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.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Our gift.

"Your garbage is your gift. If you learn to harness it."

And the next quote is also mine... :) 
The beauty of growing up is learning to trust your gut, following your own star and having utter faith in your golden path.

my little blades, i have promised to blog tonight, but alas, i see that since my roommate is sleeping and gatsby needs a peepee and i am off to bed soon, i will have to keep this short :(

i will indeed write more tomorrow, but please know my little beasts that i have a big surprise coming up -- including a christmas party on sunday, december 12th and i have an event with an amaaaazing theatre company that i am co-hosting and i also am looking for a writer to co-write my movie with me.

and so, there are many glittering things cooking!

i love you all and i promise to write more tomorrow... but please know this much -- that your gift is your garbage, it is the same thing -- depending on how your harness it.

for example, my passion for life & ability to connect with people is my gift. but when i do no harness it, it can distract me and keep me unfocused and my ego will get in the way -- keeping me from success.

when i harness it, i am focused and full of bright energy that brings friends and boyfriends and love and money and health to me.

think of this, my little beasts. what is your gift? and what is your garbage? and think of how one brings you success and one brings you fear/doubt/chaos.

how can you harness it? to make it all positive and all a gift?

5 things today:
meeting with the great johnny clark of Vs. Theatre Company to discuss working together
repeating exercise with keith
repeating exercise with johnny
reaching out to writers about my movie
WME audition

And I have a great opportunity next week on Wednesday, wish me luck... :)
And also -- I have something coming up in NYC...
And I am disciplining myself more, paying off debt, working hard, paying rent early, taking care of my skin and hair and time to buy some new clothes for auditions and meetings!!!

Please do write me little beasts, and tell me what your gift/garbage is. And how you're harnessing it.

And to all of you, near and far, sleep with the angels...

Love.... Always.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Your one and precious life.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
- Mary Oliver.

Welp, my little blades... I am absolutely discovering this for myself! It's funny because I stopped blogging because I felt like I'd dried up -- my inspiration had deserted me -- or perhaps I had deserted it. Either way, I stopped.

And then, I was at my acting workshop and my dear friend Dasha asked me what happened to my blog. She said, "You have only like two months to go, come on." And then, when I said that I'd been Les Mis and thought it was better if I walked away for awhile, she responded brilliantly. She said, "But that's when we most want to read your column. To be inspired."

And then, I thought to myself, I need to write again. I need to share where I have been and where I am going. I need to give -- of myself and back to you all, my little blades, who stuck with me, by my side, even when I aborted mission for a few months.

Sometimes in life, and I am a big proponent of this, it is enlivening to walk away from something. Gain a fresh perspective. See things more clearly. Meet someone new. Discover a new song. Change our minds. Or maybe -- maybe even we need to listen to old songs, meet up with an old friends, see things the way we used to see them and yet differently at the exact same time.

The thing is, we are always growing. Even when we think -- ugh. This is so not where I am supposed to be. Maybe it is. Maybe we are all part of this divine make up of the universe and we are spinning, turning just right. Just right if -- and this is a great big if -- if we have what I have discovered to be the courage that it takes to be honest. With ourselves. About ourselves. If we embrace who we are.

And at The Women's Conference in Long Beach a few weeks ago, I learned -- or rather re-learned about that. I felt anew. As the hours stretched on and the more people I listened to, the more the voices all collectively became this harmonious pitch, like the sound of a hummingbird's wings as it clings nearby a bird of paradise. 

I could hear them. The wings. My wings. And I could feel like this warm feeling falling over me and I remembered me. The me who attended Barnard. The me who went to Peddie. The me who dreampt of great big things as I swinged (swung?) on the swingset in my backyard. The me who hid on the side of my house, thinking of being an actress, shewing my gum and the peanuts I'd also incomprehensibly popped into my mouth.

I'd stare into the bathroom mirror, the one downstairs, and do a commercial, act it out, sell a product, but I'd always make one up that was kind of dramatic. And boy, did the tears flow easily.

I'd sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow on the swing in the backyard. And when my momtold me that the lion had died in "real life" -I cried then too. I cried for the lion. And for his courage. And for the actor -- because why did he have to die?

I remember these things.

I remembered me.

At the conference, as I listened to the women -- and the few great men who also spoke -- I remembered me. And what makes me great. Made me great. Will make me even greater.

The truth. Who I am. The scrappy kid from Jersey. The big brown-eyed dreamer with the out-sized dreams. The girl who made her childhood best friend, Gretchen, whom I'd somehow nicknamed Pooch, (she called me Bear) rehearse with me for our "movie play" about two women who were secretaries who rose up and defeated their boss. Our soundtrack was Private Eeyes. And I'd make us both rehearse assiduously. 

We also danced for the local retirement home -- in Danskin leotards a la Solid Gold. I'm sure our strange and energized performance either brought them closer to death or life, depending on their current physical state.

That's me, my little blades. That's me.
Or at least, this was the beginning of me.
And now... I have picked up the stick again and started to Bridge to Terabithia my way through life all over again.
Honesty about my money. Honesty about my school. My culture. My desire for love. My gratitude for all of the love swarming my life. My need to be close to my father. My missing of my sister and great need to see her again.

I am buying a new car. Selling my old one. My dear friend is living with me. Jes! I have a roommate again -- it's been years and years. And I LOVE it.

I am growing. We are growing. But the thing is, I am taking me -- along the journey.
This is my one wild and precious life. And I am beginning to know -- just what I plan to do... :):):)


Monday, November 8, 2010

To all of my friends...

I love you all. Thank you for always listening to me, and helping me out when I need you... These are times of greatness and times of great challenge. And every day, I have facebook messages and texts and emails and phone calls... And every single word of love makes the quality of my life exceptional. In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Love, love, love each and every one of you. Always!!! All of my little blades near and far, you all make me shine.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Life is like a prism.

"If you are waiting for a miracle, change your perception."
- Oprah Winfrey.
So, lately, my little blades, I have been going through all of these changes... Feeling ready to move, feeling excited about being with my new agents -- and yet, wanting more, craving more, neeeeeeding more. But -- it's amazing. Because I have been seeking and finding. I have been meditating every day -- welp, starting today. I have been meditating on and off, but this morning, I vouched for every day. And it feels great. And in my meditating, I have been feeling clearer. Things are becoming clearer. 
Like when you squirt the windshield wiper fluid on your window and all of a sudden, you can see -- I mean, really see the city. Or what's in front of you. Hehe. But this is how I feel... I am also walking Gatsby 3 miles daily and this has also been clearing my head.
I am in action. Remembering to -- probably the greatest clarity I have had lately is in how I spend my time. I have had to hunker down and not buy my chai every morning. I've been thinking about New York. And not in some sort of wishy washy way, but in the way that I am going to go in a month and take a great meeting that could lead to even greater things...
I am. Clearing up debt.
I am. exercising.
I am. Steaming my voice.
Taking care of my skin.
Taking care of what I eat.
I feel like a warrior.
I feel like I am in the final stretch of the year and I am going to work hard as opposed to half-assing it. I have my eyes on the prize and where my perception has been changing is in my discipline. How I spend my money. How I spend my time. 
Exercise and eating well and meditating, emailing and talking to my agents, telling them my goals, getting them in on my goal -- so that we are all a team, doing it together. Meeting with them, hugging them, reaching out and creating like a force field so that we can accomplish this together.
I am looking at my life at the moment as if I were walking for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk. I am telling everyone my goal. I am asking for help, emailing and calling, texting, anything to reach my goal -- what became our goal. And this is also what I did with Little Bird -- and what I shall do with Little Beast. What I've done with bringing friends to see Yellow. It's this collective thing -- where you tell people, include them, make them a part of something bigger than all of ourselves, we become something greater. 
And honestly, this is how I have been most fulfilled in my life thus far. When I believe in something greater than myself -- when I include my friends and family -- everyone I meet pretty much and they come along and we are all shining.
This is where I am.
And so, if any of you have ideas for me on how to be debt-free by Christmas, let me know. I am committed. And excited.
I send you all LOVE and all of the light you guys give me by reading my blog, I give it all back to you. And more.
p.s. Thank you to the Indian man who gave me $5 for a toy for Gatsby after he pet him, saying that Gatsby was the first dog he had pet in over ten years. He had been afraid before then. I bought him a new toy and he has already chewed half of it up. This is a good sign! So... thank you for paying it forward.
Yay for all of our dreams! For the quietude in which they grow, for sharing them little by little so that our friends can dream for us too, and for knowing that as we lay down to sleep our dreams are already here. Inside of us. Happening. We just need to change our perception :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Coffe Bean & Frugal Leaf.

"Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."
Oprah Winfrey

 So tonight, my little blades, I am going to be brief! Because alas -- I am just getting in the swing of blogging again -- and it feels good :) But the truth is, I am dipping my feet back in and swirling the water around and feeling the coolness in between my toes... Taking my time...

And so, tonight is about one thing I am doing these days to reach my goal. In fact, it is about two things:

1. I am thinking about saving money -- as paying off my debt is my goal for this Christmas. And so, I have been thinking about my beloved Coffee Bean chai latte. And what I realized today is that I have never even known the exact ingredients in this drink that I have been drinking religiously. So, today when Rose brought it over and I saw that sugar was the first ingredient and I think of the fact that I have sugar added and that I drink it almost every day -- and -- that it costs $4/day, I thought -- Kieren, you need to cut down on your drink and make it a treat to drink it. Maybe 2x a week. And then, I thought and maybe I will mix it up and have a Starbucks chai -- the enemy chai :( because theirs is all natural, it's Tazo. And I adore my Coffee Bean and my friends who work there, but in my efforts to be frugal and to save this holiday season and pay off all debt, I am watching my pennies.

I am also going to make sandwiches the night before and put some veggies chips and an apple in a bag when I am on the road -- I'll buy the ingredients at Trader Joe's and farmer's markets. I am watching my dollars.

I am also watching what I put into my body -- I am walking with Gatsby 3 miles a day at least 5 days a week. I am also meditating every other day -- and starting tomorrow morning, every day -- tomorrow which is today! I am reading again -- I abandoned it for like a year at least -- and me, an English major!

I am returning to being quiet. To bargaining for better prices. To watching what I spend and how. To looking at receipts to get a better glimpse at how I prioritize my life.

And also -- I am steaming my voice in the shower, doing vocal warm-ups before auditions, sleeping with my humidifier on, and drinking tons of water. For my on-camera auditions, I am scrubbing my face, getting facials, conditioning my hair, using natural make-up and experimenting with putting on make-up -- doing it more beautifully, I am buying, treating myself to clothes here and there that I can wear at auditions, and for theatrical -- I am being honest. This is who I am. I am ready and talented and unique. I am someone special. I've got something rare to share, a huge gift and I am present and have nothing to lose.

And so, I am a warrior at the moment.

And I have had conversations with Debbie downers, people who say it can't be done -- we all have things "against us" in "this industry" in "this town" and what I have found to be true is what Oprah said -- excellence is the way to beat off sexism, ageism, racism, any ism that exists.

If you are extraordinary, you will change the world.

And I get this.

And I am.

One moment at a time.

And the truth is, we all can. We all hold the world in our hands like little balls of clay.

And if you think, honestly Kieren -- aren't you being just a little idealistic? I mean, come on -- times are tough, this nation is struggling, people are losing jobs, they're not hiring new actors, blah, blah...

And by "blah, blah," I do not in any way mean to trivialize the genuine and heartbreaking suffering of many people across this nation and further stretches of the world, rather what I mean is -- if you think you can't do it, think of Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Susan Boyle, Martin Luther King, Jr, Gandhi, Barack Obama, Sandra Day O'Connor...

And sooo many more.

They ALL defied the odds.


They worked hard, they disciplined themselves, they organized their time, they were passionate and expressive and they never ever gave up.

And so shall we all do these things, my little blades. Let us structure our days:
1. write in your journal/computer.agenda the night before 5 career things you are doing the next day.
2. exercise daily. Keeps you strong and focused. Healthy.
3. Do one thing that scares you s day -- scares you about your career fears -- not sleeping in a dark alley :)
4. Eat well. Take care of your body.
5. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Part of this is mediation & visualizing your success -- get specific -- picture that audition and how confident and relaxed you are. Know your lines perfectly, be prepared in a meeting for every kind of question, and know what you are going to wear the night before.

And then -- when the moment comes, breathe and let it all. You have done the work and it all there, inside of you. All you need to be now is you.

I am learning that I need to curb my socializing through Christmas, I need to save pennies, sharpen my work ethic, write and edit my movie, and pay off debt. And oh, yeah -- I'd love to fall in love :)

And speaking of love, I am sending each and every one of you -- Love... Always! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taking Responsibility Sets You Free!

"None of you are victims. You are here because you created this."
- Suze Orman.

Honestly my little blades, I am STOKED to be back!!! I have taken a reprieve and the time has come for me to return to you all. And thus, here I am. I am wizened and in an honest, warrior-like place. I am on a mission until the end of this year. And I shall take you all along with me...

But the truth is, I am sleeeeeeepy.... And thus, I leave you with this quote, which I heard from the lips of Suze Orman at The Women's Conference last week in Long Beach. 

When I walked in the door, she was saying these exact words and they were absolutely what I needed to hear!

I am empowered and super motivated and honest about where I am. In a place of hard work and of lots of love. I am strong and resilient and ready for the world.

I am putting one foot in front of the other, I do not feel entitled, I feel realistic -- meaning, as I see it -- this is my year! And I shall continue where I left off -- to create it as I dream it. And to being others along with me.

And so, on that note, I send you all love, my little blades...

May you all sleep with the angels tonight. And let this lovely little owl watch over you and guard you as you sleep.

There is -- clearly! -- more to come.

Love... Always!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"Big dreams create the magic that stir men's souls to greatness." Bill McCartney 

Hello my beloved blades. I am writing after having taken a reprieve for a few days... Ahhh... Feeling like  a refreshed human being.

A pool party on sunday, a little zz top at the del mar fairgrounds on saturday night, and small dinner with a friend friday night & preparation for a meeting with a producing partner saturday morning...

a doughnut, a veggie burger, a hot car ride down to del mar and a blech grilled cheese at the concert -- lots of men with long braids and even more beer in their hands...

i have been meditating daily my little blades. being more quiet. focusing. again. and i am happily listening to myself more than i have. in a while.

i sooo recommend silence when in doubt or question or for a sense of awe or wonder or for the need to reconnect with this wilding world and the sparkling inhabitants of it.


it has indeed been awhile since i have meditated and it feels like a little piece of heaven. like a place to come home to.

i have been feeling sooo much magic around me, surrounding me, the love and generosity of friends, a text asking how i am, an email telling me i am appreciated, a glowing referral to a talent manager, a movie star who wants to see my work, a TV star who welcomes me onto his golden set, a literary editor who wants to read my excerpt... a friend of a friend who calls because she wants to, needs to compel me forward.

these things are magical. they are like a sneeze waiting to happen, like i'm about to fall in love -- or maybe -- maybe, this is falling in love. maybe this is what falling in love with life again feels like. magic. everywhere.

i met with my teacher shalom today and he told me i need to perform for my soul to be alive. 

he told me this without my even having told him that i am contemplating new york city. he told me this because he knows me and loves me, appreciates me. he gets me.

sees where i am going, loves me for who i truly am. my soul.

it's like oprah whenever i have a meeting with him, this feeling that i could cry at any moment. and not because i am particularly sad. but because i am so ALIVE. and my heart and my body and my molecules even are - i can feel them. i am moved. and alive. ahhh... f'in perfect. divine.

i've been watching a lot of streetcar lately -- pretty much daily. it's like i can't get enough and that's because brando is so alive. living in the moment, raw and full of love and hatred and honesty. certainty.

it's like the best acting/living class in the whole wide world, watching this movie.

i am devouring it. eating it whole.

i am becoming this movie.

in the sense that i can see myself grow and move and beam along as i watch it. and breathe with it -- with their passion -- when american acting was just breaking forth on screen, when dean and brando -- the greats were so honest and raw. sooo beautiful. and part of their beauty was their charisma. how they truly lived on the screen.


and with the meditating and the swimming and the hiking /walking, i am trusting myself more, like a child's trust. i am loving myself, like i did when i first started acting after barnard. and i am speaking what i feel inside.

yearning, craaaaaving to work, to perform. and from this place, from my soul speaking to me and demanding that i break out.

i shall.

do it, blades, break out, demand more, live, breathe, meditate all with gratitude -- we are young and alive and here to do something.


love... always.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


"I deepen my experience of God through prayer, meditation, and forgiveness." Marianne Williamson 

my little blades, i hope this finds you all well. i have taken a few days off as i have been thinking. thinking about moving. thinking about what fills my soul. thinking about the changes erupting inside of me. 

i have been feeling many things. and the strongest feeling is that of needing to feed my soul. of change. of needing more, to be more, do more, transform.

of "sucking the marrow" out of life.

ch ch ch changes.

and where do i go to make these changes? what are the signs? what shall i do next?

i do not yet know. though i am thinking of something big.

i am thinking that there awaits me transformation.

i am thinking and then, i am not thinking. i am meditating, praying, walking.

i am talking to friends like my friend chris who also feels the need to feed his soul.

we walked together tonight discussing such things.

i am on the verge.

mujeres al borde de un attaque de nervios.

just kidding, my little blades. hehe.

but honestly, i am on the tip of something and it requires courage. and change. and leaving my comfort zone. and work, hard work -- disciplined work.

and i must begin.

tomorrow i shall map a plan and monday is a day of action. phone and email and flight. action.

i am excited. and nervous a little. and knowing in my gut that the time has come. 

big changes, my little blades.

the time has come. and this little beast is spreading her wings and the time is coming when i shall fly...

i shall keep you updated. 

sometimes -- in fact often times, we must leave our comfort zones in order to grow, and glow and make our indentation on this beloved world.

i want streetcar.


barbaric yawp.

and where shall i find it?

we shall see...


I send you all Love... Always.