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May 31, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-Seven

Every day is different.
Everything is constantly changing.
I don't fear that. I actually kind of like it.

Whenever I worry that someone is incapable of changing, of improving, of being a better person today than he or she was yesterday, I remind myself that we're all constantly changing. Our cells are rebuilding and renewing themselves millions of times over. We are always in a state of change.

And that means there is endless potential for improvement, every moment, every single day.

Day Twenty-Seven:

I am grateful for change.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2008

Well, that was cool!

So, this will be a long rambling story with a not nearly exciting enough punchline, but it's one of those great "feel goods" that we all need sometimes. So, here it is.

Back in 1999, I was still an actor. My fellow actor friends and I used to do karaoke every week (at least once a week, often twice) and every few months, we would even brave the Farmer's Market for their legendary, loud, large, all-day karaoke and booze-fest on a Saturday. So, on one Saturday we were there and so was TLC, casting for A Dating Story. Being actors, we had to figure out a way to get on that show (on ANY show) and so we decided that I was friends with two of these people and they didn't know one another and I wanted to set them up. Perfect. Me: the yenta. She: the hotty from down south. He: the good guy you really wanted to see win.

The truth: they had dated in college and I had only met him once. But whatevz! Who cared? It was only reality TV and we wanted some face time!

Cut to: The producer and crew from TLC are with us at Amy's apartment, shooting the setup segment. The producer is who we'll follow from here (because the rest of the story isn't relevant).

The producer and I stayed in touch for a little bit after that, but only a little bit, since I was no longer acting--so why would I need to stay in touch with a producer for TLC? But then I put out a breakdown at some point in either late 2005 or early 2006 (can't recall) and I got submissions from a new management company showing up on Breakdown Services and the manager's name was very familiar.

Ring! Ring!

Me: Casting!
He: Is this Bonnie Gillespie?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Is this the Bonnie Gillespie who was once an actress?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Well, this is the Kevin Kahn who was once a producer for TLC and Pie Town Productions.
Me: Holy shit! I just saw your name on Breakdowns.
He: Yup. And now I'm calling to pitch my clients.

And on from there.

So, we've formed a new relationship as CD/manager, which is very different than the actor/producer relationship, but still cool because obviously we go "way back," as they say. Kevin has pitched his awesome clients. I've seen 'em. They're good. He specializes in comedic people. Awesome. He comes to our first ever showcase. Loves it. Writes a great testimonial. Meets with people. All good.

But now I haven't heard from him in awhile. Weird. And then Tuesday night, Keith brings the mail from our Hollywood PO Box and there's a postcard advertising the April showcase that's come back undeliverable. To Kevin. Boo! He's no longer at that address and I've not kept up with him enough to know that. Bummer!

Cut to: yesterday, and I get an email from Kevin. Totally out of the blue. He's producing a package on casting and wants to know how the hell I do this crazy job. I reply that it takes a special balance of being crazy, tolerant, and totally incapable of taking too much too seriously while also behaving as though everything is so serious that it could cure cancer. By the way, I just got mail back from your old address, where the hell are you now? I have a new showcase coming up and you have to see these awesome people.

Turns out he's no longer managing talent, but is back to doing packaged stuff for TV. Cool. Here's the new address. Let's stay in touch. If you ever need anything, blah blah blah.

Ring! Ring!

(It's now today and the phone rings.)

Me: Casting!
He: Is this Bonnie Gillespie?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Is this the Bonnie Gillespie who was once an actress?
Me: Yes it is.
He: Well, this is the Kevin Kahn who was once a producer for TLC and Pie Town Productions.
Me: Well, hello there!
He: I have no time... I'm on the red carpet producing a package right now, but I had to call you.
SFX: Red carpet goings-on. Very exciting.
Me: Ooh!
He: So, there's this guy on the team next to me, the on-camera guy, and between interviews and stand-ups, he's reading this book. He finally takes a piss break and puts the book down, face down, and whose face is staring up at me from the back of this book? Yours! And it's your headshot from your acting days! He's reading this performing arts book between bullshit on the red carpet and it's YOURS. You're out there, baby. People are buying your book!
Me: And reading it! Yay!

Anyway, it goes on, but the point is, this was one of those very silly things that just reminds me how very silly, random, and AWESOME this whole business is.

Just. Like. That.

PS--The 3rd edition of this awesome book will be out in October. I swear it will be done.

Happy weekend, y'all. ;)

Posted by bonnie at 6:29 PM | Comments (4)

Experiment: Day Twenty-Six

This will be another of those incredibly narcissistic-sounding posts. So be it.

When I look at the ways in which I've (almost) always earned a living, when I look at the things that bring me the greatest loads of pleasure, when I show up at the page (or, more correctly, at the keyboard and the screen) to do almost anything, I am grateful for my very mind.

The way I think. That I think at all, sometimes. ;) That I can put a few words in a certain order, email something to someone, and suddenly have more money in my bank account. That I can get on the phone with an agent, have a charm-filled conversation, and suddenly a deal has been negotiated that is so good for producers I end up earning a bonus for it. That really intelligent humor is as funny to me as the word "duty" is. (Heh heh. She said "doody.")

I do not take any of this for granted.

And especially as I face some challenges of the physical level, I am all the more thrilled that--as long as my brain can show up to do the job--the work will still be done. Somehow, that feels really important right now.

Day Twenty-Six:

I am grateful for my brain.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-Five

Not a lot to say on this one.

(I mean, the images really do say it all.)

I got a few really great things, when I married Keith.

(More on the really great things another day.)

I got an awesome husband. Natch.

I got an amazing, brilliant, beautiful sister-in-law.

And probably the coolest, most outstanding, and certainly the most perfect of 'em all...

I got my beautiful stepson.


And in just two weeks, he will be here again.


Couldn't be happier!

Day Twenty-Five:

I am grateful for my stepson.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 8:28 PM | Comments (2)

May 28, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-Four

This will be a quick one. I'm exhausted. Like... wow. Just hit a wall and I'm headed to bed without having finished even close to "enough" of what was on my list for today. Flat-out pooped. Zzz.

Still, here's the post. ;) (Gotta love the OCD for being a driving force in sticking things out sometimes.)

Today, Keith and I had a meeting in the West Valley. I think. Somewhere far, far away and in the 805 area code or something. (THANK YOU, ANNA!!!!)

We drove from our home to the PCH. Seven blocks straight to the beach. Clear skies, blue as far as I could see. Sea. Air. All of it. Blue and perfect. And with windows down, the drive was an enchanting experience. Just the last of the jacaranda still hanging around (Man, was it stunning a few weeks ago!), cool and lovely breeze and the smell of salty water, the chirps of birds. It was just "another day in paradise," as they like to say.

Our meeting was fantastic. Lunch after was a super treat. Came home to a load of work waiting but still couldn't put aside the feeling of love for "where we live" that the drive had left in me. Southern California almost always leaves me simply enchanted--yeah, that's just the right word. It's the sun, it's the skies, it's the water, it's the landmarks, it's the people, it's the VIBE.

That Keith and I can walk out the door right now and, in just a few blocks, touch the Pacific Ocean is awesome. I appreciate that every single day, even if I spend the whole day cooped up inside working sometimes. ;)


Day Twenty-Four:

I am grateful for where we live.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 9:13 PM | Comments (2)

May 27, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-Three

So, a week or so ago, Keith and I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory (the best sitcom launched in the Fall 2007 TV season, and one that--thankfully--came back after the WGA strike) wherein the major plot point was a surprise birthday party. There's planning. There's problems. Hilarity ensues. You know.

Anyway, I got to thinking about one of the two or three surprise parties I've ever been "in on" (oh, and in case anyone thinks it would be fun to throw me a surprise party? Don't. Sooo not interested in that. Nope) and proceeded to tell Keith the story of Rachel Camp's 18th birthday party, held at Reed Hall on the University of Georgia campus.

Rachel and I had been roommates for a couple of weeks. Freshman year. Luck of the draw. Yeah, we both knew people we could've requested shacking with, but we both wanted to start fresh at college and see who we might end up getting to know. Me: Honor student on scholarship from Atlanta. She: party girl from Jasper, GA (a town with one red-light). But we totally got along. Even lived together for part of our Sophomore year. It was a good match.

Anyway, her birthday was just a smidge into our freshman year and something had to be done. We were tired of hitting Milledge Ave. for frat parties and no one had thrown a really good dorm party yet, even though we lived on the co-ed floor and all of our best guy friends were upperclassmen who always bought us booze. (Eventually, they would throw GREAT parties. I still recall fondly [most of] the 1989 Spring Fling.)

I sent Rachel to whatever movie was playing at the Tate Center, along with Stephanie and--dammit, what was his name? Yan? I can't remember--that guy she was dating already. Stephanie had broken her ankle in one of our intramural flag football games (we were soooooo badass), so she was on crutches, and her boyfriend was very sweet and took good care of her. Anyway, we sent the three of them to the movie and decorated the crap out of the third floor of Reed Hall as the traveling team hit the market and the package store for the good stuff.

After about an hour, it was time to pull off the surprise.

I called the ticket window of the movie theater--certainly manned by some fellow freshman not lucky enough to be on scholarship--and told him we had to get one of the patrons at the show OUT of that movie theater. NOW! I told him there had been a break-in at our dorm and several of the rooms had been hit. Rachel Camp and Stephanie... whatever her last name was... would need to come back to the dorm to report to the police what was missing from their rooms.

Of course, this is college town fun in 1988. They stopped the movie, turned up the house lights, asked for Rachel Camp to identify herself, and then--after a slow-clap from the audience as Rachel exited the theater--started the movie back up for the 250 people who remained seated.

Now, what made this *really* fun was that we never let Stephanie in on the plan. She was sure her room had been hit too. So as she hobbled back to the dorm on crutches, she was bitching her New England ass off. I could hear her coming up the stairs just swearing like a Patriot and I giggled all the more.


We all yelled as Rachel rounded the corner from the stairwell, and a wonderful party was enjoyed by all. It was awesome. And clever. And--now that I look back on it--totally and completely ridiculous.

People get arrested for pulling stunts like that. Or at least they get in trouble on campus, lose their scholarships, go on probation. Something.

It was a completely risky thing to do, but at the wise old age of 18 myself, how could I possibly know?

And luckily, it either didn't matter enough or wasn't "risky" enough in anyone else's mind to BECOME a big deal. It was, eventually, a tale on campus about "the night the movie stopped because of a break-in that never happened." And when anyone learned the punchline that the reason for that prank was to throw a great party, it always got even bigger "yippee" cheers.

As I told Keith the story, I both laughed like the kid I was back then and sighed over having become the adult I am now. I reflected on the kazillion things in life that I've gotten away with... by the grace of God, by luck, by clever calculation... whatever.

Point is, there's something to be said about all of the times I didn't get my ass kicked. I sure as shit learned plenty every time that I did get my ass kicked. I should probably at least be grateful for the times my ass escaped the boot, too.

Day Twenty-Three:

I am grateful for getting away with it.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 6:27 PM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-Two

One of the benefits to being a professional college student is getting to let the state pay for thousands and thousands of dollars of health care because it's a part of the "Student Activities Fees" you pay each year. When I was an undergrad, I learned that "health care" included "mental health care" and decided to see a therapist.

He was a total dick.

I went to him like a half-dozen times and he always made me feel like shit.

When I went back for grad school and realized the parking was better, the professors were better, and the health care practitioners were better at the student clinic when you flashed a grad ID card, I decided I'd try some of that free therapy again.

And by the grace of whatever stroke of "meant to be"-ness it is that aligned my appointment request with the right open slot, I ended up with Claire Scott, who I'm still convinced is one of the finest therapists on the planet. (Of course, I only have a sample size of TWO--Claire and that dick from undergrad--but I stand by my vote. Claire was awesome.)

Claire was so awesome in fact that when she finished her on-site residency via her doctorate and moved to private practice, I followed her there. Yup. I left the warm, free bosom of state-school-mental-health-care and spent 50 bucks a week to see Claire in a real office in town. (Yes, I realize I was still getting a steal of a deal. Sheesh, can you imagine? $50 for an hour of therapy? Anywhere outside of a college town?)

One of my favorite things that Claire ever said to me--and there were MANY favorite things, quite a few of which I cite to this day as ways to stay grounded, many more of which I mention to others as analogies for anything from living through bumpy romances to surviving a career in acting--was that everything is a choice.

Of course, I was 25 and I wanted to argue with her, because I was sure that I had lived a life in which there were a bunch of things thrust upon me and I know I didn't have a choice in the matter so what the hell is she talking about and blah-blah-blah-oh-shut-up-25.

She clarified that it's not about choosing the "what happens" part. It's about choosing the "how it happens" or, more importantly, the "how it feels" part of things.

As an example, she asked me to interlace my fingers. I did.

She asked me to notice which thumb was on top. Which hand was "dominant" in this instinctive act of interlacing my fingers as I clasped my hands in front of me.

Left. (Of course. I'm a lefty.)

She asked me to choose to interlace my fingers with the right thumb on top, the right hand being dominant.

Ew. It felt weird. I suddenly remembered an improv coach from when I was a kid, acting in Atlanta, who talked about brushing your teeth with "the other hand" just to get out of habits you don't even realize you have. I remembered learning that it was no harder to brush my teeth right-handed than left-handed... but it was different. It was a choice. But it was a choice I'd made so damn often THAT ONE WAY that it no longer felt like a choice. It felt like "the way it is."

Oh my God, I said. I think I get it.

Claire smiled. She advised, "Next time you feel like you don't have a choice, just interlace your fingers 'the other way.' Remind yourself that how you do anything--how you feel anything--is totally up to you. You always have a choice."

The other day, when Keith and I were sitting in the floor, taking our daily five minutes of meditation (which those of you who have been following the Experiment saw me start up on Day 12), we heard a car accident take place outside our home. When our five minutes were done, I headed to the window and watched one very angry man--kicking at the air, punching at the air, cursing at the air--and one very "just there" man--taking it all in.

Does it matter who caused the accident I didn't see? Sure. Maybe. To someone. Like an insurance company or a customer planning to make a claim. But regardless of the cause of the pain, it's the choice in how to handle it that we ultimately control.

It's almost as if, by releasing all control of how it should be, we get it exactly the way we would've wanted it in the first place.

Ah. That's nice. It's also nice if it doesn't work out like that. That's the cool thing about getting to choose how you react to anything. You can always do it "the other way" and see how that feels too.

Day Twenty-Two:

I am grateful for choices.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 8:27 PM | Comments (0)

Congratulations to our July 2008 Showcase WRITERS!

As you may know, we now have an ongoing "call for comedic material" for the Cricket Feet Showcase.

Yay! We love that these rockstar writers want their material showcased, just as much as the actors want to be showcased doing great, comedic material!

(And, hey, if a talent agent in the showcase audience is inspired to go back to work the next day and tell the head of the literary department about this fantastic scene and amazing writer they should scoop up for their roster, that's not so bad, is it?)

So, THANK YOU to ALL who submitted material for the July 2008 Showcase. (Those scenes not selected will remain on our list for future showcase consideration.)

We're thrilled to announce the line-up of writers for this showcase (and THANK YOU for helping with the whole "meta-showcasing" experience)!

Aaron Pruner || Amy Heidish || Anna Campbell || Anna Christopher and Abby Miller || Annie Wood || Bonnie Gillespie || Bren Hill || Brooke Stone || Christina Bunner || Cole Stratton || Eitan Loewenstein || Jason Allen || Jennifer Betit Yen || Josh Peterson || Natalie Sutherland and Marcus McGee || Retta Sirleaf || Rick Segall

We hope you reap many benefits from the industry exposure you'll receive for having penned a great showcase scene (or two). Last showcase, we actually had a showrunner approach a writer at the networking/showcase afterparty about writing for his show! Your amazing words are now in the hands of our kickass cast and superstar director, Chil Kong. Hope you'll come check out the finished results in July!

Congratulations and, again, THANK YOU!!

--Bonnie Gillespie, cruise director
Cricket Feet Showcase --> July 9th and 10th (RSVP now!)
Showcase on MySpace

Posted by bonnie at 7:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty-One

Except for a few early years, I grew up alone with my mom. And seeing as she went straight from a high school cap-and-gown to a wedding dress, she still had plenty of growing up to do while I was growing up, so that worked out pretty well. She also "became enlightened" while I was still a child, tuning in to all things Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and Unity Church and Reiki Healing and A Course in Miracles. In addition to being a Montessori kid, I'm the product of a New Age household. Tarot Cards, Viking Runes, real-live psychic friends. Yup.

As much as Mom and I would make fun of Born-Again Christians (sorry, Born-Again Christians. It's true. We made fun of you--especially the super, psycho-hypocritical ones to whom we're related), we were made fun of by those who similarly didn't understand what we were doing: opening our chakras, meditating, visualizing peace in our lives, using the position of the stars and planets to determine what kind of experience we were going to have in life.

But the coolest part of "growing up with my mom" has nothing to do with anything I've mentioned thus far in this post (I don't think) and has everything to do with what was at the core of every moment we shared, both as "kids" and "adults" in our lives together. We loved to talk. We loved to analyze. We loved to hypothesize and wonder about things and discuss options about why things and people were the way they were and how that mattered in the larger scope of this "life" thing we experience for such a short period of our soul's time.

In college, I would take a "skills assessment exam" as a part of becoming an academic peer tutor (so that I could understand the seven different primary strengths that were the ways that my students might learn things) and learn that I was primarily an "interactive learner," meaning I don't GET IT until I discuss it. I have to share it in order to process it. (Sure as shit explains my need to journal--and later, to blog--about every damn thing, eh?) My secondary learning style is "visual," meaning once I see it, I get it. That's FAR more typical for "smart kids" than the "interactive learner" score. And even more common than either of those two, for my peers, was "print learning." Nope. Not me. I actually scored lower as a "print learner" than as a "tactile learner," meaning I GET IT if I FEEL IT with my hands before I GET IT from reading it. (Again, with the irony, considering how much I must read as a part of my job(s), eh?)

Anyway, when I came home one weekend from college and talked with my mom about being an "interactive learner," she was fascinated and decided that that was true for her as well. That she could talk and "yes, and" with people all day long and suddenly understand something better. And this is not the same as "auditory learning," where you hear it and understand it. This is, "I gots to TALK TO YOU about it to really GET IT" kind of learning.

There was one point in our lives together, much later--like after I moved back to Hollywood after grad school--at which Mom sent me an email about that day's phone conversation (some kids don't like to talk to Mom every day. Honestly, I could've never hung up the phone with that woman and I would've been just fine) and signed off with the words:

I am never finished talking with you.

I weep as I type that. It was always such a wonderful thing to get to talk about ANYTHING, EVERYTHING with my Mom. And we NEVER ran out of stuff. Never. I know so many people who don't (who can't, who won't) have such a relationship with their mother, so I know--despite the hard times we faced together for many years there on our own together--we had it SO good.

Cut to: A few years after Mom passed away. My dear Cousin Faith and I had had one of our marathon phone sessions (this was before she moved away to NY to do her kickass radio show; we were actually neighbors, but still could only--sometimes--find time to chat on the phone or via email) and she said, before we finally used crowbars to make ourselves hang up: "I swear, Bon, I am just never finished talking with you."

How could she know?

And today I am grateful for my husband and my Annas (three of 'em; all of whom qualify as really, truly, besties) and even for my not-nearly-often-enough (but dammit, isn't it GOOD when it happens) friends with whom I'll share the same sentiment. With the right people, with the ones who GET YOU, with the ones you want to get you... there is never a period in the conversation. Only commas. Only semi-colons. Only ellipses (and only the good kind. Not the ones that leave anything out).

Wow. I'm just so glad to have people in my life with whom I can soak in that ability to learn, that hunger for information, that quest for laughter, that delight in LANGUAGE, that bliss that is SHARING! Just... wow.

Day Twenty-One:

I am grateful for communication.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 5:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2008

Experiment: Day Twenty

I've always had amazingly fine taste in music (if I do say so myself). I would "play DJ" when I was a toddler, then I would create mix tapes for friends in high school that would become "requested" by other friends and friends of friends until I had a little side gig of creating mixes for dozens at a time. A total musical theatre rat, I never met a Sondheim song I didn't like to belt out. Cole Porter makes me swoon. And as a child, I had the ambition of growing up to be Barbra Streisand. (Dear God, I was born a gay boy.)

My first "job job" was as assistant to the president of an entertainment management firm in Hollywood. I got to work with Duran Duran, Meat Loaf, Richard Marx, Tony Toni Toné, Luther Vandross, John Mellencamp, Stephanie Mills, Bee Gees, and Joey Lawrence (WHOA!). I got to work with each of them to a different degree, and I learned so much so quickly about the business of the music industry and the genius mind of the artist who creates and performs music. Between youth and that first "job job," I worked in college radio.

Yup. WUOG, 90.5fm. Athens, Georgia's college radio in the late '80s (REM, Pylon, Love Tractor, B-52s) and then again in the mid-90s. I started out as a jock (working the midnight to 3am shift on Monday mornings), eventually scored a "lunchbox" shift, then became the host of "Blank Generation" on Friday nights. As an undergrad, I became the station's Promotions Director, and when I came back to UGA for grad school, I was named the Graduate Advisor to the station. That was awesome. Getting paid to do something I would do for free? Badass.

My first ever concert was ELO, back in 1980. My most recent concert was the Pixies with Grant Lee Phillips at the Greek a couple of years ago. Outside of about two or three music styles I simply cannot endure (Country, Reggae), I am a huge music lover and I find that just a few bars of anything can transport me to some other place, some other time, some other mindset... and that is some pretty powerful stuff right there.

How can just a few notes arranged in a specific order evoke such an emotional response? Music is amazingly powerful. And I'm so happy to have had it so completely woven into my life from so many different directions.

Day Twenty:

I am grateful for music.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2008

Experiment: Day Nineteen

Keith and I have two tenets of our marriage.

1. Trust that we each have the other's best interests at heart.
2. Always go for the funny.

This morning, as we snuggled in bed, there was much laughter. Giggles. Guffaws. We just really have a lot of fun.

I'm reading comedic scenes for the showcase (scene assignments this weekend) and I'm just so impressed with all of the different types of comedy, all of the specific comedic "voices" out there. Some of this stuff is laugh-out-loud funny on paper, and that's just so dang cool.

I love to laugh. I really love to have fun. I so completely enjoy humor in (almost) all its forms (I never quite *got* what was funny about anything Monty Python-related), and I love that I have the kind of life in which consuming funny stuff is actually a part of my JOB. Very cool.

Day Nineteen:

I am grateful for laughter.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:03 PM | Comments (6)

May 22, 2008

Experiment: Day Eighteen

It's no secret that I'm a big girl. What's probably unexpected is that I'm also about as healthy as a person can possibly be. No high blood sugar. No high cholesterol. No high blood pressure. No trouble with my knees or any of the other things that "big girls" might experience. I'm actually pretty dang fit... I'm just a big girl (but getting smaller every day. Down 15 pounds since Valentine's Day; down 30 since Christmas. It's slow-going, but at this rate, I'll have a SMOKIN' bod by Halloween, and that sounds just fine by me).

Anyway, one thing that I am really grateful for is a whole lot of little things. It's my health. It's my cool-ass LASIK'ed eyes. It's my having awakened to the fact that wheat gluten isn't good for me. It's the genetic gifts that are my great skin, my perfect height, my stunning rack, my gorgeous hair, my rockingly-proportioned curves. And especially, it's my body's miraculous ability to bounce back after years of having smoked (non-smoker for over a decade now, y'all), loads of poor food choices, and those many foggy nights of heavy drinking.

Damn. Narcissist much, Bon? Well, yeah! Because if I don't think I'm a goddess, how can I expect anyone else to do so? And if I can celebrate my body at its current state--whatever that is, anytime--hopefully that will inspire folks who hate their bodies and do horrible things to themselves in the name of attaining some ideal shape or size to celebrate RIGHT NOW too.

This is the body I've got. I'm taking really good care of it lately and that feels awesome. I had an epiphany a few months back that led to this shift in my behavior, and it involved taking a look at how much energy, how much time, how much WORK I put into every single aspect of my life... except for taking care of this physical container that has to transport my brain to all of the places I force it to go to work so hard. And why not start giving a little of that energy, that time, and that WORK to the gift that is this miracle of a body?


And my body is responding in beautiful, sexy, happy ways. I celebrate this miracle every day! And THAT is awesome.

Day Eighteen:

I am grateful for my rockin' bod.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 1:08 PM | Comments (2)

May 21, 2008

Experiment: Day Seventeen

Last week, Keith and I drove up Wilshire, headed to a meeting, and while we were stopped at a redlight, I noticed a group of young men standing on the sidewalk next to us, each with a tuxedo in a hanging bag. One at a time, the guys reached over and hung their tux-bags on a tree branch. They joked around and horsed around and played around on the eve of a pretty important day.

We laughed to think about what it was their counterparts were doing. How their dresses were certainly not hung from a tree branch anywhere. How there was probably no horseplay going on while they received mani-pedi treatments and all that.

Monday night, during our dinner of green corn tamales at El Cholo, delivered (along with bonus drinks and loads of laughs) by our favorite waitress-slash-photographer Rachael, a hummingbird buzzed all over, dipping into the flowers overhead. We stopped our chat (oh, such bliss, having a long-overdue dinner with the lovely Anna Vocino) and giggled. I said, "Hi, Mom," as usual, and we just enjoyed the bliss that was patio-dining weather in Santa Monica in May.

Yesterday, while killing two hours between auditions for The Mikado Project and the first Cricket Feet Showcase cast meeting, I was approached by an actor who recognized me from my column. He had just moved here from somewhere else and wanted to take the opportunity to thank me in person for helping his move go so smoothly, having had access to my columns for the past four years at Showfax. He came up to the table and said, "Hi, Bonnie." I searched his face, hoping to recognize him from somewhere. Have I called him in? Has he submitted? Have I CAST him? Why does he know me? And it was all column-related. (So, I must look like my photo. Heh heh.) That he recognized me, felt compelled come over and thank me, and pretty much made my day was really nice and totally unexpected.

Today, one of our former neighbors stopped by, having moved away after getting engaged a couple of years ago, bringing her new baby to show off. Keith learned our landlord's oldest daughter starts kindergarten soon. How time does fly! A neighbor stopped by the other day with kitty treats for Archie, because he had been watching her from behind our screen door, and saw her giving treats to her kitty, Garbo (on whom Archie has a "from different worlds" crush, watching her lie on the patio, flicking her tail).

This is all just a random list of cuteness. And I needed that today. I had to choose to MISS taping of the showcase testimonials for our grant-proposal and sponsorship video package because of... ugh... let's just say "some unpleasantness" associated with a project of which I'm a part. And after a 20-minute phone meeting with the powers-that-be regarding getting that shit all straightened out, I received an email from Keith sharing a recipe from Tamika, who wanted him to let me know how much she missed me at the shoot.

The recipe?

Tamika's Aloetini
Trader Joe's aloe, honey, and cane juice
Ciroc vodka

I am all over that randomness. ;) And Keith will be bringing the ingredients home with him tonight so that I can report back on whether it's as yummy as it sounds.


It's a whole lot of little things that make you smile, sometimes.

Day Seventeen:

I am grateful for random cuteness.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2008

Experiment: Day Sixteen

We live across the street from a church. Actually, there are three churches within two blocks of us. Think about that. Two blocks. Three huge churches. Methodists and Baptists and Catholics, oh my!

(Fun fact: We've voted in all three of these churches. Or some common room within each of these three churches. It always feels so "small town" to me to go vote at a church, but I still say my coolest-ever polling place was the Smart & Final in Miracle Mile. I mean, c'mon! Choosing a world leader next to the jumbo-sized cat litter? That's effin' poetry right there.)

As a gal who's never really experienced organized religion outside of the time when I was too young to have it leave an impression on me that I can mentally or emotionally access now, I find the whole parade of dress-up, file-in, pray-and-sing-together, and stand-around-smiling-after to be quite entertaining, from my window.

I always take time, when I hear the church bells ring, to go within and be grateful, to thank God for my awesome life, to thank the Universe for the wonderful lessons, to appreciate the miracle that is living at all. And as I see these folks leaving church each day, I get a warm-and-fuzzy feeling, knowing they've all just felt their own connection to whatever it is that they believe, and they're all better people than they were a few minutes earlier.

And then they get into their cars and fight to get out of the parking lot first, cutting each other off, laying on the horns, sometimes even getting out of cars and yelling at one another with their fists punching the air.

And it is THIS ritual that I find endlessly amusing.

Day Sixteen:

I am grateful for irony.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 11:23 AM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2008

Experiment: Day Fifteen

In my former LA life (back in '93 and '94, the first time I lived here), I assisted the president of a major recording artists' management firm. Basically, I did everything from creating a program that could calculate the Billboard Top 100 before it came out each week based on sales reports and information in the trades, running "supplies" over to the homes of "creatively blocked" rock stars, working with police to track pop stars' stalkers, and spending hours on the phone with one very drunk new wave star from the '80s whose divorce was killing him, four bottles of Merlot at a time.

My real job, though, was doing whatever it took to make my boss look awesome. And he was pretty awesome, so this wasn't too tough. But it was certainly a LOT of work. And this was the first "real office job" I ever had (and the last, pretty much). I rolled around on a plastic pad behind a desk for 50 hours every week, answered phones, sent faxes, drafted cover letters for recording contracts, bundled show tickets for VIPs, approved set models, forwarded fan mail, and endured a LOT of meetings in which people yelled about the importance of everything as if we were curing cancer with this singer's next album's cover art.

In the bullpen, there were three assistants' desks. Mine, the-ever-changing-desk-occupied-by-Carol's-ever-changing-assistant, and Harvey's. Harvey was a career assistant. He had been working in this position for years before I got there and stayed in it years after I left. Older than I, he acted at first like he might want to mentor me into "how to assist an exec in the music biz," but I had no interest in getting very good at this job (beyond the level of "very good" I get at anything I ever attempt to do), because I had moved to LA to pursue my acting career and this was just a survival job. A 50-hour-a-week survival job. Yeah, right. Golden handcuffs, anyone?

Now, I earned a buttload of money in the year I was in this position. And the perks were amazing. Free computers for my home use, free trips home when I missed my mom, a Cadillac of health insurance plans, and all the "rock and roll lifestyle" trappings I might want to tap into at any time. Not bad for a 23 year old who once ate "government reduced lunch" at public school. And that meant Harvey was certainly doing even better than I was. And because he was getting married soon and planning a family after that, I could imagine that the money was even more important to him than it was to me. (I was just happy that I could send home money to Mom when she needed it and pay off my car note. And buy furniture. And toys.)

Anyway, Harvey was a cross fellow, let's just say. Gruff, NY-like, he would answer the phone: "_____'s office!" as if he were accusing the caller of interrupting some very important flow. And then he would sternly grill the caller to determine whether _____ should receive the call. And then he would listen in on the call in case there were action items for him, based on _____'s conversation. And if another call came in while he was listening in on _____'s calls, he would be even more angry when he would answer: "_____'s office!"

Me? I'd never answered the phone for anyone other than myself at this point in life, so I decided to try, "Good morning, _____'s office," with a nice, Southern lilt to my voice and an upturned end, as if asking what I could do for the person so kind as to call us today. Every morning, "Good morning, _____'s office," over and over and over. Smiling. Laughing. Making friends with assistants in other bigwigs' offices and enjoying this very novel job I had in this crazy Hollywood place.

Within a couple of months, I heard Harvey answer the phone, "Good morning, _____'s office."

*blink* *blink* *blink*

Couldn't have been. No way. I totally didn't hear that right.

And then it happened again. And again. And again.

Holy crap. I modeled behavior that resulted in a change in someone else, rather than letting my choices be molded by the behavior of someone older, more experienced, more down-with-this-gig, more powerful. I could've easily become the gruff, busy, grunter Harvey showed me how to be with his repeated behavior, but instead, he became friendlier, he became more open, he smiled.

That was really cool.

And as I type this up, I realize I answer the phone, "Casting!" nowadays. Very fast, very busy, very much a habit I picked up working in casting for Fox back in 2003. I think it's time to add my "Good morning" back. That extra few seconds doesn't cost me a damn thing and maybe it'll feel good to hear... and to say.

Day Fifteen:

I am grateful for modeling good behavior.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2008

Experiment: Day Fourteen

As I waited hours for my relative to show up--she had prepped me for her trip; told me she'd be here Tuesday night and ready to have cocktails and sushi--I realized that there's something nice about kissing 40.

When I was younger and a relative would pull this shit on me: make a promise, make a plan, pledge to insert himself into my life despite the poor fit if I'd just make room and then leave me waiting like Kelly Taylor--always counting on the rich, world-traveling dad that never showed--I would curl into a ball, cry, and remember that it's all just backup for my mom's philosophy that I'm totally alone and lucky to have her and a kitty.

Now, I wouldn't spiral into a coke binge like Kelly Taylor did the umpteenth time her dad was a no-show/no-call after setting up a meeting, but I sure would bank the experience of my relative's flakiness and use it as a way to push others away. Many a relationship in my life suffered due to the track record of "loved ones" shitting on plans they made to spend time with me, usually after having me go out of my way to accommodate their schedule.

The nice thing about aging and losing attachment to most irrelevant things is that when that sort of thing happens now, I'm relieved to have the free time I wasn't counting on, excited to have the house cleaned for no good reason, and happy to know that "family" isn't defined by sharing a bloodline. Those folks are relatives. And no one says they HAVE to treat anyone right. Nor does anyone say I have to stay open to their repeated screw-overs.

Sure, plans change. And communication about changes is all I've ever needed. But most of the people I'm related to are really crappy at communicating. And I've made a career out of it. How 'bout them apples?

Day Fourteen:

I am grateful for choosing my own family.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 12:55 PM | Comments (11)

May 17, 2008

Experiment: Day Thirteen

It's hot. Really, really hot.

Okay, it's probably not that hot, but I'm a weather wimp. Extreme temps in either direction and I'm useless. But especially when it's hot. I get achy and migrainey and, well, it's ugly.

So, my delightful husband, keeping an eye on what the weather was planning to do today, set up our most amazingly wonderful essential AC in the bedroom, loaded a bunch of episodes of great TV onto a spare computer, and sent me into the cold space, so I could continue to get my work done.


Much better.

Day Thirteen:

I am grateful for the luxury of comfort.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 2:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2008

July 2008 Cricket Feet Showcase Cast Announced!

Congratulations to our July 2008 Cricket Feet Casting Actors Showcase CAST!

Let's meet 'em, shall we?

Aaron Pruner

Aliza Hedges

Alyson Weaver

Annie Weirich

Antonie Knoppers

Beau Wilson

Britni Karst

Camille Bennett

Daniela Melgoza

Eitan Loewenstein

Elena Zaretsky

Ellen Etten

Gray Stevenson

Jennie Roberson

Jeremiah Peisert

Joel Johnstone

Jordan St. Jean

Keith Johnson

Kevin G. Kelly

Kimberly Demarse

Kirstin Benson

Laura Buckles

Lauren Dobbins Webb

Lindsay MacFarland

Lonyé Perrine

Megan Greysmith

Michelle Ehrman

Michelle Flowers

Natalie Sutherland

Patrick Carlyle

Peter M. Karlin

Rachel Kanouse

Rick Segall

Rick Steadman

Shanna Micko

Tamika Simpkins

Tim Astor

Todd Johnson

Tracy Dillon

Vivian Gray

Xan Stevenson

Yoyao Hsueh

Links to actors' official actor profiles (with resumés, demo reels, and all that good stuff) will be coming soon at the Cricket Feet Showcase website. Congratulations, everyone! And THANK YOU to all of the amazing actors who auditioned for our July showcase. We hope to work with you in the future!

See y'all at The Colony Theatre!

(on behalf of Chil Kong, Eitan Loewenstein, Tamika Simpkins, and the whole showcase team)

Posted by bonnie at 8:10 PM | Comments (0)

Experiment: Day Twelve

My mom had a temper. Big time. She didn't often get angry, but when she did, it was scary. Not "beat you down" scary. Just intimidating. A powerful woman suddenly less in-control than she was at every moment of every day otherwise... well, that looks terrifying to a kid.

I'm realizing--as I deal with my own issues of rage and out-of-control and temper--that the problem isn't the anger. It's the obsession with being IN control in the first place. That's what makes the wheels fall off. That is what's scary.

So, today, I pledged to take five fucking minutes out of my day--every day--and sit in the goddamn floor and just be. Stop trying to control everything. Stop trying to stifle the anger that boils up when everything is "under control." Take the phone off the hook, sit there, breathe. Just fucking be.

And it was amazingly simple.

Not easy. But simple.

As much as I loved my mother and cherish all the ways in which I am exactly like her, I do not need to fulfill her need to always have everything under control. It is not my responsibility to continue her legacy in that way. I'm not making anything better by standing on the neck of anything I can't control. It's my neck I'm standing on, by behaving that way.

Day Twelve:

I am grateful for epiphanies.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 1:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2008

Experiment: Day Eleven

Last night we showed up to showcase auditions and found out they had given away our room. Double booked the space. We'd be down the hall and about a hundred folks who'd been told to go to one room would have to read signs and find us in another room. And who was in "our" room? Twinkie. Twinkie Byrd.

Now, those who know me know that Twinkie has been a friend of mine since she began the transition from associate CD level and music video casting into major studio feature film casting. (Stomp the Yard, anyone?) Back when I was a columnist for Back Stage West, I interviewed Twinkie and she STILL uses the bio I wrote for her in her press materials. Says no one ever did as good a job capturing her essence as I did. And when I started making my transition into casting, she mentored me through a bunch of hurdles. And will continue to do so, I'm sure!

So, while others might think, "Uh-oh. Room foul-up. Bon's not gonna be happy," the reaction instead was, "Twinkie!?! Where is she?" And when one actor left the room after auditioning, I burst past the casting assistant and ran straight in, into the warm embrace and squeals of my friend. We hugged and cooed and laughed for about one minute--I didn't want to be more rude to the waiting actors than I already was, by jumping in front of whomever was about to audition--and she told me she'd come down to our session room when she wrapped.

And she did. She came in on our sessions and watched four actors audition, giving her feedback and just sharing her general, awesome vibe with the room. She told me she was going to steal my husband, to which I replied, "That's okay. I can always come visit y'all." It was awesome. And it was all a happy surprise.

When we finished auditions, we headed over to a restaurant to do the usual post-audition casting decisions debate and strategy session. Who was in the parking lot but Erin. Erin Quill. Chil's awesome wife and someone of whom I've been a fan since going to see the first ever 15 Minutes of FEM a zillion years ago. She joined us at the restaurant and provided HOURS of comic relief to a sometimes tedious and patience-pushing process. She and Keith must've been separated at birth. They are both totally silly and brilliantly dry. And unapologetically inappropriate. It's awesome. By the end of the meeting about casting decisions, we were in tears from having laughed so hard.

As Keith and I drove home--after walking blocks and block and blocks to get to his car (another one of those things that could've felt like a burden, but instead felt like a wonderful surprise opportunity to walk slowly with our arms around each other, my head on his shoulder, sighing contentedly)--I talked about the bizarre world in which such strong, opinionated, passionate personalities can all be friends and colleagues and coworkers. Oh, how lucky we are to be here, living this life!

Day Eleven:

I am grateful for happy surprises.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2008

Experiment: Day Ten

If I had known how popular going into casting would make me, I would've done it in high school.

I said that five years ago after putting out the breakdown for the first feature film I cast. It was like, by hitting "submit" on the breakdown confirmation page, I had initiated a change in my life from which I would never recover. I've even had to disable messaging at MySpace because of my career choice. The emails, the calls, the faxes, the snail mailed submissions... they NEVER. STOP. COMING.

Even when no breakdown is active, there are emails, calls, submissions. Pleas for general meetings. Declarations of love for all opportunities.

And I love my job. Monday, I was up before 7am to deal with casting issues taking place in other time zones. By 10am, I had logged work hours on six different feature films. Issued offers to name actors, set up meetings with up-and-coming actors whose work we know, helped a producer get her SAG Guaranteed Completion Certificate, started in on a character breakdown, and had a strategy session to plan next offers.

And that's just the work that's related to projects I'm casting. Which is just a fraction of my work life. There's the writing, the speaking, the producing too. Never stop, never stop, never stop.

As many times as I find myself wishing for a break from the constant phones, emails, and "others," I have to say that it is certainly better than the alternative. I have casting colleagues who will reach out to me, asking how I find projects to cast... how I get on producers' radar... how they might find some leads, write up some bids, get some WORK. *shrug* Outside of the very first film I cast, for which I answered a crew notice in Back Stage West, I've never had to work that hard to find work. It finds me. And that's pretty dang badass.

Day Ten:

I am grateful for being in demand.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 12:13 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2008

Experiment: Day Nine

This one is going to seem really simple. And I guess it is. Isn't that the point of this experiment to some extent anyway?

My favorite beverage is water. Yup. H2O. I love it, I love it, I love it. Drink nearly a gallon of it a day.

I grew up a Coca-Cola child (and still have stock in the company, thankyouverymuch), in a household where my mother would drink a can of Tab (and, come the '80s, a can of Diet Coke) twice each day. The diet stuff always gave me a migraine, so I would occasionally have a Coke or a Sprite or a Fanta or a Dr Pepper or a Fresca... but it was never a daily habit.

Until I started working at the Drug Emporium on Roswell Rd. in Sandy Springs.

I lied on my work permit to get a job before I was legally old enough to do so and then, before I was legally old enough to earn a promotion to Head Cashier, I got "in" that door too. That meant I spent hours in a tiny room off the front of the store, counting tens of thousands of dollars, wrapping coins, binding bills, and balancing my employees' tills. I don't remember my direct coworkers' names, but one was a petite squeaky blonde white chick and another was a robust loud funny black chick and both chain smoked and drank sodas like there was no tomorrow.

So, within a few months of starting this job, I began to associate piles and piles of money with the stench of ciggies and the taste of sugary, syrupy soft drinks.

When I quit that job to begin work as an academic tutor in my junior year of high school, I noticed that whenever I would sip a soda, it would "taste" like that memory. And I didn't like it. It's not that I disliked the job... it's that sharing a tiny room with two adult chain smokers when you're 15 and healthy is something that feels weird at some point. Anyway, I decided, officially, to "go on water" at that point.

And outside of my regular beloved Ciroc Gimlets and occasional glasses of wine and champagne or other cocktails, water is pretty much all you'll ever see me drink. I have perhaps three cups of hot tea per year. Never coffee. Never soda unless I'm just really craving one and even then, it's a quick hit.

I will never be in my car without a bottle of water. I will never be at my desk without a bottle of water. I will never be at a speaking engagement without a bottle of water. I freeze 'em, half full, so that it's like I'm drinking ice water (because I do prefer my water with TONS of ice). Of course, with kitties that love to scurry and a workspace covered in paperwork and computers, "ice water" in a nice glass with a wedge of lemon is a bad idea. *sigh* The things we do to adapt to our critters' needs to play.

Anyway, I love water. And I love that I live in a community that spends a great deal of energy keeping its tap water clean. Yup! In Santa Monica, you can drink water right out of the tap, which I love, love, love to do. It's some of the cleanest water going. :) And that makes me very happy.

See? Toldja. Simple.

Day Nine:

I am grateful for water.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 8:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2008

12 of 12 for May 2008

Here's this month's "all-desk" edition of 12 of 12. (Don't know what 12 of 12 is? Visit Chad Darnell for all the info.)

12:18am: Kitties on Catalina. They actually don't mind each other sometimes. That always deserves a snapshot. (Oh, and that hole in the sofa? That's where my ass is planted... showing you the kitties really like hovering.) Took this shot and headed to bed!

8:22am: Got up before 7am and fielded emails from actors regarding the YouTube.com audition requests for Another Harvest Moon local hires, counter-signed a writer's release for a showcase scene submission, moderated a few posts at Hollywood Happy Hour, and prepped sides to fax to Showfax.

9:33am: Little Miss Sassypants (Thwok) is celebrating her fourth birthday tomorrow, and is very extra princess-like today. By now, I have walked a producer through obtaining a SAG Guarantee of Completion Contract for her indie film, made contingent compensation and producer credit adjustments to the casting deal memo for my next casting gig, dealt with a showcase meeting schedule snafu, and put out an offer to a pretty heavy-hitting (and legendarily diva-like) "name" actor on another film.

10:32am: Short list of namey actors the director would like to meet for one of these films. Time to make calls out to the agents and managers of the top three and get 'em all set for some coffee dates. The rest will wait in the on-deck circle.

11:39am: Here comes the marked-up casting deal memo for the next film I'm casting. I'll enter all of these changes and send over a revised and signed document--via Keith--for counter-signature and then we're go for takeoff!

12:58pm: Ah, now it's time for the typical 1pm to 3pm lunch break at most agencies (the only time of day my phone and email inbox at the casting account are both quiet). So, I'll take a break and read Rich's recap on ANTM and the badass final three (GO WHITNEY!!!!). I'm not totally on a break, though, as I'm crafting an email to a director to ask whether he wants to Taft-Hartley someone on a supporting role and if the top-choice actor in another role who is in Paris right now should find a way to put herself on tape before she gets back to the states.

2:32pm: Working up the breakdown for The Mikado Project while uploading first audition footage for Another Harvest Moon. Of course, 90210 is on in the background. So, it's still *kind of* a break. Okay, okay. It's not. I know.

2:50pm: NOW a proper lunch break. Yum! Chicken Italiano with veggies and three-bean salad. Delish! This is like the only time when I won't stop a break to answer the phone. I'm trying to get much more focused about my eating time. Allegedly, mindful eating is better for a person. We'll see. ;)

5:46pm: Still working on the breakdown for The Mikado Project. This is taking awhile and we don't have a lot of time on this one.

7:26pm: I'm starting to get sleepy enough that I know I need to upload my 12 of 12 soon. And I have far too photos! So, it's time to snap the kitties. Everyone loves kitty pics, right? ;) There's Archie.

7:26pm: And Salema. (Doesn't she look like a porcupine??)

7:33pm: Okay, time to prep my blueberries and instant oatmeal. Does anyone else love breakfast for dinner as much as I do? It just rocks! Contemplating a nap and then a midnight gym visit. WE'LL SEE!

Hope you enjoyed this edition of 12 of 12! It's nice having this intersect with The Experiment! :) And, hey, next month's 12 of 12 is the day Quinn arrives for his annual visit! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Posted by bonnie at 8:39 PM | Comments (8)

Experiment: Day Eight

Today is Day Eight of the Experiment but it is also 12 of 12. For the better part of two years, I've been taking part in Chad Darnell's photo essay meme and it's been really cool for a few reasons.

1. It gives me an excuse to stop every month and record a bit about what my life looks like. No matter how mundane, exciting, or otherwise it is, it is recorded and shared. I don't often stop and look at my life, so this is a wonderful reason to do so.

2. At year's end, it provides me with a look at what was going on in my life, at least during a few of the days, throughout that year. I imagine that there will be a time when I say, "Ooh, look at that decade's worth of photos from back when I was doing 12 of 12!"

3. By looking at others' photos from the same time, all over the world, I get a "small world" experience, even if only via the Internet. I enjoy seeing how similar and how different we all are.

Shortly, I will post this month's 12 of 12 and it'll just be another set of many photos snapped and shared... but I am appreciative for the reason to record what's going on, and to share too.

Day Eight:

I am grateful for creating memories.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 8:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2008

Experiment: Day Seven

(Technically, this post should be titled: "This blog post is for Kim." She's been waiting patiently for it. Thanks, Kim.)

Last month, we mounted the fourth rockstar edition of the Cricket Feet Showcase.

After having spent years trying to figure out how to produce a showcase, it took a single post--in fact, as a part of a meme very similar to this one, wherein I posted at a MySpace Group an "observation of the day" each day--in which I said, after having attended another showcase, how much I still wanted to produce one of my own, to get this thing started. My producing partner Eitan hopped on board, willing to do all of the stuff I didn't want to do, and it turns out our skill sets compliment one another's pretty well.

I mean, it would seem that we know what we're doing. And in just a very short period of time, our showcase has gone from the 68-seat venue of the Promenade Playhouse (ah, how I miss that pole) to the stunning 268-seat Colony Theatre.

About 120 actors have done about 70 different--almost all original--comedic scenes with four amazing directors in front of nearly 1500 audience members... the majority of those folks agents, managers, casting directors, producers, directors, showrunners, writers, development execs, and on and on and on.

And just 16 months ago, this was just a random post about how I still really wanted to produce showcases... but didn't know how to get started without a (no, not "a," "the right") producing partner. Because twice previously, I had met with potential producing partners about producing showcases and we always got to the same spot in the process and crapped out on it. Not this time. This team is the right team. As one of my newer producing partners commented last week, "This is a fool-proof system. How did you know how to create this system, just starting out?"

And that's when I realized that maybe I can call myself a producer after all. Because my brain just works like that: here's what I want it to look like, here's what we need to do to achieve that vision, here are the potential potholes in the road, and here's how to avoid them (and here's how to fix--with as little stress as possible--the problems caused by having others on the team who refuse to avoid the potholes we've already identified), repeat.

So, when I was asked to exec produce a film late last year, I said yes. When I was given a producer credit on a film I cast earlier this year, I accepted it. When I was asked to produce and exec produce, respectively, two more films by a director I had hired for the showcase, I leaped at the chance. When I was offered producer credit on two more films I'll be casting in the coming months, I accepted again. And what is it I do for these titles? I fix stuff. I fix a lot of stuff before problems even arise. And I learned how to do this by something as simple as just trying it out, confidently--albeit tearfully, my first time out with the April 2007 showcase, because I was just so humbled that anyone would believe in my ability to produce anything before I actually had done so, ever--with a great support group of producing partners who embrace the collaborative spirit and face every day with an excited, "Let's see what this might be when it grows up," attitude.

Our showcase now has an indie music department, a grant-writing specialist, an entire committee of script readers and punch-up writers. And we're headed for corporate buy-out at this point (or at least corporate sponsorship) due to a business model that works: we're all in this for the best possible overall experience, we defer to those who have our best interest at heart as decisions are made, and no divas are allowed (except for me).

Last night, I got to celebrate a social gathering with showcase alumni from all four casts we've had so far (casting for showcase #5 on Wednesday) that included bowling, competition, and more laughs than I can remember counting. (I bowled an 88. Hee!) Somehow, we've been fortunate enough to attract not only the most talented actors in town, but also the coolest, nicest, dearest, funniest, sweetest, most genuine PEOPLE here too. What a blessing!

Day Seven:

I am grateful for collaboration.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 2:55 PM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2008

Experiment: Day Six

Pets are pure love. I remember my first pet. It was a dog. I wanted a cat. But my dad was not into cats and convinced me I could have a dog and be just as happy. So we got a beagle mix and I named it Tabby. It eventually went back to its original owners. ;)

My first cat was named Tabby Two, I Love You. My mom told me I had to shorten the name when we took him to the vet for his first visit. So, it became Tabby Two, I Love. (Man, I was a sassy, stubborn kid. Was? Shut up.)

My second cat was named Muffy, because I learned we would be moving to a very "muffy and biff" part of town. I didn't know what those words meant, but I knew I wanted to fit in, so I named my cat Muffy. My boy cat. *sigh* So damn close to cool.

When my mom passed away, I inherited her two cats: Archie and Ebony. Now, I've never been a fan of white cats named Snowball or grey cats named Smokey so I sure as shit wasn't into a black cat named Ebony. So, on the day I left to meet Keith in person for the first time, the niece of my pet-sitting friend said she looked like Salem from some TV show. And since she's a girl cat, that would make her Salema.

And then came Thwok to the mix, because she was just too cute not to take home. And I've always wanted something named Thwok. This kitty prevented a child from ending up with that name. When we become homeowners in the near future, we will have a Shiba Inu whom I will name Gotham. Again, saving a child from a lifetime of teasing.

In the periods of time in my life when I came home to no pet, I worked as a pet-sitter as often as I could, just so I could walk a dog, pet a cat, chatter with a bird, feed a fish, anything to have a little pet-love in my life. Because pets are pure love. They want very little from us and they give us so much.

Day Six:

I am grateful for animals.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 3:18 AM | Comments (2)

May 9, 2008

Experiment: Day Five

Yesterday was tough. Keith drove the check over to the extortionists' home after enduring another round of debate with me about how fucking unfair the whole thing is and how there's a part of me that would love to let 'em try and sue for it, thinking about all the stuff for which we could countersue... and then there's the part of me that (as a brilliant friend suggested via email this morning) knows it's a small fee for "cutting a cancer out of our lives."

I wanted to write the check for five times the amount, just to say, "Here's how little the money means to us, you fucknuts." I also wanted to include a note that talked about how we had been looking forward to investing in a film they're dying to get produced, but since they'd rather bend us over for this bee-ess, they can choke on a check of this size instead of getting to enjoy our help in realizing their dreams. I did neither of these things, even after Keith told me "the whole story" of how things went down the other day, which included this "industry professional" with "decades of experience" talking shit about *my* business model and *my* sense of professionalism, in providing anything other than "straight casting services" to producing partners. (Yeah, dipshit. I'm gonna follow *your* business model and see if I can someday be as successful as you are after 20 years. Oh wait. I've already eclipsed your success in just five years. Tell ya what... when my friends who are showrunners, exec producers, legitimate industry pros with track records that you jack off to tell me that my decision to act as producer, punch-up writer, and full-service casting director is a bad idea, then I might take it under advisement. You've got no room to talk to me--or worse, about me to others--about what builds success, jayhole. Screw off. You live in fear. Enjoy the stew.)


(What was that in Day Three about trying to stay out of "egoville" on this? Bleh.)

So, because something had to be done to shake off the hoodoo of the day, I cracked open the lovely bottle of champagne a showcaser gave me (yummy!) and toasted with Keith to our successes, not being afraid to just be DONE with an issue--and people--in whose peer group we would never wish to stay for long anyway. Within an hour, we were giggling like teenagers. Our neighbor with the really strong-smelling pot sparked up and we giggled at him and his daily ritual. We watched a rerun of some old sitcom and giggled at the silly storyline and amazing work of the brilliant actors. We teased and played with the cats and laughed and laughed and laughed.

And then we bought tickets to see Iron Man for the third time, walked to the liquor store to buy hooch that would fit in my purse, and walked to the movie theater hoping I wouldn't get frisked at the door.

We sat in the movie theater and made out like teenagers. We giggled and drank and watched the movie we almost know by heart at this point and giggled and kissed some more. Then we went out for a bite and more booze at a favorite hole-in-the-wall near the theater. And then we walked home, giggling and teasing and piggy-back-riding and then falling-into-dewy-grass wrestling. And then we came home and had sex for hours. Just like teenagers.

It was awesome.

Of course, we're senior citizens, so today's been a big ball of "recovery" from all that irresponsible, silly, not-thinking-about-tomorrow behavior (which is probably worse for Keith than for me, as he's on set all day and I'm here behind a desk for most of mine), but it's totally worth it, as Keith's little emails from the set remind me.

We had a blissful night of silly, reckless, not-about-anything-important living to remind us that life is a hell of a lot bigger than our bank balance, being right, or losing "friends" that were never friends in the first place. Life is about having fun, being in the moment, and finding bliss in something as ridiculous as leaving a way-too-big tip at the dive bar because the math was just "too hard" after all that drinking and silliness. I love that my life includes infinite opportunity to make new choices and change up the vibe of the whole damn day.

Day Five:

I am grateful for spontaneity.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 5:46 PM | Comments (2)

May 8, 2008

Experiment: Day Four

I spend most of my days with actors, talking with filmmakers about actors, preparing actors for auditions, negotiating terms of contracts for actors, watching actors working, sleeping with actors (okay, just one. My husband the actor. Fine. I'm not a swinger).

For all of my grousing about actors who can't read, desperate actors, clueless actors, bafflingly bizarre actors, I have to say that actors are some of the finest, coolest, most creative, brilliant, inspiring, courageous people out there.

They bring life to fictional characters in ways that make us certain they surely could--and do--exist. They recreate nonfictional characters in ways that make us lose track of what the "real" people looked or sounded like. They help us understand our emotional connections to this world we inhabit, they provide catharsis, they make us think. Their talents give us an escape into worlds we don't know--and their commitment to their performances make us sure we do know those worlds after all. They make the unreal real somehow.

And all with the lift of an eyebrow, the sparkle of an eye, the twitch of a lip, the slowing of a breath.

It's amazing... the talent... the in-the-soul instincts that can change the world for us sometimes. Nah, it's not curing cancer, that acting thing, but it sure as hell is making our lives a better place most days, whether we realize it or not. And that I get to work with these folks as intimately and as DAILY as I do is simply awesome.

Day Four:

I am grateful for actors.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 2:13 PM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2008

Experiment: Day Three

I remember my mom having said to me--when I was in a situation where someone in our family owed me some money and was treating me very unfairly--that I should just let it go and consider it "a two hundred dollar lesson."

Whenever Keith finds himself in a similar position, needing to counsel me about the fiery passion I feel for fairness and my overwhelmingly logical approach to most conflict, he'll say, "it's a two hundred dollar lesson, honey."

And what that means is that there is a point at which my energy, my spirit, my soul is worth far more than what I would gain, were I to fight for what is "right."

Cut to: We're in a situation now where a "friend" is fucking Keith over. And not for a small amount of money. And while I can line-by-line choreograph the truths that would have us winning this fight in any court, should it ever come to that, I hear my mom's words. I hear Keith reminding me of my mom's words. I remember that as "right" as we are sometimes, it's just not worth the bother.

And getting to have those thousands of dollars may feel satisfying in the short term, but releasing ourselves of the need to fight--putting down the rope in the tug-of-war contest and just walking away--might actually be more liberating, more grace-filled, more important in the long run than "winning" right now. And, hey, we've learned the lesson. We were never "friends" in the first place, really. You got the money... and it cost you a friendship. And you fuckers get to live with that.


But if I'm truly grace-filled, I don't ever get to those last couple of sentences. I just realize it's not worth the fight. It's not worth the stress. I live in such a state of abundance that it's not even worth worrying about the money part of it at all. Just take the lesson and move on. Let it go.

So, I guess the fact that I do get to that "brat" state from which I lash out at them and know I will never look at them the same way proves that I do have an ego. But the fact that I have chosen to put down the rope and walk away proves that I don't have as big an investment in "being right" as I used to. And that's progress.

Day Three:

I am grateful for perspective.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 4:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2008

Experiment: Day Two

This may make my husband uncomfortable, but I doubt it. He's pretty secure about this sort of thing.

I have the most wonderful exes.

I think there are maybe two of 'em out there with whom I'm no longer in contact. And that has to do with the fact that when I was 15 and 19, respectively, I made some not-unselfish choices, probably. (And, y'know what, I'm still sometimes sorry about having been that kid.) But pretty much every other guy I've truly, really loved--given my heart to and taken his in return--is still in my life, at least via this great Internet.

And I love that. So many women can't say that they still stay in touch with the majority of the men who touched their hearts this way. I think it means my "picker" is pretty dang good. Even if I grew up broken. Even if I never trusted any of 'em to be in my life for more than 18 months 'til Keith came along. We did okay.

Day Two:

I am grateful for having the best ex-boyfriends on the planet.

(What is the Experiment? It is this.)

Posted by bonnie at 2:21 PM | Comments (4)

May 5, 2008

Experiment: Day One

Okay, so in a "look at how many ways in which my online life can intersect" kind of way, I decided to check out what it was that had MCJ blogging about things that made her grateful every day.

Turns out she read about it on the blog of the guy who calls me his "future pimp." (This is also the guy who created the 'zine for which I wrote that led to the meeting of my hubby.)

Turns out he read about it on the blog of a cool chick whose work I first became aware of about two years ago when Babes McPhee and I had a double-feature date on my first wedding anniversary, when we went to see CoCo do spoken word (and CoCo, of course, would go on to get me hooked up to do spoken word) and Annie Sertich was one of the more hilarious and brilliant folks we saw.

And she is the creator of this Experiment. So, here goes.

(From Annie's post about starting up:)
Will you do something with me?
Share with me.
What you're grateful for.
For 30 days.
I don't know why, but I need it. Cuz my head is filling with vomit and Smiths songs.
Even if it's just one person.
I'll share something. And you share back. That's it. A word. A story. A picture. A complaint. A song. Your name. Anything.
This isn't some new age Oprah "a-ha" movement. Or some manifest your dreams deal-e-o. It's just old fashioned "let's be positive" junk.
Let's see where it leads.

So, here's my Day One (and it's appropriate to all of the link-ups in the above ramblings).

I am grateful for the Internet.

Posted by bonnie at 9:33 PM | Comments (2)

May 4, 2008


Usually, I'll wait 'til Mothers' Day weekend (which always hits right around my mom's birthday) to post about how awesome my mom was. But next weekend, I'm going to be pretty dang busy and, assuming I'm going to be both busy *and* emotional, I'd rather just go ahead and get this post made. Plus, it's on my mind. So, here it is.

My mom fucking rocked. And not just slightly. A whole hell of a lot.

Mom was a depression-era kid whose dad helped bring unionization to the steel mills and whose mom filled WWII shells with Tetryl powder.

Charlsie was most often described as WISE. Even though she didn't have "book smarts" beyond two years of community college (which was a source of great stress for her, and the reason my advanced degrees were a source of great pride for her), she read everything she could get her hands on and was a brilliant, gifted, yet sometimes "hillbilly" philosopher who spent the majority of her adult life as a world-renowned astrologer with thousands of clients.

Yep. It's true. I grew up a Montessori kid in a single-parent New Age household in the '70s. I was there while my mom studied A Course in Miracles, I was trained in the practice of Reiki before I was 13, and I knew that my Venus was afflicted in Leo before I was sure whether or not Santa existed. My mom was invited to be a part of Oprah Winfrey's big "remembering your spirit" initiative in the late '90s. You remember--when she had John Gray and Iyanla Vanzant and Les Brown and Deepak Chopra on all the time? Yeah. Mom was their peer. And her ego--her lack of formal education and the shame that comes with having a gift you can't back up with a degree--kept her from saying yes. Well... that, plus the fact that she was never a very public person. That was my job.

Anyway. I'm writing all of this now because the lovely Annie Wood posted a comment at the MySpace version of my blog not too long ago, mentioning that she would've loved to have met my mom. And, well, truth be told, Keith mentions about once every few weeks how much he wishes he could've met my mom. Frankly, she was one fascinating, beautiful, wise, wonderful, soul-filled, hungry-for-knowledge, optimistic, giving, stubborn woman. And I wish that all y'all could've met her.

And not just because that would mean that she would still be around for the meeting. ;) Moreover because I think that a huge part of who I am--duh, this probably goes without saying and is true for all creatures--is so completely tied up in who she was. I mean, I have this very simple, artistically-gifted, handsome dad (and I'm grateful for having his eyes, his bone structure, his cool-as-ice-logic, his talent for all things performance-related--if not as grateful for having his side of the family's enormous ass-and-thigh spread) with whom I spent very little time... and then I have this incredibly complex "country" mom who became more worldly than I might ever be--and I mean that in the sense of *understanding* the world, not experiencing it.

I remember being in my late teens and having friends who appreciated Mom's gifts far more than I had ever appreciated them (at that point--which was mainly due to having tried to fit in in a school where I was the Andie to the Pretty in Pink world of richies who were nice enough to let me attend their excellent school even though I lived a hair over the tracks from jurisdiction and was one of the only kids there with only one parent and zero trust fund) and saying, "Well, I guess I never realized that--when I got parental advice from Mom--I wasn't just getting 'there, there' type advice, but instead was getting an understanding of the 'Fairy Godmother Complex' in my chart or the 'Fairness Voice' caused by having both rising and moon in Libra."

And every year, when I would come home on a break from school or "life in LA" and sit across from Mom in the bear-chairs I would eventually give to my favorite ex-boyfriend Chip and roll tape to get a reading, I would value it less for what she was telling me as an astrologer and more for just getting to sit with my mom for hours on end, talking about EVERYTHING and why it felt the way it felt (at some deeper level than just because "that's how it feels").

When I feel how very hard it is sometimes (not often--I'm actually pretty dang balanced, as humans go) to just live this creative life, I wish so hard that I had another hour with my mom. Not just because she would pet my head or baby talk me or tell me I was perfect or any of those things that moms do for their baby girls, but because she would tell me to watch out for Mercury Retrograde coming up or look at the chart of a colleague and say, "Girl! Watch out! This guy is a wannabe player-slash-liar who will end up promising you the spoils of worlds he'll only ever get access to because of his affiliation with you."

Most importantly, I never worried that my mom wondered how much she was loved. I grew up in a home where "I love you" was uttered more frequently than any other phrase. And meant... every single time. We simply didn't part ways with anyone wondering whether she was loved. What a gift! And as much as I would cherish another hour with my momma, I have to say I wouldn't trade anything that we already had together--or that we still have together cosmically--for anything.

It's all been that damn good. And that's what's important.

Related posts: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (among others, but that'll get you started). ;) Thank you--in advance--everyone who always gives me such amazing support with this type of post. It's just my way of getting a little therapy via 1's and 0's. So, thank you. Again.

Posted by bonnie at 1:21 AM | Comments (4)

May 3, 2008

You ride in the Humdrumvee. I'm taking the Funvee.

Just bought tickets to see Iron Man again. Second time in under 48 hours.

What does that say about me?

(I mean, other than that I think it's a badass movie and that Robert Downey, Jr., is yummy.)

Hee! I am so enjoying my weekend.

Posted by bonnie at 2:25 PM | Comments (0)