July 31, 2009
So, I haven't blogged in forever, but I decided that I would today. One last post for the month. I was going to try and do the cool thing that Colleen is doing, wherein she rounds up the places you can check her out.
But my to-do list is too long to even wrangle my wheres and whats into one post, today. Maybe later. Ah... "maybe later" is the chant of the busy. Not complaining. Just hoping my words at Twitter and vids at the Facebook are enough of a placeholder for what I'm up to.
Meanwhile, just read this and had to share.
To give you an idea of how small Hollywood is, imagine high school, how tired you were of friends and enemies alike. Now imagine this: Every student in school has a publicist. There are as many school plays every year as students. The only thing about "Hollywood High" that's better than regular high school is there are no rules against sleeping with the teachers--or against anything else.--Wesley Rowe
And if it had been shorter, I would've tweeted it instead. *snork*
July 13, 2009
July 2009 12 of 12, baby!
I love my life. I love my friends. I love gruyère cheese with a fiery passion that is unnatural and understandable (thank you, Jay). And, without a doubt, I have the BEST friends on the planet. Here's how I know.
9:01pm: Newer friends (Karla) will bring friends with common interests (Greg: Atlanta, theatre) and it'll turn out that we (Greg and I) have crossed paths back in 1993, when he directed me in one of the very last plays I did before leaving Atlanta for Los Angeles. Crazy, small world. Mostly crazy! (L-R: Bon, Kim, Karla, Greg)
9:03pm: Showcase alumni will turn out for the party even though their folks are in town. Yep. Tristan showed up with mom and dad in tow. Even bragged on the Facebook about teaching them the ways of the Hollywood karaoke crowd. They seemed pleased at their daughter's ability to freestyle. (L-R: Ben, Tristan, Bon)
9:19pm: Friends will come out via candlelight (thanks, Laura) for birthday awesomeness. Those who don't come will send corsages which I'll pass around to make all of my friends wear. (Thank you, Brooke.) Those who come will bring cards and treats and most of all love and songs. How CUTE are my friends? SO CUTE! (L-R: Julie, Marc)
10:06pm: Even if they're not the singing type, they'll be there. They'll be social. They'll be supportive. They'll be seriously good-looking. (My GAWD, do I have the most attractive friends on the planet or what???) Jeebus, it's good to have my worldview.
10:08pm: They'll huddle up and talk shop. They'll compare notes on various projects in the works. They're just a bunch of working pros in this industry and they happen to also be awesome people. I'm so lucky! (L-R: Laura, Michelle, Bon, Jeff)
10:10pm: And then--perhaps most importantly--they will stop whatever they are doing and pay attention to their friend Birthday Bon when she takes the mic to sing some Benatar. They will cheer and clap and even take their clothes off ('til they're told not to, by the establishment) and will--more than anything--just have fun being there. Which is the point, really.
10:59pm: They'll celebrate every moment. Because, why wouldn't you? I mean, this isn't actually my b'day, but it's the day we decided to come play. Like Thursdays are. Like many other days are. We just rock like that, and it's all a delicious reminder of how amazing my life is, filled with so many wonderful people. (L-R: Ryan, Marc, Trevor, Jacob, Bon, Phoebe, Erich, Shelley, Candice... awesome waitress Jessica in the background)
11:21pm: Lest you think Keith isn't out and about, let me be sure you know, he's holding court in the back of the club. He's campaigning for a seat on the Hollywood and National Boards of SAG. And he's got a lot of great ideas. We should be so lucky to have him fighting to unify and protect performers' rights. (L-R: Eli, Keith, Bon, Brendan, Chelsea)
12:27am: Wait, technically, no longer the 12th. Welp, y'know what? It's also not been my b'day, but we were celebrating as if it were. So, we'll keep calling this the 12th 'til the camera stops clicking. And here we are, in a serenade unlike any other. My god, I love my friends! (L-R: Trevor, Jacob, Tanya, Bon, Ryan, Chil, Cristina)
1:19am: We suspect we'll have to leave soon, but we're just too cute to stop posing. I mean, really. Could you love us more? No way. We're just that adorable! (L-R: Jacob, Bon Erich, Joel, Cheryl, Dustin)
1:29am: And because no night is complete without a lapdance, here's the lapdance. Oh, you thought maybe I should get it? Nah! Tanya had it coming, after trying to make sure Jacob got one on his b'day a few days earlier. So glad Boardwalk 11 has a pole!
How do I even begin to truly thank my amazing, thoughtful, supportive, wonderful, creative, smart, gorgeous, fantastic friends? Many more than these in the few 12 of 12 photos shared tonight. I'm just so beyond lucky and every day is better than the one before it because each day creates another opportunity to connect with my super-cool friends. Y'all ROCK my world. Please don't ever doubt that.
It's a long day tomorrow... and tomorrow is just moments away, as I type this up after 3:30am. I'm so excited to cast some new projects and bring in some of those very same actors who helped me close down the bar in celebration of my existence. What a blessing! I just don't know how to express my gratitude beyond gushing like crazy. I am filled with love.
What a way to be!
Thank you, Chad, for another lovely 12 of 12 experience. :) Kiss, kiss! Love, love!
July 11, 2009
The Sum of All Years: 38
Published SMFA3. Twice.
Learned: People remember how they feel in your presence. Made a shift and attracted the future leaders of Hollywood.
Said yes more. Which led to WriteGirl, Class Rules!, vids, and ASL.
July 6, 2009
The following was originally posted on December 19, 2006, but I've made adjustments now that I've been gluten-free for 4.5 years (and I've lost 65 pounds too), and for some reason, can't get the updates to show up on the old entry, no matter how many times I republish the entry. :\
So, here's the latest. :)
On 12/16/06 11:44 AM, Claude wrote:
> Dawn told me that you have been on a gluten free diet and that it's
> prevented migraines. I have a chronic problem with migraines and would like
> to ask you about this. Would it be okay to call you over the weekend? If so,
> what # should I call?
I suffered from migraines (about four a year or so) from the age of 17 to the age of 32. At age 33 and 34, I started having ten or more debilitating migraines per year. I was bed-ridden and in a really bad way, by the end of 2004. Clearly, they were getting worse and my work was suffering.
I also have OCD and it was getting worse, which is odd, as it usually improves with age. Additionally, I had gained a LOT of weight in 2004. No change in diet or exercise, just a big weight gain in a very short period of time.
What led me to the gluten-free way of life was the fact that, coming off a very bad week-long migraine in early November 2004, my joints were in excruciating pain. I was trying to transcribe the interviews for my third book, and my hands were cramping up, wrists were terribly inflamed, and I was just in a lot of pain. I posted to a private message board online (membership of actors whom I advise on their careers), asking if anyone had any advice for how I could get my joints to stop aching long enough to finish the book.
An actor friend of mine started asking me questions: "Bon, you just came off a migraine didn't you?" "Yes." "And you've put on weight." "Yes." "Have you been checked for celiac disease? Or at least a gluten intolerance?" "What?!?" I had never heard of any of that, so it seemed very odd. But I was in a lot of pain, so I began to do some research.
Sure enough, wheat gluten has been linked to everything from OCD to migraines to drastic change in weight to autism. It's actually VERY common to have a gluten intolerance, but in the American diet, it's not something that the FDA would ever want explored or widely tested. See, we live on GRAINS and to tell 15% of the population to stop eating wheat gluten would cause a major blow to the industry. But in other countries, they actually TEST for celiac disease in childhood, and the availability of gluten-free foods is VASTLY superior to what we have access to here.
Okay, so in December of 2004, I decided I had nothing to lose, so I went off wheat gluten (the non-medical way to "test" for a gluten intolerance is to take yourself OFF wheat gluten for two weeks and then have a very high-gluten meal to see if you have a severe reaction). For two weeks, I was incredibly healthy. Lots of energy, no joint pain, no migraines, nada. When I had gluten two weeks later, I not only got sick to my stomach (loads of abdominal distress), but I broke out in a rash around my lips and got very swimmy-headed. I decided that cutting out wheat gluten would be an easy thing to do, especially if it would solve my joint pain, migraines, and maybe even correct the sudden weight gain I'd experienced in 2004.
So, now that I've been off gluten for nearly two years, I can tell you the following:
I have not had a single migraine in two years (after having had a dozen in each of the years 2003 and 2004), my fingernails and hair have grown long and strong (healthier than ever), my skin looks great, my joints are fine, and my weight is beginning to stabilize (takes a lot of time, though, when you put on that much in such a short time). Point is, I am healthier now than I have ever been, and I credit that ALL to having cut out wheat gluten.
Here's the theory behind it:
The human digestive system has been around for three million years. Wheat gluten was introduced to the human diet about ten thousand years ago. We are not all so easily adaptive as to have the means to break down "new" foods (some human digestive systems do better than others). It's the same way that processed foods don't work for some people or that alcohol doesn't work within certain cultures who had alcohol introduced late into their evolution.
Since I now know my body does not process the protein of wheat gluten efficiently (and it may have done so, for the first 30 years of my life, but then reached a tolerance level of something it couldn't break down well and then shut off, causing the symptoms described above), I have to look at gluten as a poison to my system.
Yes, I *can* have gluten, but it's a choice that could make me very sick. Especially now that gluten has been out of my system for so long, even a little bit of it can really send me into a day of severe illness (like an allergic reaction).
It took a few months for me to really get the hang of it. Gluten is in EVERYTHING, it seems (since wheat is a common thickener in most processed foods), but if you start out going "all natural," that helps a great deal, as foods that aren't processed pretty much CAN'T have gluten in them. Eventually, I got brave about going to restaurants and asking for what I needed. Amazingly, most restaurants are educating their staff about gluten allergies and everyone has been very good about making sure I don't get sick. Some restaurants even pride themselves on their gluten-free menus!
I have a TON of websites to send you to. One of them has a printable allergy card that you can take with you to restaurants, so that they'll know exactly what you can and cannot have. Some celiacs are very sensitive to cross contamination (like, if your wife were to make a sandwich on the counter and leave crumbs and you were to later cut up an apple on that area of the counter, you could get "glutened") and some are not (like, if you order a salad with dressing that happened to be thickened with gluten, you can tell within the first bite or two that you're not going to be able to eat it, but you won't get violently ill or anything, so it doesn't have to keep you from enjoying the rest of your meal out--you just don't finish the salad).
I'm a member of a few discussion groups online that have been very helpful. They have regular gatherings of gluten-free folks both online and in person, to share ideas for good places to eat, ways to make your own kitchen "safe," and doctor referrals, etc. I think we're very lucky to be in a community where food allergies are understood and there are many options for us to still live normally. Middle America is still just learning about this stuff.
I mentioned restaurants with gluten-free menus. Well, PF Chang's is one of the best. Its gluten-free menu has MANY items on it! It's great! I also love going to Planet RAW because there is not a single thing on their menu that I could EVER eat that would cause me to get glutened.
There were some labeling laws passed in late 2005 so now everything that has wheat gluten in it must say so on the label. That's very helpful! (Because before that, "modified food starch" could be listed as an ingredient, and unless you knew for sure that it was corn starch vs. processed wheat gluten, you couldn't safely eat it. Now they *have to* spell it out.)
Whole Foods is a good store. They have pamphlets at the entrance with guides to gluten free items. Even better is Wild Oats, as they put big stickers right on the shelves next to the price of each item that say GLUTEN FREE. Very easy. Trader Joes also takes good care of its gluten-free customers.
Okay, that's enough to get you started. Now I'll share a whole bunch of web links with you, for your year-end reading. Please let me know if you have any questions. I was very nervous but excited two years ago this month, as I hoped we had found the cure to my most debilitating chronic illness. And, I'm here to tell you two years later that we DID. And it continues to be very exciting. I love being migraine free!!
Eating guides/food lists/lots of links within each page:
http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/mb/list.asp?webtag=celiac&ctx=1048576&cacheTag=x34-39 (also support forums)
Gluten-free Cooking School:
My favorite magazine:
My bestie's gluten-free blog:
"Any time I see someone succeed I am happy, for it affirms my belief that I live in a world where success is possible." -- 20 August 2004
July 5, 2009
Why did you unfriend me, Bon?
Ah... the time has finally come. My friends list is full and Facebook has a cap and I'm moving the content that has previously been "friends only" (my vids and notes about the industry and any casting-related scoop I might have to share) over to my fan page, which has no cap on the number of folks who choose to visit.
Why not just stick to whatever number of friends I currently have? Well, that's kind of impossible. I keep meeting people. And I like to get to know them in a way that Facebook facilitates. I like to see what the rest of their lives might be like, what their lives outside of whatever little space in which we intersect looks like. So, because I was so open in accepting friendships as they came in (including businesses, causes, wannabes), I'm now going through and plucking out the businesses, the causes, the wannabes. Please, all of y'all, feel free to be my fan. The more the merrier! Facebook creates no cap for fans. Yay!
There are also other reasons that real, live, otherwise awesome friends in my real life may be "de-friended." (De-friended? Un-friended? Do we have an official word, yet?) What are those reasons?
Well, the main thing that'll get you gone--and fast--is spam-tagging me.
Look I get why it happens. Actors want to be sure I see info about a play or a showcase or a TV appearance or a screening or a new set of headshots or a new edit on a demo reel. But think it through. I have nearly 5000 friends on the Facebook thingy. Actors I've never met think we're friends because they read my column every week or have been reading my books for seven years or whatever. I love that folks feel we're really, truly friends, but you can only imagine the VOLUME of spam-tagging I get, for every:
stand-up comedy night
appearance on an episode of TV
new set of headshots
demo reel edit
...and on and on and on.
Can't imagine? I know. You don't mind tagging because it only happens every now and then. Okay. Do the math. Take whatever number of friends you have and multiply that number by whatever number it would take to get to nearly 5000 friends. (Yes, it's my own fault. I'm open and I like actors and I make myself available to people I've never physically met. My choice. You're right. Hence the creation of criteria to unfriend people being set in the first place.) Still... do the math and think about how many tags you'd get, if you upped your volume by that much and had a job that caused folks to want to get stuff on your radar. Paul Russell talked about it a bit in a column to which I linked in my column recently. Again, I don't hate that! I love it. In a one-on-one message. A wall post. An event invitation. Something nice and low-maintenance and non-POKE-like.
So, when those of us who have too many friends are TAGGED in something we're not even a part of, it means we get pelted with email notification of every reply that gets put on that note or photo album or vid until we race to the page and un-tag ourselves (the act of which also notifies the actor we've seen the note, which usually invites a follow-up of, "So, what'd you think of my new headshots?" and so on).
Thing is, most of us--especially the types who will open our pages up to actors on Facebook--are so actor-friendly that we'll answer an email, reply to a note on the wall, RSVP to an event, etc. We're generally HAPPY to! But TAGGING is for tagging people who are in the note, photo, or vid. So, using tagging otherwise is spam-tagging (driving traffic) and I find it offensive and abusive.
Yes, I could turn off email notification of comments, but if I do that, that means I turn off ALL of them. And I don't want to do that. I want to receive the notifications that are relevant to me. Not someone's cousin commenting on the same note in which I was spam-tagged. If you want to be sure I see your note, rather than tagging me in it, how's about you just send me a nice little message like this:
"Hey Bon. Just posted a note you might be interested in. Thanks for the support!"
And I guarantee you, that is a zillion times better than being spam-tagged. :) I know no one is using spam-tagging maliciously. Just thoughtlessly. :) Now you know. And next time you'll shoot someone a message! Yay! And while we're on the subject of messages...
When you send a message to more than one person at a time at the Facebook, please encourage your friends to do the one-on-one replies like, "Hey, what's up?" and your replies like, "Not much, buddy. We should hang out," and their replies like, "Cool. Come to my show," and so on to just you, the individual.
There's a handy REPLY link right under the profile name of the person for direct replies. Look for it. You're in your inbox, looking at a message sent to more than one person. You see the first message. There's the word Reply right there. Click it. Don't just type in the box and hit the huge, blue, Send To All button. (And yes, I know if you're visiting Facebook on your phone, you can't exercise that option. All the more reason for the person composing the message to do the responsible thing and say, "This is going to a group. Please reply directly to me if you have a reply," so the person tempted to reply via Facebook Mobile thinks, "Ooh. This is going to go to everyone. Better compose a new message or go write on his wall instead of just hitting SEND.")
Yes, it's a Facebook design flaw that when you send messages to multiple people, all of us get your one-on-one chats, and email notifications of each message... and it's annoying. And, again, if you have nearly 5000 friends, you see how this could get out of hand. And how it, then, becomes criteria for the above-mentioned unfriending. :) Now you know. So, until Facebook fixes that (which their help page says they have no intention of "fixing," since they see it as a "feature"), please either encourage DIRECT replies or omit delicate flowers like me from the "mass mailings" so I don't have to experience the party line thing. :) Or understand the unfriending.
Another reason I may have unfriended you is that you were mean. Or negative. Or otherwise unpleasant to have on my screen. I thought long and hard about this one, because I really do like to keep tabs on what happens in my friends' lives, and sometimes that does include the bad and the ugly. But when someone who was a not-close-friend (at best) in high school--someone I've not seen in over 20 years--posts something snarky and inappropriate in the comments thread of a conversation I have happening with other folks, I begin to ask myself why we're even connected. When someone who was actually a very close friend in college, but who has had a major life change and now wants to spout political and religious diatribes on my wall goes on a posting frenzy, I begin to ask myself why I'm supplying a venue for these posts that I find offensive, no matter how close we once were.
But I felt bad simply pulling the plug on these folks since, well, I did actually know them, right? And then it hit me. Hang on! Who says Facebook is about fair? My own brother declined my friend request! It's not like there's a rule that just because you know someone, you have to include them in your life (online or otherwise). Awesome! An epiphany! I can--simply because you don't add to my level of general happiness in my online life--choose to remove you from my Facebook world. Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! Such a breakthrough. It's not about being fair or having rules about inclusiveness that allow for everyone to be welcome. You make me happy? I like having you around. You make me bummed out? You're off my grid. Life's too short! Awesome. I'm over worrying that people are going to bitch about how mean I am, unfriending 'em or declining requests. I have learned that there is no amount of "fixing things" that can be done in order to keep people who are prone to complain about you from complaining about you. So, have at it! My Facebook space is my space. (Well, not MySpace. But you know.) :) And I want to have fun while I'm there. Stress-causers are getting their walking papers.
Ooh, I may do this in real life too!
Happy better Internet practices, everyone. (Oh and for the love of all that is holy, can I take a moment to remind everyone to use BCC again? Since it doesn't seem to matter how much that request gets made? Yeah. I know. Never-ending battle. *sigh* Ah well... t'was worth a shot.) Thanks, y'all!
July 3, 2009
"Another Harvest Moon" TRAILER
Well, for those who like to SHARE THE VID, like I do, it's now on YouTube and that means you can share it, embed it, comment on it, help us spread the word about this amazing little movie!
What do you think? Not bad for a $600K indie film, huh?