Quote of the day:
"A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want."
-- Madonna., Guinness Book World Records' most successful female recording artist of all time.
Wow. When I read this, I thought to myself -- this is precisely why I feel as if magical glitter were befalling my every step. Because I am saying what I want. In fact, when I met with the career counselor, acting coach, guru to actors near and far, Lesly Kahn to discuss the beautiful puzzle pieces that are my career, she asked me, "What do you want this year?" And I was SO stoked to proclaim it. And I did. And I do every day. And the thing is, it's not about being conceited or bragging -- it's about having the courage to take life like a piece of pie and to devour it. Savor it. Share it. Run with it. Love it. But own it and make every day a day of loving life. Loving you.
And like Audrey Hepburn said, (and this might be my favourite quote) "Always be a first-rate version of yourself."
1. The Photo Shoot. This is precisely how I felt for the first time -- since I was a kid in NYC with my first professional photo shoot -- I felt like a "first rate version of myself." And it's funny because last night as I was blogging, I actually stopped myself for a moment and thought, "Oh my gosh. You are not at all nervous." I lay out my clothes, GPS-ed the directions into my Iphone, read the packet Paul Smith had emailed me. The Photographer Extraordinaire. And I knew what my music for the shoot would be -- MJ!!!! I set my alarm and gave myself 3 and a half hours to prepare and begin a relaxing morning before showering and jumping in the car. I wrote in my journal, loaded my car with very specific clothes in piles (clothes I had considered for specific looks and purposes -- Film/Tv/Movie Star, Broadway/Theater, Book Cover/Commercial) and left for Coffee Bean.
And I started my day with thank you cards and a condolence card, congratulations on being pregnant card, and congratulations on your new baby! I came home and showered and had ample time to get there. I noticed in Paul's email he said that most actors arrived sweaty and nervous and late. Like we are all going around sabotaging ourselves. And this industry is way too hard to move out to LA and "f" it up. When I jumped in the car, I called a friend on the way over and apologized for not being good to him. And honestly, this began my shoot already. Perfectly. In the car. Because I began my day honestly, it flowed seamlessly into my shoot. And when I arrived, I had brought a little gift (popcorn!) and my money was all ready and I had very specific ideas of what I wanted to capture in the shoot.
I laughed and felt relaxed and like a star. Paul Smith (his self-portrait is in the upper right hand corner)rooooocks. This is the best shoot I have ever had in LA. It felt like NYC. And I meant his in the best way. It felt like art. And sexy. And professional. And respectful. And I am SO happy my commercial agent has been pretty much forcing me to get these pictures taken. Because the freshness and passion and relaxed vibe of these is going to open many a door for me.
2. The Pilot Possibility. Paulie Cuschieri, the screenwriter about to burst open with his Anthony Hopkins pic, Lords of Florence, told me to call a mutual friend of ours because his pilot has a role for me. And this is some cool generosity because honestly guys, I am busier now than I have been in previous pilot seasons -- because I am creating the busy-ness and so, it doesn't always occur to me to ask people if what they are working on has a role for me. Because everyone is seemingly always working on a "project." Lord knows this town is one great big project waiting to happen. But for Paulie and people like him who think of others and so, I wrote Thomas and he said to contact Braxton the producer. And we shall see... These are boys that run in a circle that eclipses mine... But as Madonna said, you have to ask for what you want in life to get it. And this week has most certainly been a week of asking. That feels good. And it actually reminded me to check in with a few other friends about pilot season -- to see what they are all creating and producing and casting. Thus, tomorrow I shall make a phone call to: my friend Kim Miscia in casting to see what she has going on, and I shall attempt to locate Kevin Falls' production office as his brother talked me up to Kevin and then worked really hard to get me in on an audition after he saw my show. I'd like to write him a letter. And I shall call Angela about financing. She and I were supposed to meet during our production, but she fell sick. Perhaps we can re-arrange drinks in Venice.
Sigh. As Bette Davis once said, "The golden apple is never devoured. Its seeds are endless." And this is why "devouring it" as I said earlier is perfect. Because it can never actually be devoured. So, every day is a new apple. A new sliver of gold. A new piece of pie, piece of art to be put together, to be tasted, explored. But most importantly, a chance to create your own path.
I have to say, L.A, looks really different when you drive around as a millionaire. I feel like Pretty Woman sometimes. Like I was this scrappy bohemian (which will always be a part of me), but now I am blossoming into this star. This woman who is unafraid of asking for her dream to come true.
And I am so determined to remind all of you that there are indeed angels above you, whispering, "grow... grow..." I am to you what the angels are to me and you become this to the ones you love. We all whisper "grow" at times in our lives and then, at other moments, we need to hear that word, to feel the blades of grass amongst us, sweeping up against our own stems, beckoning us to stand up tall and be proud. To stretch ourselves, to seek the light. To grow...
3. The Money Meeting. Tomorrow around noon in Venice at the beloved Gjelina on Abbot Kinney. I am meeting once again with Mark Roberts to discuss money and moviemaking. I am STOKED to learn from him -- as he has produced before. I am eager to find out what his ideas are for my movie. And I am ready to take the next step, which is basically asking questions and as Madonna said, asking for what I want.
I shall let you all know what happens with all three of these glittering possibilities. I am learning to be uncomfortable -- money in the past has made me feel super awkward and child-like, but I am harnessing my energy and focusing it on achieving my goal of funding this movie with the perfect team who will believe in me and in my story, which will invariably become their story and all of our story. Since you my cyber-friends are along for this extraordinary year in the life...
I was thinking earlier, why now? What happened to explode my faith, my sense of timing and my certainty that this is my year. And it's partially because of Michael Jackson. (close friends, hold the laughter!). But when he died. Something in me awoke. I read about all of his record-breaking success. About how he has given more to charities than any other celebrity. How he broken nearly every record he set out to break. How he danced for 7 hours every Sunday and fasted the whole day long.
And I looked at myself and thought -- there is so much more for you to do before you leave this world. I have known this before. And maybe these past 6 years of living here as an actor have all been preparation. But the time is now. And his passing reminded me of the ephemeral quality of life.
Let's all, all of us blades of grass, let's all grooooooow. Think of Haiti, think of all the talented souls who left this world last year and this year too (Salinger...) and let us be the angel whispering above one another...
Sleep tight my blades, and dream the biggest dreams your heart can hold.