Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Why the absence? A reflection on Home's Book Birthday

I have been absent lately.

I don't mean to be.

But things are shifting in my life. My energies are being redirected in so many ways.

Home is having a book birthday today. A cause for celebration, right? Well, about that...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Facebook question for the day

An acquaintance on Facebook asked this question today: "Question for the masses... Do YOU let the opinions of others about you affect you?"

Man, oh man. Did I care what people thought of me growing up! I thought I was worthless if I wasn't popular and liked. I know a lot of people like that in this world, and I feel sad for them. But, I realized that the saying, "You will become the sum of the people you surround yourself with" is true. There's no need to punish yourself by hanging out people that don't like you and/or speak badly of you. That's like self-flagellation for no real reason. Of course, when you're in school, you don't really get much of a choice of who you are around, but when you graduate, I swear it gets better, something to look forward to. In the mean time, try to be fair, honest, generous, and kind, but don't forget self-care.

Here's the response I shared on that thread, and I hope it rings true for you.

A few things weigh into that for me.

I grew up believing how much others liked me was equal to how good of a person I was. The older I am and the more confident I've become with age (and therapy to distance myself emotionally from the people who taught me that dangerous lesson, lol), the less stock I put in what other people think of me... in accordance to how close we are and how much I respect them as human beings.

The people I've chosen to surround myself in the last year are fair, honest, and generous, and laugh off rumors, not putting any stock in them. They don't manipulate or control me and who I'm friends with, and I want to be like them. If I'm not like them, why would they want to include me? So yeah, what they think is important to me. I want to reflect their values because I admire them as people.

With people that don't like me? Especially the toxic ones that set out to hurt me? Oh well, I don't have to hang out with them. They're not the only game in town. The more confident I've grown, the more I realize that they are the ones missing out because I love my friends and do my best to care for them and help them (within reasonable boundaries and limits). I think I'm a good friend, but I do have to take care of myself, first. You can't drink if you never fill your own cup. If I never interact with the people who don't like me and have made it clear to me, they can't really hurt me. Out of sight, out of mind.

So, in short, don't stay around people who think poorly of you when they make it clear one way or another. What other people think about you is none of your business anyway. You can't change it, so why bother? Just work to reflect your own values and live your life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Only one thing endures and that is character

To start out with, I'm trying to be more positive. When I wrote this post, it was very negative initially, and I don't want to be negative. I was highly frustrated when I first wrote it and I had to redraft it. I do get angry (and for good reason) but it's not something I want controlling my life. I try to keep in mind that anger is not synonymous with negativity. It has its purpose and it helps positively when you channel it correctly. So, I'm trying that here.
Alright, so if you know me at all, you know that I do act and audition around Nashville for different film and television projects. Most of the time, I'm an extra without lines. I should be so lucky to get that kind of role, but I'm happy with what I can get. On this particular night, I was an extra on a TV show filmed around Nashville that has a lot of music and musician-centered storylines. Ahem, you know which one I'm talking about although I'm not saying it.
I spent most of the night working on my cross stitch and meeting new people in the extras holding area, nibbling on goodies from the Craft Services table. It was fun. But as we were lining up to go into the set, a heavy-set woman behind me said. "they won't cast heavy girls, even if they can sing and act!"
I smiled politely and nodded. "Yeah," I agreed. "I feel ya on that!"
That was a huge mistake. The next thing I knew, she had pretty much cornered me and was talking about her experiences and how hard she had worked, and how much she was owed something in film and music, and blah blah blah. She didn't even ask my name or how I felt or my opinion, which I thought was bad conversation skills. I was just a sounding board. She told me that she had worked really hard at a show business company as an intern, only to get skipped on when it ended, but the thinner people got it. And then she went on to tell me about how she had been an extra on a show for the same production company where she watched the director pick out "apples" and then, when she thought about it, they were thin and young and pretty, and they were put up on the front.
I felt trapped. All she was doing was dwelling on things that happened years ago. We were all hired to play a part, and this woman was being incredibly unprofessional complaining on the job. We're hired to show up and play a role, and that's it.
Honestly, if you get angry and go on and on and on about how you were wronged years ago, let me say, let that shiz go. It scares me to think I could sit there and replay in my head these bad things daily so often that it consumes my every waking thought. I feel bad for people like that. Sure, I've been wronged for things I felt were unfair. Yeah, it bugged me for a while, but I let my other passions consume my mind instead and the hurt waned. And when I thought about it a year later, it didn't make me so angry anymore. I feel so much better about this.
If you're going to complain to every person that you talk to about how much you deserved a role in your high school play that you never got or how much you deserved the part for showing up, I don't really have a ton of sympathy for that mindset. More than anything, I just feel sorry for you for being so attached to that pain and that it still runs on a repeat in your head. Nobody cares if you have a degree in theatre (guilty) or if you did a couple of shows at the same location ten years ago (also guilty). Those things have never made a difference for me. All they care about is the present. And in show business, peoples' memories can be short because the next young, attractive young thing is eager to snap up your role and not complain. Show business is unapologetic about this. For every person who quits because they think they were wronged, another 100 people are lined up to take their place and do a better show with less expectations. And nobody really gets anywhere in the film industry by accident. I've also found there is nothing worse than unprofessional people, especially in acting.
I'm not looking for stardom or appreciation in acting. I have fun and I love to act and get dressed up. I don't think I'll ever be able to feed myself and put a roof over my head from acting, though. But that's okay. It's just a little something for me.
I have a magnet on my fridge that says "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character." (Horace Greeley). I believe in that and I love this phrase. It just reminds me that bad behavior, ungratefulness, and a complete lack of humility can make fans turn on stars in a heartbeat. The fans' love and adoration is not going to make up for any love they were lacking as a child that turned into the pain that's followed said performer into their adulthoods. This is why you see so many former stars having problems with substances and depression when they lose their fame.
Fame is fleeting. It's nice and it has perks, but those perks are short-lived, unless you're really lucky. The phone stops ringing one day, and you need to have built relationships outside of acting or performing to fall back on and to build yourself up from. If you can, I'd recommend financially planning for that day. I personally can't.
I get annoyed when people say, "Nobody owes you anything", but I can't help but agree with it in acting. Nobody does owe you anything, especially not because you showed up, and especially not when it comes to the acting world. You're either there and grateful for the privilege, or you're gone and banished from people's minds.
With performing, remember: it's a privilege, not a right.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

I shared the screen with John Corbett... kinda

John Corbett, John Corbett, how sexy you are! <3

And yes, I got to share the screen with him.

Alright, I'll be honest, not quite like you think.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My time is valuable: where did chivalry go?

I recently got a message from a guy acquaintance on IM from a guy I had met at a party. It was nice to hear from him, but he was IM-ing me as I left work. I apologized and explained as politely as possible that I was driving home from work, which took about an hour in rush hour traffic, and I couldn't chat by IM. I also had to get to my parent's house and pick up my car, which my parents had run to the mechanic's for some work while I was at my job, and of course, my parents and I sat down and chatted for a while. And I had a phone interview scheduled, and a mass of laundry waiting for me at my house that night. The next day, he messaged me with a "Good evening". And that was it. I forgot about it because I was going to a friend's house for dinner and I've been trained not to get on my phone at the dinner table because my parents taught me table manners, even if we were just chomping on pizza. On Friday night, I got "Hi." I had to go drive Uber and do a book cover release party and arrange a meal for a dear friend who has just had surgery, so I let it slide. What did he want out of me? Now, I don't know if his interest in me was romantic or not, and I wouldn't assume such a thing. But this morning, I got "Bi" from him.

Ugh. Severe aggravation at that.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I was reviewed by a book vlog, y'all!

Shala from ShaeGeeksOut on Youtube read and reviewed HOME! I can't believe it! Happy happy! Like, comment, subscribe, and share!

Friday, January 20, 2017

My thoughts on Books to Film Adaptations

So President-Elect Trump was sworn in today. I'm keeping my politics to myself and my non-professional social media accounts on this subject, so let's talk about something else:

A lot of my friends and I have been talking about Netflix's new A Series of Unfortunate Events and how it's better than the movie that came out in 2004. I agree, it's great. And I love Niel Patrick Harris, he tends to improve almost everything he's in. And the books by Lemony Snicket (I digress from putting his real name in print, I loved his writing so much and respect him) were fun and imaginative and even I, as an adult whilst reading them, loved them! But therein lies the problem: the medium through which the novels were taken to film.

In 2004, they tried to tell the story of a few of the novels through a single film. I can tell that they were hoping for a franchise, but it never appeared. I think the reason is because there was a lot of material in the books that was important to the overall story, and they tried to convey it in an hour and forty-eight minutes. They had to take liberties and condense and cut, and even though I adored many of the actors in the 2004 film, so much was lost. On the other hand, the Harry Potter novels were done well by film. So were the Hunger Games books when they were turned into films. Was that because JK Rowling did a better job at writing something that could translate to film so easily or that Lemony Snicket didn't? Not hardly! I don't know all the politics that go on in a movie studio, either, but there's a reason why the Marvel Comic movies are doing so well as opposed to DC when Marvel finally became it's own studios while DC has not. The Series of Unfortunate Events film had several of the books in one movie, though, which I don't think did it any favors when it came to the storyline translating to screen. Visually, I loved the 2004 film, though. And the actors understood and did wonderfully with the material they were given. It's not Jim Carrey's fault the film wasn't as successful as the Netflix series. The series on Netflix is just as stunning visually as the film.

A TV show lets the writers really explore a book chapter-by-chapter. They get to really digest the material while writing the screenplay. I think that a series is a better medium for the books. Luckily, they did a trial-and-error and got a second chance when Netflix took it on. I love seeing books that didn't do as well as film adaptations get a second chance!