-related.
a. Follow up on outstanding offers.
b. Decide on next round of offers, if these all lapse without being accepted.
c. Arrange for meetings between name actors already attached and our director (half of these have already happened).
6. SAG CAP casting director/agent event-related.
a. Review list of actors (30--mostly kids) registered for the event.
b. Choose sides for each pair of actors and prep some back-up sides in case there are changes to the group after selecting the sides.
c. Find an intern who wants to help out on Saturday.
7. Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase-related.
a. Save and upload demo reel footage on newly-submitted actors so that the rest of the team can review them.
b. Review the venue contract.
c. Book and pay for space for auditions (verify dates with production team).
d. Find the scenes I have listed/contact comedy writers to ask for exclusive material.
e. Contact HHH sponsors to see if they'd like to be showcase sponsors.
f. Contact potential crew/tech/usher/music pros to check rates/availability.
8. Potential casting job-related.
a. Read Porndogs and watch trailer.
b. Follow up with Another Harvest Moon producer and re-read script.
c. Provide bid to Scab director.
d. Check in on How I Lost My Mind and Killed Someone financing status/timeline.
e. Find out of we're too late to work with Paul and Chris, both of whom sent scripts in the past few months when I was too busy to even return their emails, much less read the material. (KEITH! IF YOU HAVE DONE THIS, LET ME KNOW.)
a. Answer emails from actors who want private consulting.
b. Follow-up with kids' acting camp in Montana.
c. Establish rate for video series services, should THR deal come through.
d. Prep for BBC interview.
a. Decide whether I'm going to file for unemployment on the survival job thingy (doubtful... just not my style).
b. Prep 2006 financial records for meeting with tax preparer (I only ever got those four hours done... then stopped).
c. Do initial research on organizational needs/office flow issues bartered out.
The latest from Erik.
Before I get to Uma's health update, I just want to say that today is Valentine's Day we gotta embrace this Valentine's Day more freaking hardcore than any Valentine's Day we've ever been through. Because, here's the thing: if you ask Uma what she thinks about V Day, I know she'll say that she hates it--too commercial, too mushy, too red. But that's just what she'll say, and it wouldn't entirely be true. Now, yes, it would be true that she hates candy and chocolates and all the commercial aspects of this holiday, but even though Uma acts like she hates the mushy stuff, I know that she secretly kinda likes it. Okay, loves it. (She'll be mad when she reads this and finds out that I've spilled this secret, but I'm okay with that.) Because, see, the mushy stuff is all about love and it's hard not to like feeling loved.
I'm staying at my Aunt Julie's house here in New York (she's technically my Step-Great-Aunt) and last night we had dinner together and Julie's nine-year-old daughter was making Valentines for all of her classmates (and she made one for Uma too) and Julie mentioned that Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday "because if you strip away the commercialism, it's a day where we honor our loved ones--and without that love, we'd all be dead. It's impossible to live without love. Babies who aren't held, who don't feel love, they don't make it. We literally need love to live." I thought that was a good way to look at this holiday. Forget all the commercialism and just make damned sure that all of your loved ones know how much you love them.
Uma's in a really scary place right now. She's freaking beenin a scary place for the last fourteen days, but it got scarier last night. They did a new CAT Scan and found that she did, indeed, have a stroke. As a result of the stroke, there is swelling in her brain. This swelling is bad. This swelling could continue for the next 72 hours and there really isn't anything the doctors can do to stop it. They'll check on the swelling every day with a new CAT Scan, and we have to hope and pray that the swelling stops, that it goes down. If it doesn't go down, if the pressure gets too intense (elevated intracranial pressure), they might have to do a risky procedure wherein they remove a portion of her skull to give the brain room to continue to swell. We don't want this to happen. We want the swelling to stop. We don't want the swelling to continue for 72 hours. If the swelling continues, she could go into a deeper coma. We want the swelling to stop the fuck now.
That's the bad news. The good news, the strange news, the news that the doctors cannot explain, is that Uma continues to improve neurologically. When they lower her sedation levels, she still opens her eyes at the sound of her name. She continues to move a little bit on her right side, responding to sensation. Both of these neurological responses completely contradict the fact that she had a stroke. The doctor said that the stroke should nullify her neurological response level, but it hasn't. If anything, she's getting stronger--neurologically, at least.
That's because she's still freaking in there, fighting this thing. She's not giving up and we can't either. We have to keep the faith, keep hoping, keep praying. We have to visualize even more than we did before. With more focus. Because the Uma we know and love is fucking in there. And even though the CAT Scan results were the results we didn't want, even though her brain is waging a war on her body, we can't let the stroke and the swelling make us feel defeated. Fourteen fucking days ago--the day that Uma had her brain aneurysm--the doctor told us that Uma wouldn't live through the day--and here she is on DAY FREAKING FOURTEEN. She is a fighter and she is the most stubborn person I know. In a good way. Too stubborn to let a stroke get the fuck in her way. So we can't let the stroke get the fuck in our way either. (Sorry for all of the "fucks," but I know Uma wouldn't want me to hold my tongue.) Today is a day where we honor love, so let's keep sending heaps of it to Uma.
More good news, more reason for hope: She hasn't had any new aneurysms. The coil on her aneurysm is still working, it's still holding tight. The spinal fluid in her drain tube is getting clearer and clearer, which means that the blood in her brain is continuing to drain.
More scary news: The doctor said that it looks like the brain tissue in the area where the stroke occurred is dead. But then he said that sometimes young people can recover from that, they can use the rest of their brain to make up the difference. The doctor urged us not to give up hope, and so, if you get nothing else from this email, I want you to get that: DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE. We need to hope harder than ever before. And that message isn't just coming from the doctors:
I was taking a taxi back to Julie's house last night, after we got the news about the stroke, and I made a couple of phone calls--I called my mom, I called Erica, I called Marie--and then I hung up my cell phone and the cab driver looked at me through the rear-view mirror. "Anything can happen," he said. "Don't give up hope, you can't." (I swear that this is an exact quote from the cab driver, I wrote down everything he said as soon as he dropped me off.) He told me a story about his father and how his father had survived two strokes, and "you can't listen to the doctors, they just say what they say. Okay, maybe they know some things, but they don't know everything the body and mind are capable of. Your friend can get through this." I told him Uma's name and he promised to pray for her.
Alright, so: Today is Valentine's Day and I know this is kinda last minute, but let's make today an Uma Valentine's Day:
--Uma's favorite color is green, so if you haven't gotten dressed for the day yet, wear something green instead of the old Valentine's red cliché. The pukier and brighter the green, the better.
--If you've already gotten dressed and you're already out in the world, draw a green heart on your hand. If anyone asks you what the green heart's all about, tell them it's for your friend Uma, tell them you're hopeful, get them thinking about Uma too.
--I know that I gave out this directive sometime last week, and I already kinda said this in the second paragraph up above, but today's all about love, and it's worth repeating, so I'll say it again: call up your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. And not just because it's Valentine's Day, but because it's Uma Valentine's Day and you mean it and you want them to know.
--Visualize brain swelling going down. Visualize speech. Visualize memory. Visualize Uma waking the hell up. Visualize her smile. Visualize your love going into her brain and making her stronger.
(Previous updates are here, here, here, here, and here.)
February 13, 2007
Judy Kerr's Interview with Casting Director Bonnie Gillespie
February 12, 2007
12 of 12 for February 2007
Hey everyone, here's my 12 of 12! (New to this party? Visit awesome Chad's site for the 12 of 12 scoop and visit fellow 12'ers from around the world!)
Click any photo to enlarge.
6:50am: Evidence that kitties were playing while we slept. That yellow mouse is about OVER. Its guts have fallen out.
8:01am: Keith's got a big audition today. For Heroes. Yeah, baby!
8:31am: I put in 20 hours in a row on the headshot column... and it's still not finished. I'm going to run it next week instead. Exhausting work.
9:20am: BONUS PHOTO! The theme for this month is LOVE. Awwwwww. Look at those cute gooberheads kissing! (Note: I am now a brunette. Hee!)
12:05pm: Writing a check to the Santa Monica Playhouse for rental of casting space (callbacks next week).
1:04pm: Reviewing submissions for the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase. This is gonna be an amazing experience!
1:56pm: Gonna write in my old-school journal.
2:02pm: Salema making a rare daytime appearance.
2:10pm: I'm willing to bet my Anna Nicole Smith bobble-head doll is worth more now.
2:44pm: Shower time! (And I am soooo tempted to push that button on the shower cleaning thingy. Seriously. I know one of these days I will do it!)
2:58pm: Thwok, as usual, has been standing guard while I've showered. She's very worried that the evil falling water monster will steal my soul, and is therefore very relieved when I emerge, unscathed.
4:22pm: Mail's in. Time to open the headshots. They. Never. Stop. Coming.
So, that's it for my 12 of 12! Hope you enjoyed the little peek.
The latest from Erik:
Lots of scary activity today, which ended with the doctor telling us: "You need to have hope, that's all you can do." So that's the message I'm sending out right now. Please be hopeful and strong and positive and send out huge healing vibes into Uma's brain.
I tried to take good notes when the doctor was giving today's update and hopefully this will all make sense:
The doctors did an angiogram and a CAT Scan this morning to get a better understanding of where Uma was at with her blood drainage and healing, etc., and they saw that she'd had a "rather large spasm" in her left middle cerebral artery territory, which would indicate that she'd had a stroke. As a result of this spasm, there is a dense area of blood where her blood vessels have clamped down and closed.
There's no way to tell when this stroke might have occurred--there were no indications of stroke activity the last time they did a CAT Scan (I'm not sure when that was exactly) and they do neurological tests throughout the day, every day, and none of those tests have ever indicated stroke activity. So they assume that if she did indeed have a stroke, it must have occurred recently, perhaps this morning.
After discovering this stroke possibility, they treated her with angioplasty--which opens up the blood vessels that were closed by the spasm she had.
And now we wait.
Tomorrow morning they will do another CAT Scan to see if the angioplasty fixed the spasm. That's when they'll be able to confirm definitively whether or not she's had a stroke. If blood supply has returned to the area where she had the spasm, and if her tissue in that area is regenerating and alive (I think the word they used was "revitalized"), that would mean the angioplasty was successful. If the tissue in that area is dead, I think that will confirm that she did have a stroke, the outcome of which the doctor said would be poor (affecting her speech, affecting her strength on the right side of her body). I think this is when he said the thing about hope being the only thing we have right now.
I choose to focus on this idea of hope, rather than any idea of "poor" anything. I refuse to waste any energy on fear or sadness right now. 'Eff that. We need to focus all our freaking energy on Uma. We will not know anything until tomorrow morning. There is a possibility that she did NOT have a stroke, there is a possibility for huge healing and blood flow and tissues regenerating. There's nothing we can know definitively until tomorrow morning, so we need to focus on these possibilities, on these hopes.
Reasons to be positive:
1. As recently as this morning, the nurses have said that she "continues to improve neurologically."
2. The blood in her brain continues to drain.
3. There is no new bleeding, no new hemorrhaging.
4. This morning she was moving her right arm--a very good sign.
5. Last night, when John and I were alone with Uma, I saw her looking directly at John. It truly felt like she was seeing him. John held up her engagement ring and told her he was looking forward to getting married to her, and her eyes focused on the ring and followed it, and then she squeezed his hand. We were so high last night from this interaction. She's in there.
Please keep Uma in your thoughts today and tonight. We really need tomorrow's CAT Scan to give us good news. Hope, pray, dance, vandalize, do whatever you gotta do, just send some strong freakin' love to Uma.
Lots of love to all of you,
Here's John's email, which I think describes some of the medical stuff more clearly, and which reinforces the call for hope that we need right now:
this morning i had an hour alone with uma at 8 am. she
seemed a bit agitated. she was moving her left
hand/arm and leg a lot but her eyes were open and
moving. i really couldn't tell if she was aware of
much. i spoke to her and held her hand much as i've
done the last few days. her left wrist is tied to the
bed so that she can't pull at her tracheostomy. i
asked her if she would like to touch my face and
leaned down and put her hand flat on the right side of
my face. she didn't grab for it like she was grabbing
for my hand. she touched and caressed my face. i
really don't know what this means but it was an
unfogettable moment for me. i reallly thought i felt
later, she was really grabbing my hand alot and at
times shit knit her brow and her mouth moved as if in
some pain. i showed her her ring again and her eyes
followed it again. at about 9 they needed to prep her
for movement to the follow-up angiogram so i went to
the waiting room.
a few hours later dr. jamuna came in to tell nithi
(the rest of us had gone for coffee) that he thinks
she has had a stroke and they are working hard on it.
he said it would be about 45 minutes before he could
come back. then he quickly went back to the operating
we waited. we wait.
about 3 hours later dr. jamuna came back and told us
she very much appears to have had a stroke originating
from her left, middle cerebral artery. this is a major
blood vessle supplying the entire left side of the
brain. the were able to 'balloon' or open the vessel
to re-infuse that part of the brain but he said the
radiologist is fairly certain the area is dead.
they are not able to tell when the stroke occurred
(if indeed it ends up being a full stroke which they
won't know 'till tomorrow morning's catscan). but just
this morning she was still responding with an even
greater 'crispness' in her right arm/hand and leg and
just yesterday she moved her right leg again. the
neurological signs do not add up to stroke which the
doctor said was a hopeful sign. also good is that
there is no new bleeding in the area fo the aneurysm
or bleeding in the 'stroke' area.
if her brain accepts the infusion of blood she will
overcome this stroke. if it does not, the right side
of her body and her speech will have a very poor
honestly, this news made me feel like i was just
being slaughtered here in this city so far from my
home. as i was walking back to the apartment to take a
break and re-group i was talking to my dad about all
of this. we spoke of the role of will power in prayer
and whether or not it makes any difference etc. if
one is to surrender one's will to God, release and let
go, then why 'want' anything at all? but for people
who believe in this we should assume that there is a
relationship between us and the divine that would not
be fed at all if we were robots. if we stand for love
and against everything that is not love we should be
confident that we're praying for the right thing.
as i'm talking to him on my cell phone i'm navigating
the crowded streets here in manhattan. today, for some
reason, a lot of people seemed to be just barely
missing me or hindering my forward progress. finally,
as i was about 3 doors down from the the apartment
entrance, a woman coming my way crossed over in front
of me to look at a hand bad in a shop window. i had to
stop suddenly and go around. for those of you who know
me well you understand how much will power it took for
me not to blast that woman off the face of the planet
with 'GET OUT OF MY WAY!' but i didn't say anything
i walked into the apartment building just in time to
hold the door open for an old man. he said, 'thank
you' and i thought, 'i don't want to die a lonely old
man.....' and as i turned to go up the stairs i
thought that the message i had for the handbag woman
was mis-directed. i need to yell at the top of my
spiritual lungs, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" to whatever is
holding Uma back. GET OUT OF MY WAY! I AM GOING TO
HOPE AND PRAY AND HAVE CONFIDENCE IN LOVE AND IN UMA!
it seems as though we just keep getting reduced to
prayer. the doctors do what they can and then they
tell us to hope for the best. well, if all we have
right now is prayer, then that is everything in the
universe to uma.
the first thing i did when i got in the apartment was
wake up my laptop and check my email. in the very
first one i saw my friend ken had forwarded the
following .....bear in mind that the woman who wrote
this had not read this my email about uma's possible
Hey there! I read that you'll be stopping to visit
John & Uma. Just wanted you to send a big hug from me
over here. I just got off the phone with my friend
Brooke who experienced the same thing that Uma is
going through 15 years ago. She's an incredible
woman, whom I only met 5 years ago. She has spoken of
her struggles with recovery, etc. She (Brooke) ended
up having a stroke, which added time to the recovery
process. It took some time to recover, but I'm sure
Uma will be able to do this. Let John know Sierra
retreat has been praying for Uma on their daily
retreats and I've gotten some of the best prayers I
know on the case .....
so...i didn't enjoy the all of the sequence of events
on the way home but i feel very bold right now and i
urge everyone of you, as soon as you read this, to
very loudly say to whatever is holding uma back, "GET
OUT OF OUR WAY!"
pray for a lasting re-infusion of blood to her brain
for no more strokes
for no more pain
FOR THIS TIME OF CRISIS TO END! ENOUGH!
all my love
I am dancing, screaming with passionate energy, and vandalizing my ass off for Uma. HEAL, HEAL, HEAL!
February 11, 2007
A Question I'm Asking Myself Right Now:
Seriously, it is so so so so so so so much work. I can only hope it is also totally worth it, to those who read it. But, after having done so much work all week long on this AND now having put in four straight hours with another 14 or so stretched out in front of me, I'm just totally spent.
And no closer to being finished with it.
Not looking for wisdom (though, feel free to share any), just venting. And giving myself something to read the NEXT time I think attempting this type of column is a good idea, down the line.
February 8, 2007
Cricket Feet Casting: Actors Showcase
I'm really excited! After years of planning (yes, years), I am finally producing the Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase along with showcase coordinator Eitan Loewenstein and renowned director Richard Tatum!
The breakdown was just released on Actors Access and we're accepting submissions through 2/23/07.
Auditions will take place the week of 3/5 and the showcase dates are 4/23, 24, and 26 in Santa Monica. PLEASE visit CricketFeet.com/showcase for all of the details and submit ONLY through Actors Access.
So excited to introduce my industry contacts to the BEST and BRIGHTEST actors in town! (And while that exposure--and the mega consulting on marketing materials and working within your primary type--is super cool, there are also prizes from our industry sponsors for actors whose showcase performances score the highest in our industry FEEDBACK forms. Coooooool!)
Thanks for your interest and support in this NEW venture! Woo!
February 7, 2007
The latest from Erik (KiKi) Patterson:
Hello friends of Uma...
I'm going to make today's update short and sweet. Today is Wednesday, Day Eight, and since it's Wednesday and all--the middle of the work week, and the middle of the work week always seems to drag--I want to urge you to keep focused on sending energy out to Uma in her hospital bed. We can't slack just because it's hump day!
Two big things to visualize today:
Uma's pneumonia is a little worse, so let's keep visualizing the pneumonia going away.
But even bigger than that...they are reducing her sedation levels today in the hopes that we'll see some signs of neurological functions, basically signs of waking up. Please think hard about Uma waking up and getting those neurological functions going!
In fact, you know that scene in the movie Network when Albert Finney's yelling out the window? If you could go to a window sometime today (or several times today) and yell "Wake up, Uma!" out your window, as loud as you can, that would be great. Don't worry about strangers giving you funny looks, strangers giving you funny looks is good.
Let's put the idea out into the atmosphere, make Uma hear you!
Thanks and xo,
Thank you, everyone, for your continued energy on this. I KNOW it is making all the difference!
Also, please stop by Uma's MySpace page. She can't accept your friend request, but you can see the love her friends are sending her in comments there, and that's all good vibe-related stuff. Definitely give KiKi some love at his page too. (Photos above are from his blog.)
*beaming love and health to Uma*
Hee! I'm Collins!
You're Collins! You will do anything for your friends. Very emotional, you're not afraid to cry. You can be so attached to someone that when they're gone, you're completely torn. You can be seen as very odd at times because of your actions, but you don't care.
Take this quiz!
And the winner is...
I'm home from happy hour (er... hour. Yeah) and I have comments in holding as follows:
Cliff: 43 minutes ago
Jennie: 2 hours, 37 minutes ago
Susan Jones: 5 hours, 31 minutes ago
Julie: 5 hours, 39 minutes ago
drc: 5 hours, 48 minutes ago
Ed R: 6 hours ago
Go, Ed! Well-earned. Thanks for stalking me. ;) Hee! (I kid, I kid. Thanks for the love, all of you!)
February 6, 2007
The next comment made...
will be #3000 at the BonBlogs.
Who's it gonna be?
(All comments on moderation 'til I get home from happy hour, so you can't find out who's first before I do. Heh heh. I'm such a geek.)
National "Vandalize the World for Uma" Day!
This just in from Erik (KiKi) Patterson:
I posted this on MySpace and on the blog because I didn't want to inundate y'all with email, but then I thought, "What if some of the people on this list aren't on MySpace and they don't read the blog?" and decided one more email can't hurt, because you should know about "National Vandalize the World for Uma" Day! Here's the scoop:
On the closing night of a play that a bunch of my friends were in (and I'm not naming the play or the theatre because I don't want anyone to get arrested for vandalism) (not that we're really guilty of vandalism) (but, you know, I'm neurotic), a bunch of us were hangin' out at the show's afterparty and we got a little mischievous and grabbed some spray paint and... okay, we tagged our names on a cement construction block outside the theatre. (It's not like the freaking cement block was permanent, so I wouldn't consider this actual vandalism, but because I'm afraid it might technically qualify, I'm not naming names.) (Unless you happen to have a damned brain aneurysm, because if you're fighting a damned brain aneurysm then I don't think they can fine you for vandalism, whether you're freaking guilty of it or not.)
Anyway, the reason I bring up all of this graffiti hoo-hah is that I keep trying to think of things that we can do to put more and more Uma Energy out there into the universe--so she knows that we're all thinking of her--and then I thought of the night Uma and I (and others) graffiti'd our names, and I was like:
Let's make February 6th "National Vandalize the World for Uma" Day.
To participate, all you have to do is write Uma's name somewhere out in the world where you wouldn't necessarily expect to see someone's name. You don't need to put her full name: "Uma" will suffice. (And then, if you get caught by an authority figure, you can argue that three letters barely qualifies as vandalism).
There are five rules of "National Vandalize the World for Uma" Day:
(1) You can put Uma's name anywhere.
The inside cover of a library book.
The top of a school desk, or a table in a cafeteria.
A telephone pole.
The branch of a tree.
(2) You can write her name using any form of writing tool you want, as long as it's permanent.
A knife (if you're carving).
A magic marker.
Anything! (As long as it's permanent.)
(3) You can graffiti Uma's name more than once, if you're feeling extra mischievous.
But once is fine too!
(The key thing is that you write her name someplace you probably shouldn't be writing someone's name, that's part of the fun of "National Vandalize the World for Uma" Day.) (*And when Uma wakes up and finds out people have been vandalizing the world in her name, I know she'll feel some second-hand mischievous glee.*) (*I think she'll feel pretty damned proud of y'all too.*)
(4) Don't, like, actually destroy anything. Meaning: don't, like, truly vandalize.
I realize that this rule seems to be oxymoronic and invalidate everything I've said so far about "National Vandalize the World For Uma" Day, but hear me out. The idea behind "National Vandalize the World For Uma" Day is to let Uma's name brighten your day a little. I don't want it to dampen anyone else's day. (Like, for example, don't paint her name on a stranger's car, or anything like that.)
And it doesn't have to be huge graffiti. It could be small, someplace you'd only see if you knew to look for it. If that's the route you go with your graffiti, you could think of it like it's your little secret that you get to share with Uma when she wakes up.
(5) The important thing is (and I guess this is truly the only steadfast "rule"):
Your graffiti must be permanent!
(I realize this was covered in Rule #2, but it's an important rule, so it's worth mentioning twice.)
That's it, now get graffiti'ing!
(Oh, and, feel free to take a picture of your Uma graffiti. I'd love to see where her name starts popping up, out there in the world.) (Of course, you shouldn't feel required to take a photo--if you don't want any photographic evidence, I totally understand: the important thing is that you participate.)
Please spread the word that today is "National Vandalize the World for Uma" Day. Copy and paste this post as much as you damned please.
My Sharpie is ready. Yours?
February 5, 2007
You come here to me.
You come here to me and let me give you a big hot wet sloppy tongue kiss right now.
Thank you Mr. Sorkin. Or however many writers it is that you have on staff writing under your name. Thank you all.
"Broken Windows" CASTING San Diego Local Hires
Just this moment released a breakdown for Broken Windows' minor roles--looking for San Diego Local Hires ONLY.
Please submit electronically using the link to Actors Access above.
Yes, we are still casting the lead roles out of Los Angeles. Five roles have been cast and there are offers out on a couple of others. We will also be doing callbacks for three roles in Los Angeles later this month.
THANK YOU for your interest! We're excited to have such a great cast already!
This just in from Erik (KiKi) Patterson:
I just wanted to send out a quick Uma update (an Umsdate?):
There were a few scary moments today, but for the most part it's good news. This morning they noticed that Uma's draining tube was darker, which meant that more blood was flowing out of it. They were afraid that there might be some new bleeding, but after doing a CAT Scan, they found that there was NO NEW BLEEDING. (Very good news.) The reason the draining tube was darker is that the blood that needs to get drained IS getting drained. Now, there's STILL blood in there, so we need to keep visualizing that blood draining, but I truly believe that all of the visualization we've been doing so far is working--the blood is draining!
Uma is moving in the right direction.
Unfortunately, Uma also had a fever today, and showed signs of pneumonia, and her heart rate is high. Her heart rate is high because of all of the medications she's on, but they're not too worried about that because of how young she is. They're working on getting rid of the fever and hopefully the pneumonia will go away quickly.
Please keep your prayers and love focused on Uma! Thank you for all of your emails, sorry I haven't been able to reply to most of them, but know how much I love all of you. We are gonna get our girl through this.
I'm back in LA for the next few days, but John is always at the hospital with Uma--and Marie (one of Uma's best friends) is there right now too. We're so grateful for all of your support. That cannot be said enough.
Thank you and big love,
p.s. I HAVE A REQUEST: I know that whenever Uma hears the song "Hey Ya" by OutKast, she can't help but dance, and then when they started playing that song "Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz on the radio, Uma called me and said "I discovered my new Hey Ya!," meaning she'd discovered another song she can't help but dance to. I was thinking that, sometime today, if you could take five minutes and crank up either "Hey Ya," or "Feel Good Inc.," or if you don't have access to either of those songs, then crank up some Eminem, or whatever song really makes your body move. (Or, hey, if you're a Buffy geek, then you could pick just about any song from the Buffy musical episode.) Do it alone in your living room, or do it with a friend, or do it out on the street with your neighbors. I don't care where you do it--just DANCE LIKE A MOFO sometime today, Monday Feb 5th. And while you're dancing send all of your dancing energy to Uma in her hospital bed. And while you're sending that dancing energy to Uma in her hospital bed, imagine the rest of that damned excess blood draining out, and imagine Uma waking up, and imagine Uma walking out of that hospital, fully recovered. Let's all keep sending those vibes out there...
I don't know about you, but I'm going to DANCE MY ASS OFF for Uma. All day long!
February 3, 2007
The End of an Era
Fun fact that most folks don't know about me. Until yesterday, I still had an "actor survival job." Yup. In 1999, one of MANY gigs I got through the Job Factory was a very long-term freelance web design assignment for a small college textbook publishing company in West LA.
And while I put in fewer and fewer hours per week over the past seven and a half years, it was very comforting to know that if "this showbiz thing" didn't work out, I could always step up my work there and make rent. Or whatever.
So, yesterday morning, we were all summoned to the office for a meeting. We all had the feeling this wouldn't be a good thing, as we had been asked to do a LOT of work in the past six weeks to provide information to "investors" who were looking to buy a minority share in the company.
Yeah. That didn't work out the way we'd hoped it would. And the company has now been sold to a major international corporation. And we are all out of a job.
Now, of course I'm bummed to not have that safety net, but I'm far more sad for those employees for whom this was their JOB-JOB for as many as 21 years! Suddenly there's no more job. No more health insurance. No more nothin'. And no notice. Really shitty way to go out, y'know? And even if you know it's likely to happen, that's not cool to experience. Of course, so many people have been downsized. They've gone through this. Well, this was my first time ever in life "getting fired" or "being let go" or whatever. And the vibe in the room was one of shock, grief, and flat-out pissed-offness.
But as if the universe knew that I would like a little reassurance that "I'll be okay," on Wednesday night (about 14 hours before "the big meeting"), I got a call about a casting-and-writing-related opportunity that is pretty global in scope, way high-profile, and (presumably, potentially) very high-paying. So, thank you, dear universe, for making sure I would feel "more okay" than if I hadn't received that call at that time.
So, universe... for those who didn't get that kind of reassurance yet, could you show 'em a little love? Show them that an unexpected major life change can often be an opportunity to finally live your dreams!
And while I'm asking for stuff, please take care of the lovely Uma, whose ruptured brain aneurysm has her in a medically-induced coma in the neurological ICU. As the blood drains from around her brain, she can be brought out of the coma and head into rehab and recovery. As KiKi said, "Uma is a fuckin' fighter." Man, that's the truth. I am keeping her in my prayers and hope BonBlogs readers will all do the same.
February 2, 2007
Welcome to the cast, Mister Keaton.