Monday, May 2, 2011

The Dream is soooo close...

"The technology available for film-making now is incredible, but I am a big believer that it's all in the story."
- Robert Redford.

I can touch it!

And I was compelled to write this blog today because I am feeling the work ethic kick(start) back in!

I am feeling motivated!!! And excited to work!!!

So... on this note, I am keeping this short -- but I just wanted to say that I was inspired by a New Yorker whose dedication to putting up a great play in Manhattan has inspired me to produce a play and a short film this year... and maybe more!

I am sending you all love! And I just wanted to let you all know that last year was not for naught -- I am producing and starring in my first feature! And I am back on the market again as a best-selling author -- because the distributor lost the money for our book series -- but not to worry, every day, I am working towards my goal of getting my second book deal this year!!!

Let us make this happen together.

I am in NJ/NYC and the DREAM IS ALIVE.

I send you all love... Always!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

BAD 2010 Wrap-up Part 1.

"Courage breeds creativity."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.  

My little blades, what a perfect day to write you of my BAD's of last year -- "BAD's," which were actually perfect.

Not that I thought this at the time. I actually was what I like to call "Les Mis" -- pronounced like the musical, for dramatic, flamboyantly humorous effect. Zoiks! That was a mouth-full.

But seriously, blades, I went through "the winter of discontent," though it was a warm, mushy summer in Los Angeles. 
And I felt like -- nothing was happening. Why? I wondered and cried, why? I had no updates, no date dates, no money, nothing remotely sexy of which to write. I was just a girl in a city-less city with nothing to share.

And I longed for the me who had updates. Who was, as I was sharing with my dear friend Jade, when I was in NYC last October, "golden."
When I was the girl who was popular in high school, dated Kyle Andre during ice hockey season because he played ice hockey. Okay -- it wasn't that bad, I wasn't that bad, Kyle was cute and I had a crush on his wavy, almost black hair, and I could only imagine where he grew up -- the mysteries of attending prep schools with boarding students -- you always have the mystery lingering around in our head... Where is he from? What are her parents like? I'd love to see their houses!

But, yes... I felt golden.
Then, I went on to Barnard where I graduated early -- and before that, I established the Barnard Literary Society, won awards I never knew existed before I won them, wrote for The Barnard Bulletin, The Columbia Spectator, created a literary magazine, wrote a poem a night, worked out prodigiously, ate ritualistically & healthily because of my dance class and swimming and running -- and no, I wasn't neurotic. I was ALIVE. I was living my dreams. 

I remember my friend Bebe saying to me, "We should have our own literary society here at school. Why don't we have one?" And we were way up in the top floor lounge of the newish dorm called Sulzberger Hall -- yes, named after the Sulzbergers who owned The New York Times, and then -- guess what?

I founded it. The Literary Society. I went around posting signs all over Barnard. I asked people questions. I talked to professors. I created something. No, I created something. I made something real, tangible, just because I thought it. My thought -- my friend's thought mixed with mine, as is so often the case, mixed with mine -- and then, I created it.
And I loved it. I tended to it like a garden. And I remember one of my all time favorite professors coming to my Barnard Literary Society's Coming Out Party -- that sounds like what it's not -- but you all get the point -- this was my way of sharing my society with everyone!

And so... Professor Edward Taylor came to the party. And I remembered how he looked out at everyone sipping their drinks and munching on the hors d'oeuvres and leaning in to say to me, "After so often a student does something like this. And I think it is amazing." And I beamed.


I was in love.


He attended Yale and I'd hop the Metro North almost every weekend of my sophomore and junior years to be with him. 

I started writing my memoir -- which at the time, I called "my novel," I actually saved it on my desktop as "my novel." Zoiks!

I was listening to Seal and not just retelling stories about my mom and her past -- I was flying -- because I was c-r-e-a-t-i-n-g her story. I wasn't retelling, I was imagining. And it felt like slivers of heaven whenever I saw the ice cubes in the iced tea of my beautiful Aunt Lila at her lovely ranch home in Mississippi. Her sliding glass doors leading out to her flat, green backyard...

Because at least in my mind, it was these things. And in my mind, she'd tell me stories as she sucked on the ice cubes from her iced tea -- sweet tea -- and I'd just listen, happily listen... Nothing better than a tall glass of sweating sweet tea, and the sugary southern voice of our beautiful aunt as she drips nostalgic about her childhood with my mom. 

At least in my story, in mind, this was how it went.

And I actually won a Ford Foundation Grant to go down there -- I ended up traveling to DC to interview various women and men who worked at Arab American organizations. And the most rewarding was my trip to The Museum of Natural History where I visited The Arab American Archives and got to listen to my Great Uncle John retelling what it was like to be a Lebanese man in Mississippi in the 1930's. P.s. -- not as bad as you would think. They were, I believe, the only ethnicity allowed to vote in that state before the Civil Rights Movement.


And golden.

I'd interned for Joel Siegel -- I was the only intern he'd ever hired to be his personal assistant and he paid me out of his pocket. I stayed at his penthouse while he was away, I attended more screenings for movies than I made dinners at home.

I met Morgan Freeman, I B Roll-ed the Golden Globes for GMA in LA. I had a lusty night with a young producer there. I wore a great dress, smiled widely and happily. And I decided I was going to be an actress.

Then, Broadway ensued shortly thereafter.

I was on stage with Natalie Portman and Linda Lavin, Broadway stars such as George Hearn (who originated Sweeney Todd on Broadway), Pulitzer Prized Nominated Austin Pendelton and -- The Diary of Anne Frank was our show! I am half Dutch and my Dad was in the camps in Java, Indonesia as my grandparents were missionaries. 

This story spoke to me. Broadway spoke to me. (I'd grown up going to shows with my family and I dreamt of the stage. )

Golden yet again.

... But somewhere amidst the traffic of Los Angeles, the uninspired television shows, and the lack of men whom I was falling for, I started to feel less golden, more like a thinly plated silver...
But, I was told my a number of bright, bright, evolved souls to hold tight. One even said, and I think I quoted this in my last blog, "It's gonna get so good for you, you're gonna laugh that you ever worried."

Welp, I had to go through the valley of darkness to get there/here, but I am seeing it all again... This time, as a woman.
And damn.

It feels good, my little blades. It feels good.
But -- let's leave it as this -- this is only part 1 of the BAD. I'll get into the specifics of this time period and what brought me here in my next blog.

This one has been long-long-long. But I hope it's been juicy,juicy,juicy!
And that you've dug some of my past dalliances with gold in my past. Because what is rising within me now is golder than any gold I have ever known.

Perhaps sometimes, my little blades, we need to put ourselves away, soften up our edges, snuggle into our own consciousness before we can go out into the great wild yonder and be extraordinary.
Or perhaps as my former neighbor Jenny Miller so wisely put it, "Kieren, you were building little buildings before. And now, you are building skyscrapers. And they take longer to build."

And with these words of inspiration, think, my little blades, of what skyscrapers you are currently building... Think of what buildings you created in the past and how your golden present is vaster, shinier, more loving, more courageous than ever before. 
Or think -- of what you CAN create. Pull the seat belts off of your dreams and see what it feels like to fly down the unbeaten path with nothing holding you back. Where would you go? 

I... alas, am going to bed. Hehe.

But I shall write you more tomorrow. The tangibles of this time. And how I grew. And grew. And grew.

Thank you for reading.

I send you all Love... Always.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My 2010 Goals Wrap-up!

"What we believe, we shall become."
- Kvdb.
Happy New Year, my Little Blades!!! First of all, I want to thank you all for following my blog, for coming along for my ride, for reading my triumphs and my disappointments. For empathizing with me as I expressed my dreams and worked tenaciously to see them come true. And I have to say, what has come out of this blog honestly has gone beyond my thoughts -- I have had a " cyber friend" send me a book in the mail  and then, an Itunes album of meditative chants. I have debated with another and eventually asked him to stop reading my blog. I have made new friends who have shared with me how comforting it was to read my blog -- and how less alone they felt because of it.
I had a friend at my high school reunion this past summer tell me that he's an avid reader and that if I needed an proof reading, he was my man. 
I've had older friends -- of a few years -- tell me that they felt they were really getting to know me for the first time -- my insides. And when I "didn't feel" like blogging, I'd make myself. And then, when I knew that I needed a break, I gave one to myself. All the while, learning to listen to myself, honor my voice within, pay attention to my gut.
To wrap up an entire year though... tough stuff! But here alas, on this gray day, I shall attempt to put together my good/bad list -- which ultimately is all good. And how my "best-selling author and movie-star" blog has turned out. Plus, I will tell you all what my next steps are for this year -- in other words, how last year has become this golden year... And -- I shall include what 3 psychics said. Zoiks! And who was right and how. (I am starting to feel like an infommercial -- and I am almost about to say "You get 3 free Ginzu knives for reading my column today! Call within the next 9 minutes. And I'll throw in a tomato twaddler!")

So... without further ado, here we go... !!!

The Best of my life in 2010.
(and these are in no particular order :)

The Best.
1. WME: Signing with WME Voice-Over. This agency headed by Erik Seastrand is undeniably the best VO agency in the city. Erik is kind and funny and personable and has a killer work ethic.

I have said to people before that I was with an agency before WME for VO and being with them as opposed to being with WME is like dating a guy vs. being in love with him.

It is being with "good" and being with the "best." And trust me, they are miles apart.

I've booked more with WME in 4 months than in all of last year with Innovative Artists.

Plus, William Morris is where I began -- they put me on Broadway -- my first gig! -- and this feels like a glorious full circle.

2. MOVIE STAR: Having a major production company email me in mid-December to see if I wanted to meet with them about producing my movie!!! This is a company -- a person -- I have wanted to work with -- someone who has wanted to work with me too -- for over two years! This also feels kharmically perfect. Like something we have been working towards...

3. PSYCHIC: And it's funny because a psychic told me last summer that the end of my year was going to get "So good that you'll laugh that you ever worried." Keep smiling," she said. "And," she continued, "It is only going to get better!" I met her at an event where she was giving free readings and so for like maybe ten minutes, she "read me." And she also told me about my man... But, more of that on a later blog :)It's funny because I am not a big psychic person -- and I only went because she was free and my friends and I thought it would be fun. But, I have to say -- she was right. She really saw me. And these things did, have started to happen. In fact, at a party before Christmas in Silverlake, I chanced upon another psychic -- a supercool, sexy British woman, who also started to "read me" -- at a hipster party of all places. And when I told her that I was "craving Broadway," she told me, "There is something much bigger for you." She said, "Go home and sleep tonight and when you wake up, you will know what it is." And I did. And I did. :)

4. HOME: One of my best friends, Jesika, has moved in with me and literally transformed my life. It is so lovely to cook with someone and to share bills and to hang out with them, to have a "built-in best friend" is heaven... And this is the first time I have lived with someone in years, so living with her feels like preparation for the future... : And living with her, I feel, has made all of my dreams feel closer -- because I have opened up and shared my space and myself and remembered, I have remembered, what it felt like in New York when my career was breaking open and I had a roommate and I was fulfilled. Another full circle.

5. THE LITTLE BEAST COMPANY/Honestly, the blog. Welp, with my blog, I tweeted and facebooked it and my social network has begun to burgeon. I have connected with SO many people this way -- through Facebook and Twitter and this community of friends that continues to grow and grow... And this blog has made me into a more honest person. Into a person whose dreams have become supported by almost cyber shoulders... I have felt the love and support of strangers who have cheered me on as I have succeeded and who've picked me up when I was falling. This is an extraordinary aspect of these new networks we are all in the process of making -- we meet these, what I call, "cyber angels," with whom we strike up unlikely friendships. And I for one, am grateful for them. For all of you reading my blog at this very moment.
And... I had my first party on December 12th of last year to celebrate my Little Beast Company! I was a producing partner of Little Bird Theater Company and then, when my partner and I broke up last December -- a year ago -- she wanted to run her own company and with a non-actor, I felt sort of lost in the beginning. But, when I talked to Shalom -- my teacher, he smiled widely and told me that he had been waiting for this news. That this was the best thing for me. And even though I have missed doing our beloved one act festivals, I believe he was right. 

I am working on getting my movie done. I am doing a play with the Vs. Theatre Company and my Little Beast Company will do our first festival later this fall!

We are all moving along at a fabulous clip!

And these are the career updates thus far -- blog part 1! 

There are more updates as well -- but I will blog about the "worst" which is actually also the "best" tomorrow :)

But as far as being a movie star -- I am on my way, my little blades! And tomorrow and Monday, I shall be reading through my movie and one act play to see what I like and want to edit to make even more exraordinary. Screenplays have always scared me and that is whay this is perfect for me. I have written children's books and plays and articles and a column and essays and a memoir. I CAN DO THIS. I can write a movie!

And so... this is how last year ended for me... Glitteringly. Promisingly. Perfectly.

And now... for the next blog, The WORST, which is also the BEST.

"You're gonna make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!"
Reverend Run Wisdom via Twitter.




Nina: ... "I understand now, Kostya, that in our work, acting or writing, it makes no difference, what matters isn't fame or glory, it isn't all the things I dreamed about, but the capacity to endure. To bear your cross and have faith. I have faith and it doesn't hurt so much now. When I think of my vocation I don't fear life"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

the perfect day for a blizzard.

The fireplace at The Cranbury Inn during the Blizzard of December 26th, 2010. 

"Fear not. There is light in the darkness."
- Suzanne Schafer-Coates

My Dad has been playing piano in the Presbyterian Church at the same lovely retirement home in our town of New Jersey for over 20 years now. And so last night when he asked me if I were coming to church this morning, naturally I said "Yes." I almost always come when I am home.

And truthfully, I love to hear my father play piano -- he is truly rhapsodic. He fashions a song as only he can -- with jazzy riffs and never neglecting the higher chords, which his fingers always include in a song. In fact, whenever I picture him playing, I picture his rather compact hands deftly stretching across the keyboard towards the high keys as they lift up the song and give it a sort of bursting, exciting, the walls are singing too! sound.

But sermon-wise, I just -- I'm a still a touch off from my stomach virus and I don't particularly feel "filled up" by sermons -- ever since I was little -- but I shall go. I love my Dad and I have known this church since I was little and I shall go...

And as the snow began to dust the roads, I made my way towards the church in the home. My town is so small that two roads got me there. 

 I collected a program from an elderly woman -- after all, this is not a youthful crowd in the retirement home -- and made my way to the second row of chairs, right behind my Dad. To my right, I saw a scoop of young people -- three young women and a mom, and a middle-aged man behind them. This perked me up! Honestly, all of the white heads in the church begin to look like a mass of q-tips as your eyes glaze over with the candle lights and the Christmas tree and the poinsettias. Well, to begin with, the minister -- Suzanne Schafer-Coates sang a song, a Jamaican Christmas song my Mom always requested from a church friend when she was sick. It's called, Mary's Boy Child. And so, immediately, I was hooked. My eyes even watered a little. This brought me back. And knowing that my Dad and Suzanne had chosen this song and mentioned Ron Anderson who would play it on his banjo, I think, brought me directly back to my youth. Like a roller coaster that within seconds has you shoved up onto the top of a mountain, I was shoved up into my youth. And it was beautiful. My Dad flaked off in a part of the song and I saw him make a funny face at the piano and that made the whole thing even better -- it was honest. Imperfect, clipped, and it reminded me of the Navajo Tribe. I've mentioned them in blogs of the past -- they always put an indentation in their jewelry because they believed that only God could make things perfectly. And so did my Dad apparently, this morning.

So... Then, these two sisters sang a duet. And they harmonized perfectly, seemingly effortlessly. I adored their voices. One of them reminded me of my former producing partner of Little Bird Theater Company and that also brought a smile to my face.

There were a few minor readings from the elder who was there from the other downtown Presbyterian Church and some Christmas songs and then, the sermon. Once again, I have learned to expect nothing. In fact, when I was little and forced to go to the church with my sister, we'd pass notes on the offertory envelopes. Over my mom's lap. Little beasts we were. And then, when I was old enough to really think about what I was saying, say 12 years old -- I bucked against the system.

I was so turned off of all of the "please forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us" stuff. And I know I sound petulant when I say "stuff," but alas, that's what it felt like to me. A whole lot of unnecessary stuff. Where was the God who was forgiving? And if this God truly forgave us for erring because we are human, then why are we constantly apologizing? I found myself whispering the words of constant self-deprecation and ultimately, I stopped saying them altogether. 

And in the past few years, I have happily studying Kabbalah.  I found no apologizing, merely methods of bettering myself. And if I fall, which I always assuredly do, I pick myself up and move on. It felt simple, forgiving, practical.

The memories of my childhood church years have warmed me. I've mentioned them in my memoir. And whenever I sip on sugary tea, whenever I hear a church hymn, whenever I think of Sundays as a child, I think happily of our downtown Presbyterian Church.

Today though, I just thought of the promise of a one hour service, hearing my father's music and the lovely snow, which I have longed for in California.

But, when Suzanne -- whose two oldest children I once babysat -- began her sermon intimately and simply, speaking of her youth... When she was a 25 year-old young woman in York, England, alone and broke and freezing cold, scared on Christmas -- away from her family, unable to go home, I was there. I was in the story. I wanted to hear more.

She spoke of how she lived in a house the church was tying to sell. But until they did, it was hers. No heat, the toilet was in the backyard, and it was dark. She sang in the choir and even the church was absolutely freezing!

She said that singing the old Christmas hymns made her happy, but when it came time for Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, she cried. She longed for home.

Then, she said she began to look at the candles in the church and focus on their light. How they lit up the room and she imagined the warmth they were giving off.

She heard the words, the ones the minister spoke from the sermon, words she'd heard countless times before, Fear Not. There is Light in the Darkness.

And for the first time ever, she got them. She understood what it meant. And she felt the light. And it guided her. Out of the darkness.

And this is what we study in Kabbalah. That light always pierces through the darkness. That we ARE the light that pierces through the darkness -- or rather -- the light is what we trust -- what is always there for us. Never abandoning us. Even when we feel like it is. Even when we curse it and step on it and spit at it and want to twist the lifeless life out of it. It is there. 

And this is exactly what Suzanne was preaching about today. That the light was there for her. And I love the double meaning of "light." Both the physical light, which literally warms and brightens us up. And the spiritual/figurative light, which warms (with its "Aha, I am being watched over!" moment) and and brightens us up (with the knowledge we gain that yes, we are not alone.)

And I think that when Suzanne was telling her story, we all felt less alone. I love that feeling of all religions, all spiritualities being one. Because they are. We are. We've all been that 25 girl alone in that house in England -- even if we are a 28 year-old man in Seattle or a 50 year-old woman in Germany or a 71 man in Pennsylvania. We have all been there. All done that.

And by sharing her story, Suzanne brought the story of Christmas to all of us in that little church in that lovely retirement home. She brought the hope that is Christmas, that stubborn faith that we are all risen again, that if we believe, we too can have new life.

Our courage liberates others. I once thought that seeming a certain way was the way to go as an actress. I took time off from acting - a few years -- and when I stepped back in, I had trepidation. And so, I thought -- be this way. Do this. And they will love you.

And the thing is... only when I had the courage to be vulnerable, to trust my gut, to be absolutely and utterly Kieren van den Blink -- was I truly embraced. And believed in. And what I mean when I say -- "utterly Kieren van den Blink" is that only when I brought me to the part -- my quirks and depths and comedy, and in meetings when I was honest, only then did I win.

Today, when Suzanne said, "Fear Not. There is Light in the Darkness," she spoke of her dark moments and those candles in the church, they gave her light and then hope and then, she believed. 

I've been acquainted with the night... As the Robert Frost poem goes:

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain. 
I have outwalked the furthest city light. 
I have looked down the saddest city lane. 
I have passed by the watchman on his beat 
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. 
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet 
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street, 
But not to call me back or say good-bye; 
And further still at an unearthly height, 
O luminary clock against the sky 
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. 
I have been one acquainted with the night. 

And I can tell each and every one of my beloved blades of grass, there is indeed... Light in the Darkness.

And I'll let Van Morrison sing the rest to you as only he can... :)

Love... Always. Happy Holidays, my beloved blades.


a sexy song to keep you warm during the blizzard... :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Manifesting My Destiny.

"If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts."
- Alan Cohen.

My little blades, I apologize first of all. I said I was going to blog a few days ago and I literally starting falling asleep with the laptop perched somewhat awkwardly -- almost perilously -- in my lap in bed. And then, I just got an email from Allie, one of my lovely followers, and I was reminded of my promise.

So, thank you Allie. For keeping me honest. And thank you, Dasha, for pushing me to keep my promise as well.

And so, my little blades... this leads me back to all of you. When I began blogging this year, I had some goals in mind. And as you may remember, I was very specific about them. I was sounding my "barbaric yawp!" so to speak. About what I wanted, what I was manifesting, what I felt I deserved, what I wanted to share with all of you.

And though the year is not over yet, we are indeed winding down... And happily so.

See, I remember the searching for what I wanted. Looking for God in things big and small.  And here is the musical version of what I was seeking... And though it seemed -- even to me -- like what I've been seeking was on the outside -- move star, best-selling author, and millionaire. And quite honestly, I am not at all saying that I no longer aspire to be or see myself as those things. Because I do. But what I have been getting -- more than anything -- is closer to God, to the God in me, to me, I guess you can say. And so... here is the song that sings from my heart what this year has felt like for me...

And then, there is this: December 9th at 11:20pm and here I am at home, with Gatsby. I have a friend living with me. She brings a joy to my home that I didn't even know so acutely I'd be longing for. And I have -- gosh, it's funny because when I've been meeting with my teacher, Shalom, the past few months, he's been telling me how happy he is for me.

I am so happy for you, Kieren. You are changing so much.

And me looking at him quizzically. Almost like -- Dude. If I were changing so much, then where's my house? My boyfriend? My movie? My books? 

I felt like, I honestly felt like, if I were changing, Shalom, you'd see it. Not just feel it, sense it. There'd be proof. And the kind of proof that I consider proof.

But then, the funny thing is, proof did start to come... It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.

Hehe. I had to go a little Grinch on your arses! Seeing as it is Christmas :)

But seriously though, it did start -- and is starting to come.

And thus, my quote -- I have been meditating almost every morning. Faithfully. For five minutes to fifteen. And boy, has it made a difference. It is the stillness in the beginning of my day that starts me off centered and calm. I then will drink maybe a green tea and eat a small breakfast.

And I used to begin -- how funny that "begin" and being" and almost the same word -- my day with a big sugary chai tea from my beloved coffee bean. But the thing is, I remember what my old acting teacher Marjorie used to say to me years ago, "All that sugar is affecting you, Kieren. Cut back on it." And I was mildly horrified at the idea of no chai -- my one treat/weakness/sin/no big deal it's a frickin' tea :)

But, when I looked at it -- I was beginning my day foggy. And when I started to meditate, I swear to you all, I started to "know" things or "see" things.
I knew that my friend Scott's new job would be in finances. Before he told me. And that my new friend George's first choice college was Yale. I knew that the manager with whom I was meeting would want to work with me. When I was quiet with myself, I got -- It's gonna be easy. She's gonna want to work with me. And she does.

1. I pictured booking a series of Voice-Overs. Visualized and felt the phone call from WME. And it came today!

2. I've been picturing a phone call or an email from someone reaching out to me to give me a break and someone did!!! I will share the news on Monday!!!

3. I have been craaaaving getting back on Broadway and then, I get introduced to a film agent at WME -- where I want to be again! Where I started -- and he wants to introduce me to one of the best Broadway agents in NYC -- at WME!

...I can even see the on-camera commercial I am going to book -- I see it when I am meditating. I picture it. Me and the guy. And our laughing...

But also, what is really making my life better and easier -- is that I am trusting myself more. I am seeing things, and feeling things, and knowing things. And then, I am quiet with them. And then, I trust them. Me. My gut.
It, life, is sooo much easier when we trust our guts. When we manifest our own destinies. When we know what we want and we see it, work towards it. My friend Tobey says most people don't succeed because they don't put one foot in front of the other.

So, yes. I am meditating. But, then, I act on what I see. I make the phone call to meet with my commercial agent to share my vision with her. And she introduces me to the manager.

I email me VO agent and tell him my vision/goal of booking a spot before the holiday.

I am bringing all of these people, my champions, in on my dream. Along with me. They are then a part of my vision and making it happen. And life is SO much more powerful, our dream SO much more obtainable -- they are always obtainable -- but they will happen faster and in a richer way when we involve our team. friends. family. agents. manager. lawyer. whomever our people are, or may be.

Honestly, I thought of Akeelah and the Bee the other day when I thought about my new company, The Little Beast. And the movie we are making. And I thought of how the little girl in the movie involves pretty much everyone she comes across in her life in her dream of winning the spelling bee.

The mailman and her mom, her brother and her brother's friends. Her tutor. Her teacher. Her girlfriends. Everyone. And guess what? She wins! It is the power of many. We can manifest our dreams more quickly and richly and fully by including other people along the way, empowering them as they empower us.

When I attended the Women's Conference a few months back and Oprah spoke, she said, If you want your dreams to come true, make them about something larger than yourself, something that benefits other people.

And I believe that is why Little Bird was a success. We sold our friend's paintings and photographs, we showcased our friend's writing and acting and directing and music, we produced all of it. And we all benefited.

And now... I feel the power of ALL again.

Since I began blogging, I:
1. Signed with WME for Voice Overs and have booked more in 4 months than I did all last year.
2. Signed with Arete for On Camera Commercials. And I have been On Avail 3 times and have a better relationship with my agent than I have had since NYC.
3. Have a manager who is passionate about me -- for exactly who I am.
4. I am making my movie -- every day, I move closer.
5. Lost my children's book deal :( (due to financial problems with the distributor). But am reaching out to contact Barnard Grads and whomever I am referred to who can help in getting them published.
6. Not a millionaire yet, but on my way! Every day, I am growing wealthier.
And most importantly, and Shalom pointed this out, it started inside of me and began to move out.

I started with meditation. I started in the quiet. I focused on what I wanted. I saw it and felt it and it became mine.

Even with dating. I am dating again! And I can see my husband. I feel him, I sit on his lap, I laugh with him, I already know his hair... :)

Amazing stuff.
And I wanted to be with WME again. Always. It was my first agency, my first love. (WMA was:)

And I wanted to book commercials again -- great exposure and money and fun!
And I want to be a movie star! To light up the screen and to inspire, to make people laugh, to move them. And this is happening too... !!!

I am not giving up, my phoenixes, not on my beloved books either.

My Grandfather, my Dutch Grandfather, during World War II when he was separated in the camps from my Grandmother and my uncle and Daddy, he found comfort in a book written by a well-renowned British minister called, The Significance of Silence. And now I get it. 

Silence brings us closer to us.

Listen, my little blades. You will hear the truth.

It's like what Glynda the good witch says to Dorothy, "You had it in you all along. It was always there."

So, have the courage to be quiet. And to listen. And then -- go out there into this big and wilding world... And give 'em hell.

I love you all... Always.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dum Dums for Dumb Weather!

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls. "
- Mother Teresa

the thing is Amy and I always walked to walk together -- for over 4 years now. and then this year, it was different -- Amy felt overburdened at home -- super busy with work and family. And I too felt overwhelmed -- I was planning my first movie and working hard for big big things. I wanted to be shooting my movie this fall -- and this was to be my reason why I could not walk.

Well, my little beasts, the movie has not yet happened -- key word -- YET. but -- I am on my way to developing it. And so, I was here still. In LA. Ready to do something -- but I didn't know what exactly what to do -- I mean, we couldn't walk because it was too late. And yet, I felt -- and Amy felt down in San Diego -- that we had to do something. Something to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walkers -- during their 60 mile 3 day walk.

So, I sent out an email -- she said she'd been feeling the same way -- that we should indeed cheer them on. I was to take a train down. And we'd buy some poster board and make signs. We'd buy some candy maybe and cheer them on!

I decided to take the train and head on down to SD... The ride was what made me think of the quote I chose -- I was quiet. It was lovelier than driving a car. It was a time to read and look out the window. To write in my journal and to watch the world go by.

So often in this city because we have to drive to most places, we tune out the world around us -- we are tubed up in our cars on a slamming freeway, we turn on music or the radio or we call a friend and chat.

I do these things. Usually.

But on the train, the Surfliner, I was quiet. And I read and read and read. And I wrote and wrote and wrote.


And so, when I got down to SD, and Amy picked me up in Solana Beach and then ducked into a CVS while I sat in her car with her little son waiting, and then popped back in again with a bag of Dum Dum's, I was ready to be loud. To speak up -- and to cheer on the walkers who were braving the first stormy San Diego walk since the Susan G. Komen 3 Day began down here. It was raining and windy and in the 50's.

And these walkers -- after we'd dropped off her son and found the walkers on the route -- they walked with plastic around their sneakers and socks. They walked with colorful ponchos. They walked with baseball cops and music still playing out of their fanny packs. They walked with wet hair. And wet socks and wet sneakers. Wet pants and shirts.

They were like the Who's down in Whoville who sang without their Christmas presents.

Nothing stopped them. Their spirit. Their walk. For they were walking for something bigger than them. Bigger than the weather. Bigger than a route.

They were walking for love. They were walking for the faces on their shirts and in their hearts. They were walking for the people not yet born. They were walking for the women alongside them. They were walking for themselves.

For all of us.

And they walked and walked.

So, I thought of a slogan -- I mean, all we had was  bag of dumb dumbs -- we' weren't dressed in pink and we didn't have music, we didn't have signs -- the rain would've obliterated them -- all we were was two girls in jeans and sneaks and sweatshirts with hoods and a bag of dum dums.

So... I thought of this --

"Dum Dums for Dumb Weather!"

And so, Amy and I began to say it in unison as the walkers walked by. We surprised them and ourselves with our perfectly syncopated chant.

They smiled and laughed and some of them even took Dum Dums as we passed them out. They gave us high fives and continued along their way -- with an extra spring in their step.

It felt better than most anything in life. Honestly.

It felt almost as good as walking. And that is one of my favorite things in life -- doing this walk with Amy once a year.

We slept like little babes in swaddling clothes that night... Knowing that our Dum Dums and our cheering had brought smiles and laughs.

And then, the next morning when we awakened -- I think we were the only two souls in the whole city who were bummed to see the sun -- What would we do with our winning slogan?

We sort of prayed for  rain.


And then, when we finally found a place to position  ourselves for the second cheering part of Day 3 of the walk, and our Day 3 -- Sunday,  we placed ourselves at the bottom of the great big hill in the last stretch of the walk.

And we adjusted.

We decided to say, Dum Dums for the Dumb Hill!

And boy, we couldn't keep them in our hands -- they were flying out of them like hotcakes!

3 different groups of women asked us for photo ops -- and of course, we obliged :)

They called us The Dum Dum Girls!

They remembered us, and high fived us, they repeated our chant! We were all like one big happy wet and cold and cheering walking family!!!

They'd laugh as they walked away, when they finally heard -- above the noise of the walking -- what we'd said.

They thanked us for coming out. They. thanked. us.

And I remembered how great it felt to be doing something for someone else.

To support people believe in them -- make them laugh.

One man reminded us both of why we were there. He must've been in his 60's or early 70's even. Really healthy looking and had a great pace, seemed untouched, undaunted as he began his trek up the hill.

And Amy said to him, "Wow, you seem so relaxed. You make the hill look easy."

To which he replied, "It's easier than chemo."

No Dum Dum cheer for a minute or two. Took our breath away.

And so, my Little Beasts/Blades... I write you tonight out of gratitude. I write to you as someone who had been humbled by the women and men who walked by us and who thanked us for cheering them on.

I write as someone who wants to feed people downtown on Thanksgiving morning.

Someone who is grateful to be able to walk. To have friends like you. A dog like Gatsby. My health. Dreams that take my own breath away.

Someone who has a mom up there, in the sky, who was smiling down upon me last weekend. Knowing... that I was cheering for her.

Love... Always.