Starting over

Being stuck at home sick this week has given me a lot of time to ponder.  I have been thinking about this topic all week.  I’ve been thinking not what my life was about 10 years ago, or 5 years ago, but 4 years ago… This odd number.  Four years ago…late August 2009.  It was a whirlwind.  My busiest time of the year.  I was working for Hawaiian Tropic producing and hosting events since around 2001 and every year this was crazy time.  It was crazy time because this is when most of the state and regional finals would happen in order to send the winners to the US finals next month in September…. a couple weeks really.  It was very stressful.  Some contracts still weren’t signed yet with the locations.  I was always having to replace girls that cancelled.  For one of by biggest finals at Harrah’s in San Diego I probably booked over 100 girls to finally end up with the 50 the contract required.  For the previous two years 2007, 2008 and now 2009 I was most likely gone the entire month traveling from one event to the next.  Airline tickets, rental cars, making sure all the girls had and got their room confirmation numbers…. printing out all the releases the girls needed to sign, making sure prize money was in hand, making sure the locations gave the girls meal tickets before they got there (most could just never grasp (at least the first year) giving me all of them ahead of time so I could hand them out to the girls upon arrival… it was always down to the wire… some girls already having arrived and someone in my room from the hotel frantically signing meal vouchers).  I was an airline ticket and car rental booking machine. I could have ten sites up at once booking 4 different events.  Co-ordinating all the shows; stage, sound lights, choreography…. then I added posters, and giving the girls their own custom swim suit from a company I started……I could never keep everyone happy….Oh how I tried…. there was always one person upset about something…..her suit, her picture, how she placed, the location unhappy with the turnout or girls doing something….. I was running… running all the time…. to fix things, put out fires, stop fires before they started, calling …. e-mailing…texting girls… where are you?  The last final would be days before the US finals in Hawaii.  We would go straight there.  The kids always made it to Hawaii, but a lot of the time they would come to all the events.. not in 2008 or 2009… I was gone for over a month. It was just too much.  They met me in Hawaii.  Life was all that it could be.  I was successful.  I only worked constantly and missed out on a little chunk of my kids lives.  Even when I was home the TV was their babysitter  A LOT.  Was I happy? Yes? Did I love all the action?… yes…especially my OCD…. I was on fire.  Was this my dream life?…… no…… I always wanted to be back in LA pursuing my dreams of being an actress.  Yes, I was still on stage hosting the events.  So much live show stage experience gave me so so …maybe too much confidence:)…. I would never trade that time.  But now four years later….. The model search cancelled. Things are at a snails pace compared to 2009.  As I rented a car yesterday it was so WEIRD.  I felt like I had never done it before.  I used to rent 2 every week end to cart around the girls. Up until before summer for the past 3 years I had carried on with the go..go..go must succeed attitude but now with my own self.  Not with a company, or with the girls, but with my own dream.  I knew to submit to anything and everything on LACasting and Actorsaccess; student films, low budget, infomercials, what ever.  Build the resume.  Get IMDB credits.  Get footage for my reel. Obtain and agent and a manager… good ones.  Take classes….  learn….  don’t get cocky.  I went through the programs at IOwest Improv and 2nd City.  The best training and one of the best decisions and thinks I had every found… FOR MYSELF.  I feel like I have a solid foundation on which to build on.

However….. the costs….. starting over is HARD; financially, emotionally.  Your self..your self esteem gets doubted and challenged on a daily basis.  Not just by going on audition after audition and not getting the part.  Ive been on hundreds.  That never bothered me.  But when you have kids and you need to eat and pay the mortgage and car and electric…and its not easy as just hitting a button on bill pay like in 2009 when things were rolling…. then you doubt….Is this the right thing? No it wasnt my choice to end my career with Hawaiian Tropic, it was Energizers…. They cancelled the model search….”Didn’t like the image” I fought so hard so change and did BTW…. they didnt care.  However, I made the choice to move the family to California to pursue my dream.  I have worked hard, but still have a long way to go.  Should I have kept us up on the mountain?  We were safe there.  We could have lived well for sometime….. but then what?  Do I want my daughter to see me not try? Not reach for my goals?  Not that there is anything wrong with it, but what would my career options have been in a small town? Minimum wage.  I know lots of my friends there that struggle just to find a job.  I don’t want my daughter to graduate high school and work at Albertsons. (again, not that there is anything wrong with that).  I want her to have big dreams… huge…..She is old enough that she has seen the strain these past few years have been “starting over”….. she remembers the thousand dollar Costco sprees and the trips all over the world.  I question every day if this career choice was the best for her.  I could get a “regular job”… where I don’t know.  I’ve applied for part time jobs at night as I have to be free during the day, but then I fear I would never see the kids.  Is it ok that they sacrifice for my dream? I do know that my daughter now knows and understands that value of things/ money.  She used to get anything and everything she asked for. Now, if I say she can have $20 to go shopping she asked sincerely and worriedly, “Are you sure mom?  I know we dont have a lot of money.”  I want to cry.  I tell her we are fine.  We are very fortunate.  We have a lovely home in LA in the perfect place, we have great public schools. We have food.  We will be just fine.  When I say it to her I know it to be true.  We will be just fine.  Things have changed…. not for the better or the worse… just changed.  I am happy. I am spending gobs more time with the kids than I ever had and homework (I cant believe I’m saying this) hasnt been so bad this year.  I know its only been two weeks.  I think it is in part because I am not running… I am standing still or at a snails pace.  Im not running from one audition to the next to a class to a show.  Upon my managers wishes…. and the fact I have to be around for the kids to/ from school, summer break full duty ect. I have been forced to slow down…sometimes by forces out of my control like food poisoning or all tires on every mode of transportation being flat….  I have the credits, the agent, the manager….. Its nice to breath…. patiently wait for the right things to come along while enjoying what I have…. My two wonderful kids that are growing up.  This beautiful house that I need to clean…. my garden, my dogs, my family, my friends….. Time to take in all that I have accomplished and stop running…. if only for a little bit…….. enjoy and appreciate what I already have.  Yes, I will still strive for more work, more opportunities.  I can never stop and expect things to fall in my lap…… but just breath…. if only for a little while more.

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My daughter grew up.

Well…. we made it over 12.5 years and two weeks into 7th Grade….our daughter is no longer an innocent child. We had to admit that the wonderful beautiful imaginary world we thrust upon her since she was born really only exists in our hearts…. “Mom and Dad tell me the truth.. I want to know…. are you and Dad Santa?”…..the words crushed my soul…… Now we have been dodging it for years….. the instant it would be brought up: “Mom..dad… do you believe in Santa?” “OF COURSE” we would say. We couldn’t get the words out quick enough. And it was a statement. “OF COURSE” was nothing to be trifled with and we could all go on with our day…. It went further to “my friends dont believe.” we would counter with “Well they wont get any presents from Santa now will they, everyone has the right to believe or not believe… WE BELIEVE”… END OF STORY…… Tonight..tonight..as the words spilled out of her mouth: “Mom, I want you to tell me the TRUTH…. I’ll still believe, but are you and dad Santa.?” I had to look at my almost 13 year old daughter in the eye and think about what she has the right to know and how I KNOW all the kids will make fun of her…(Im sure they already do, but they love her… I know they love her innocence)……uuuhhhhh…… We had to admit that we helped him… St. Nicholas was a person, but everyone carries on the tradition, the spirit of Christmas…blah blah…… Oh the questions that followed….HEARTBREAKING “Where do the letters go? Who drinks the milk and cookies? Reindeer foot prints? ” THEN..”The tooth fairy?” “where are my teeth” “Thats why you always know where the eggs are”…… I laid with her a while while her mind Im sure was still spinning….. The fantastical world has lost its identity…..When she asked me the last question of “What about fairies?” I said with confidence “I STILL BELIEVE IN FAIRIES”. and then she replied with confidence: “I DO TOO…..…my baby girl…

Coincidences

The quandary….I know for 100% certainty that in this life we were given the power of choice. Choosing left or right, to stay or to go, to believe in something or not, to do good or eviil…..but I also feel like my life was somewhat preplanned and I chose it before I got here and I am just experiencing what I know would happen….Things just keep presenting themselves, coincidences keep happening, and I just feel like I am on the right path. I get surprised occasionally, but with things I should have seen coming but didn’t want to, but I a lot of the time I am just like “yep…of course that just happened” and its weird shit……I haven’t always felt like I was on the right path, but maybe all along I was….

Wrote this over a year ago… happened again today…. I never learn

Sometimes you just know before you go to bed that in the morning that you will be eating your cereal with water instead of your almond milk because you are too lazy to go to the store……sometimes it is a surprise in the morning……never know…..
 

Your life… your choices

…..”Life….it’s complicated and I made mine that way all by myself.” – me 
We all make our lives the way they are by the choices we make. I have always made bold choices and had to deal with whatever outcomes they entailed Great/ Disastrous. You can’t blame others for how things are. You had a hand in everything that is your life. It might have been a more trying/ difficult lesson/ choice. You might have even been deceived, but in someway you still had a hand in that choice or that intention or if something was an accident you still chose how to handle it, respond, rebound from it. You can only have a pity party for so long until you have to figure out how to make it better by YOURSELF. People aren’t going to do it for you. They don’t even know what is really going on inside you because you probably haven’t even asked for help. You just keep all that hurt, anger, indecision inside of you hoping for change. It’s not going to until you make it happen.

More acting stuff

I would have written up today thus far as a complete and total waste of time (7 hours around LA) disaster, but as most of you know I believe we were put on this earth this time around to learn lessons…..so here is what I think I’ve learned…..#1 I submit for everything, go on every audition I can, take any job, take classes, do shows, knowing I have to prove myself, build my resume, meet everyone I can, you never know what one audition will lead to as a lot of the things I booked were a fluke/ right place right time/ connection. However, I have booked some things, I have built my resume. I need to start being a little more selective with my time and the projects I submit myself more. I am smarter than the thousands of people that just came off the bus this week. (I almost cried today when the one girl waiting for an audition said she left her son to come out to LA to “make it” and only goes to see him 4 days a month……. she was not going to make it anywhere in that audition) #2 You can actually drive a considerable amount of time on a dough nut for a tire. #3 If people liked you when they met you don’t let them change you later. Stay true to who you are. #4 Sometimes its ok to have the $6 Carls JR guacamole bacon burger #5 So happy I wore jeans #6 NEVER BE INTIMIDATED. SHOW NO FEAR (unless its in the part) I always used to tell my girls with competing on stage: “All it is..all you need is Relaxed Confidence.” Own the stage, the chair, the room, but don’t be cocky. Besides some differences in genitalia we all have the same parts. No one is superior to someone else.

Believe in Yourself

Believe in yourself along with all of friends, family, other hundreds of people that do. Don’t fall in the trap of letting the opinion of one person “one hater” make you doubt yourself or change you. That one person doesn’t matter and they are probably just unhappy with themselves. I always said in my HT days when I produced events that 100 people could tell me I did a great job and it was a great show, but one stupid person would come up to me and say some stupid negative comment and that is what I would remember and would ruin “the moment” for me…….(yes I am talking to you stupid guy in the coffee shop at the Grand Sierra in Reno…. and that was my best show and it was awesome…… we had a fake airplane, girls came up through an elevator in the floor and girls were walking on runways over the crowds heads…..suck it)…….If you know in your gut you are right all that really matters is what you think. Yes, we need the support of our friends and families MOST of the time. However, sometimes you need to follow your own path if you KNOW it is right. It might hurt, there might be some negativity but in the end trusting your gut USUALLY haha works out the way it should….nite;)

Actors stop bitching

Attention all actors: Unless you have an agent, a manager, a publicist, an attorney, a maid, a chef, and a guy that drives you around town from one job to the next, if a friend or legitimate normalish person asks you to be in their project fuckin do it even if its for free. As long as its not like porn ( unless that’s what your in to…)……its not going to ruin an image you don’t even have. Plus its called being versatile. Its called “acting”…..stop being a diva and lazy….be grateful and working. You never know other projects it could lead to. Get off the couch and stop your bitching there is nothing out there. There is.

I am now older than my father ended up being

This is going to seem like a morbid post and I know there are those of you that think when I do this I am in some kind of a funk crying my eyes out in bed. While I am in bed I am not crying. I am here because it is my birthday week and I’m snugly and don’t have to be anywhere until I get the kids from school. This is merely an introspection of my thoughts. Today I have officially lived longer than my father. My father killed himself 4 days before is 38th birthday. What does this mean to me? Well a little part of me feels like I won. No, I will never know what demons were troubling him inside his head. I will never understand how his personality really did just change. It had been slowly changing for a couple years, but once the switch was officially turned there was no way to undo it. Why do I feel like I have won? I feel that way because I have been through a thing or two. I’ve been through his death when I was 16. I’ve lived through 20 years of guilt over it. Yes, he did it, but when you are left behind there are always things you wish you would have done differently. I have dipped in to deep depressions which most of the time no one would have known or known what to do about it, nor would I let anyone help me. (possible because when I did ask for help a couple times it was denied, but another story:))
Because of his death I have lived life in a very different way than most. I find a way to do whatever I feel like trying. I don’t really think of all the consequences. I do what I want to do at the time. I make a decision. However, I do pay the consequences in the end and sometime that is a heavy price. Even before my dad died I lived this way to a point, but when he died I really didn’t hold back. I do all the things he never tried. When I make my mind up about something I do it. I really never ever want to hurt people. I don’t like feeling their pain. When I do hurt people I really didn’t think that would be the outcome from what I did. Knowing friends and loved ones are hurt or upset by me will sink me into a depression. I will try my hardest to “fix it”, but sometimes I have to accept that some things cant be fixed. That is the hardest lesson of all. I think it is the hardest because I am a forgiver. I rarely get mad at my friends or family. I will get hurt. I cant remember the last time I had a screaming match with anyone I was close to (other than the person I live with, but that is an entirely different tale). Now I will go to town and scream and yell at stupid people who are just wrong and stupid or hurting or upsetting someone I care about. However, I never shun a friend. I did it once before my dad died to a friend and never ever will again. I still feel guilt over it. And I also shunned my father after he shunned me. My father never forgave me for one mistake I made. He kicked me out and wouldn’t talk to me. My best friend stopped speaking to me. I had tried for months begging for his forgiveness, and when he was starting to come around talking a bit, but then refused to come into the room to sing Happy Birthday to me on my 16th Birthday I lost it and shunned him. I will never forgive myself for being as cruel to him as I was. I will never be that cruel to another again. I always forgive now because I know who that person really is. This was just a misstep. I think thats why that stupid movie the Shunning got me so upset. To me that is the worst pain; being shunned by people you love. I will never do that to anyone.
It seems odd that I am having a Birthday party for my self on this birthday…. … I haven’t had a big party since the 8th grade…and every birthday starting at 16 has been well honestly extremely difficult even if it was at a happy place like Disneyland. Memories always burn…I kind of just did it this year, but maybe my subconscious is doing it for more of a reason. I did win. Now I go into an entire new chapter of my life that he never got to move into. He lived this long. I have done and been through so much in these 38 years. Just think of how much I can do with 38 more. Some of my choices might seem like mistakes to others, but they are right in my gut at the time. I want to live life. I want to try everything I can. I want to make buttcrack videos, and talk and do sketches about my favorite subject, sex as I feel people are too sheltered. I want to try another pot cookie again even though the last time I spent the duration of the movie Bridesmaids in the bathroom at the movie theater and the last time I just ate pot because I wanted to try it I ended up crying to strangers about my life (it was oddly comforting) and puking for hours. I want to travel all over the world with the next stop being a photo safari in Kenya. I want my kids to follow in my crazy ass foot steps and make mistakes…. lots of them. The end of my years I want to end up in France….because yes, I think in a past life I was a queen:)……And as my epitaph I would want it to say “Don’t get stuck…Live”….. I dont know what my fathers epitaph would/ should have said. I want it to be very clear especially to my kids what mine is.

Coexist

When I became obsessed with getting my Coexist tattoo I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I hadn’t gotten a tattoo since I was 20, so I wanted to make sure I was serious about it. I decided that I was going to study all of the religions symbolized to make sure I understood; maybe not agreed 100% with in every aspect, but understood and acknowledged that the religion was well…. good..meaningful….beneficial to people. I don’t think we realize as parents just how much what we do to enrich ourselves will also enrich our children. My daughter has always been interested in religion even though I do not take her to church. She was going through a hard time understanding death when she was about 9 so much so that she requested to go to church and a religious camp. It made her feel better. I had always pushed that all religions should be explored. Just because I was raised Catholic that doesn’t mean that is what I am. In studying all of the religions I realized my hunch was right. All religions are based on love. Yes, there are some crazy stuff in each religious book that other religions like to pin point on and go to war over; some such little differences like if Jesus was the son of God or just a prophet. Seems like a silly thing to kill people over. Do we really need to be that right or can we all just agree that he existed and taught well… love, compassion, forgiveness? 
My point in all of this is… My daughter again has had many questions lately. Yesterday she asked if her cousin was part Jewish could she be too? She has this notion because her father “technically” baptized her in the Vatican with holy water when she was two she is Catholic. It was nice to be able to explain to her that she can be whatever she wants. She needs to study what each religion means and what their practices are. I explained that Christians, Muslims, and Jewish people all believe in the Old Testament. It is just after that where different interpretations of teachings strayed in different paths. ( If everyone would have just followed the 10 commandments there would have been no need for more teachings…. lessons… stories…..war…power… )
Just because I was raised Catholic that doesn’t mean that is who I am. She wanted to know what I was. She still hasn’t wrapped her head around it, but I explained that with all I have learned I feel like I am all the religions. There is meaning I can find in all of them. My religion is Love. I am probably more of a Pagan. I believe more in Universe, mother nature, but I believe Jesus existed too which encapsulates in some way Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. I believe in the teachings in the Shinto religion which honors nature. I believe in the peacefulness of Buddhism. She wanted to know if she could go to church this week end and also to her friends home who is Jewish to experience some or their holy days/ rituals. I said of course. She needs to study and find out whats right for her. Could be one.. could be more. Then of course I went on a tangent on how Christmas started out as a Pagan Holiday. It is the winter solstice and Christians changed it to try to convert people and Jesus was really born in the Spring… and then I moved on to Easter but her mind looked overwhelmed so I stopped…..…. to each his/ her own…. If my daughter ends up being a nun it will be her choice and I will support it. I couldn’t have done more to keep her open minded:) point is…respect and Coexist:)
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