I am now a Restuarant blogger- Livingston Bar and Grill MONTANA

IMAG6367 IMAG6290This is what happens when two 40 years old moms go out with out the kids.  First it was dinner and a bottle of GREAT but reasonably priced wine at Gils Good.  I love the place.  The front is open air, the food is unique and amazing, and I can never decide what to order. Second, it was Bingo at the Senior Center, where we used to religiously play pinnacle 2 night a week ten years ago….. Yes, we are WILD. Don’t let the fact that they are seniors make you assume that they are old and boring.  They are wonderfully entertaining and they just don’t give a shit.  They make me blush! Lastly, we had dessert and wine at Livingston Bar and Grill. The chef generously gave us a kitchen tour after I annoyingly asked my server (I told her I had a blog).  Even though I was a tiny bit intoxicated I think I did a bang up job with my interview.  Enjoy!

Be the Change

When you lose everything including your pride you become more accepting to those different than you. Be the change now.  Don’t wait for tragedy to knock on your door.  COEXIST….LOVE…..GIVE…..LIVE

Attention Actors- These are your odds of making it

I’m going to write my conclusion first.  The odds of you “making it” as a “working actor” are all up to you.  Most people quit.

I’ve been going through file boxes of old taxes working on last year’s taxes (yes, I filed an extension). In one of the boxes I came across a flyer from an acting showcase I did around 1999 with 19 other actors.  I’ve been looking up each actor on IMDB and I’m not that surprised at what I found. Out of the twenty of us, only five of us remain. The most successful is a woman with 95 credits followed by another with 71. Both women look familiar enough to where I know I’ve seen them, but none of them are “stars”.

I recently went to a seminar that focussed on being mentally prepared for auditions.  In one exercise we went around the room and said our big goal in regards to acting. Everyone wanted to be a star, or even “a brand” like “The Rock”….. Except for me.  My goal of just being a working actor wasn’t good enough.  My question is why?  I believe “making it” is just not giving up.  It is excruciatingly hard just to get an audition. A lot of times roles are cast based on a look and not even talent. Do they like you?  Are you annoying? Does production want to be on set with you? Yes..yes… You should have talent and actually have training, but this is beyond that. Talent alone is not going to get you work.

Why do people give up on their acting dream?  Maybe because they have put too much pressure on themselves that they HAVE to be a star and it HAS to happen with in 5 years?  Do potential CEOs of companies give themselves the same time frame?  I don’t think so. Sure you could start your own business and be an instant CEO, but it can take years of hard work to establish a business and make it successful.  I also don’t believe anyone would walk into a huge corporation like Apple or Intel and say “I’m going to be CEO in 5 years”.  It takes years and years of hard work and proving yourself, and maybe you will only get to Vice President at age 60.

In regards to acting a lot of excuses can be made, and I have made them too. “My agent isn’t getting me out”,…”I need a better agent.”…”I need new headshots”…..” Everyone in this town just hires family”….  Well let me tell you. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES ANYMORE. You can film stuff on your phone. A feature was filmed on an IPhone and won awards at festivals.  Are you in an acting class every week? This business IS about working with people you know.  Are you meeting people? Are you on Social media? There are tons of acting groups on Facebook. Are you going to people’s FREE improv and sketch shows?  Support others and they will support you.  Act , act, and act any chance you get.  Work on your friends projects for free.  Make stuff!  Watch great films. Read great scripts.  You can find EVERYTHING on line and it’s probably free.  There are no excuses. If I’m not busy it’s because of myself. I got lazy. I stopped submitting myself to projects on LAcasting and Actors Access.  Take your ego out of things.  If you are not an established actor you are going to need to pay some dues, work for food or gas money, or just as a favor.  If you do have some work under your belt and don’t want to work for free, don’t complain you are bored.  Own your decisions.  Find the right ladder to climb. No one is going to do it for you. IMAG6284

Www.YouTube.com/vanessabednar

Loyalty- Friends and Money

It is true that you find out who your true friends are when you run out of money.  Loyalty runs out more often than not when the well runs dry.  Even loyalty with family can and does get altered.  Watch people fight over money that a loved one has left people upon their death. It is brutal.

I used to have a very successful business.  I did well and I think I paid people well.  I knew what it felt like to be poor and I wanted people to feel comfortable and WANT to work with me. When I produced model search events for Hawaiian Tropic I would try to pay the girls something even if they didn’t win prize money.  I could usually only do this at big weekend long events.  I knew I needed the girls to have an event. Why should they give up work so I could profit? Granted the events were fun. It was a weekend party with free food, hotel, drinks, but still. I could have put more money in the bank, but I have no regrets.  I’m proud that I know I treated everyone “in my eyes” fairly…. Now I’m sure some people would say differently because, YOU CAN NEVER MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY.  I have cried lots and lots of tears trying to understand people. What I have learned? Everyone has rent or a mortgage, needs to eat, and wants to retire.  I lost a few people I thought were my friends when my business ended and the money ran out, and it was HARD. But, I can honestly say it was for the best.  I look at all the close friends I surround myself with and even the more distant friends I have allowed to be my friends on Facebook and again, I can honestly say, most of them are damn good people.  People that would and have gone out of their way to help me and I have or would do the same for them if I could.

I chose to pursue a career with limited financial gain. When I do have money I spend it on my kids, buy gifts for friends, or give it away.  I dont want to be burdened by what to do with it. I’m ok as long as I have food and gas in my car….. And yes of course when my bills are paid.

Which brings me to my final point; Don’t get stuck. Don’t get stuck in a life that isn’t bringing you joy just because it is easy. Living paycheck to paycheck or having an abundant income doing something you hate will kill you.  Find your joy. Yes, make sure the kids are fed, but find something, even if it is a hobby to bring you joy. If you do have kids, remember, THEY ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE NEST. Who are you and what are you going to do with the many extra hours in the day you will have when they leave? Your dream of “just doing nothing”, will get boring. Find a balance. Find a love of many things. Find friends. Travel. Do stuff!