Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Worth and Words and Webs.

Tonight I write to you after a yummy pizza and salad with my cousin Trey at http://www.villagepizzeria.net/ The Village Pizzeria on Larchmont Boulevard. Yummmmm... And for the first time, I saw Twilight. And I was SO stoked to watch Edi Gathegi whom I directed in the play I wrote called, Billie Jean at the Graveyard in Little Bird Theater Company's MIX TAPE Benefit Show last November 19th at The Lillian Theatre in the Elephant Complex. He was great in the movie!

And I also saw Avatar, at The Pacific Grove Theaters -- Trey and I walked... quite a feet/feat in L.A.! Major pop culture weekend. Sooo fun! 

And now alas, I am settling in for the evening. I have decided since I have to turn in my memoir by March 1st to the agent I was referred to at WME and the amaaazing editor, Judy Clain, at Little, Brown -- 50 pages of it. I have given myself this deadline. I will be featuring bits of it on my blog -- to get my and hopefully your juices flowing...

So, onto the 3 things of the evening:

1. Worth. I am the voice of ROGUE in the animated Wolverine and the X-Men series and I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID. It has been running for a year and today I emailed my voice-over agent, Luanne Regis, at Innovative Artists, because of course while thinking about getting seriously aggressive about being paid, I was thinking hard core about my agents making a fuss and calling and calling on my behalf -- and of course, I run into one of them at The Grove today pre-Avatar  -- no coincidences in this world. I told her that I deserve to be paid ASAP. And I also deserve to have my agents kicking ass on my behalf to get me paid ASAP. I did the job -- a great job, I might add, and I have been kind and patient for a year and the time has come to add pressure and to GET PAID. I think that sometimes we feel as actors -- ohhh, I am just grateful to be working at all. Well, F that. We deserve to be paid for our work. Just like a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, an entrepreneur. We all deserve to be paid for our work. And ON TIME. Not just when some slacky producer finally slinks around to being forced to pay us. 


F that.

I am getting paid. ASAP. And I will get my agents and my accountant to fight on my behalf. Enough said. Because I know my worth. And I am a millionaire. And to get there -- I need to know my worth and act accordingly.

You don't become a MOVIE STAR by simply being sweet. There is also the fighter. My sister and I affectionately call it "lebbing out." We are half-Lebanese after all. 

Well, my little blades -- tomorrow, I leb out.

2. Words. My words are below. This is another excerpt in my memoir that I particularly like. It's where your imagination can bring you when you long for a loved one. It's fun. And whimsical. And I hope you all enjoy...

3. Webs. So, Trey was telling me today that the former head of William Morris TV, Sam Haskell, went to high school with my Great Aunt Boop down in Mississippi (where else would anyone's name be Boop?) And that they were good friends. He also wrote a book about and to his mom -- regarding her struggle with cancer. He was described by clients as "Elmer Fudd in a suit." He created shows like The Cosby Show while he was there. Sounds like a lovely guy. And though he is gone now -- I would LOVE to get in touch with him. See who he knows, what he is up to, about his book. Pick his brain. Then, Trey tells me that my cousin who lives out here with her husband and two children was good friends with a talent manager I have been seeing popping as having like 36 mutual friends with me -- and he has some great clients. I have written him -- before I heard this. Because honestly guys, Facebook can be an excellent way of connecting with people whom you might have thought of writing before -- but maybe you had their address wrong or sent it through an agent and God knows if they even got it. 

Tonight, I became "friends" with the famous playwright, John Patrick Shanley. He is the one of the absolute biggest and brightest stars of the New York Theatre World.  And when I wrote him that when I was a kid, his name was always with golden circles around it, he wrote me back, 

"Hi Kieren, Well it's nice to be friends. It's concentric golden circles to be friends. Love John."

How lovely is that?

I am off, my little blades... And remember -- know your worth, speak your words -- "sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the nation" and weave your way through the webs that populate this town... If we weave them through people whom we admire and want to work with, then we shall end up in a place of honesty and of working with the absolute best. But truly... it begins with knowing your worth. 

And in case you've forgotten, I am a movie star and a best-selling author and a millionaire. Tonight, lets us all dream our greatest dreams... That we may wake into a world of miracles...


Two rubbery fish
I mean, look at her. She was one of the healthiest people I’d ever known. She took walks like she took her vitamins – every day, two times a day. She ate broccoli before it came out all over the news that it was good for women and their reproductive systems. She ate a lot of rice and sweet potatoes and fish. I hated the fish, but she made me eat it. She wanted me to clean the plates and some nights I had to stay downstairs at the kitchen table until I finished my entire plate. I would sit. Rubbery fish and ketchup swelling in the corner of the plate, dinner candles melting onto the plastic tablecloth. And me sitting there. Forced to complete what I had begun. I was stubborn then, but boy did her lesson sink in later. Now I had to complete this sadness – I had to eat the fish. Melt the candles. Stay at the table.

I shall complete what I have begun. And appreciate what has been set for me, decorated for me, prepared for me. In my honor, like how I was born. You were the table then, Mom. Set and prepared for me – me, the fish. The Pisces. The wily girl swimming around fecklessly in the pool. In our swim club, kicking and cutting and kicking the water with my lean limbs browned from the summer’s kind sun. Me the fish that dated swimmers, me the fish who then took to life guarding. Me the fish who sat atop her royal chair and looked down upon the swimmers below – knowing that if they were to fall, if they were to struggle beneath the waters, if they were to kick and get cut and bleed and scream or get squeezed beneath the surface, I would be there. I would swoop down and grab them up and bring them to land and lay them in my arms and give them c.p.r. If necessary – “survey the scene,” as they always said on those lifeguarding tapes that we had to watch to get our certificates. I’d survey the scene, Mom. I’d swoop and calm and give water to the person in need. I’d offer a towel and some shade and some rest and I’d shelter them from the storm, as Dylan sang. I’d shelter them from the storm. That’s after all what you were doing for me, wasn’t it? You were sheltering me from the storm – me the fish, you the pool? You the lifeguard.

…On a towel as we lay wetly, our breath shivering with our bodies, goose bumps pricking up across our arms and legs, a bag of melted M&M’s at our side, ripped open at the upper right hand corner. We’ve just managed to pull ourselves away from the pool, we’ve only just left the waters and we’re pruned up and out of breath. But refreshed, we’ve had a day. We’ve lived and swam and played up and down in the water, our own personal form of Marco Polo, up and down we’d bounce, every so often catching glimpses of each other. Up and down. Our bodies weightless, timeless. We’d be like this forever, the carousel beneath the pool. And then, we’d just rush away beneath the waters, like two little fish, gushing around, rushing around the corners near the stairs and up towards the deep blue waters of the high dive area. Those sharky waters whose foreboding deep blue depths only drew us nearer. We were in the pool, you and me. Remember -- we used to just swim like that until they called adult swim and begrudgingly we’d pull our languid bodies out of the water. We’d flop ourselves down. First we’d eye one another like secret spies, Wonder Twins or something. We’d kind of wink without winking and then… On our large oatmeal-colored blanket with big blue stripes running down the front of it, we’d laugh, picking the hairs out of our eyes and unsticking those wet patches of hair from the sides of our faces – like those British spies from the 1960’s. Giggling at how tan we’d become in one day – lifting our suits up a little at the edges and seeing the white fish color compared to our tanned, fit bodies stretching out from under. You tickling me and me tickling you back. Our ribs like pick up sticks we can play with – strumming them and almost melting into the blanket on this supremely hot day in New Jersey in July in the early 80’s. Two girlfriends feeling the warm sun as safe and kind. Wrapping us in her arms brightly. Finally we’d acquiesce. That sweet, sweet acquiescence when your body is tired from lovely things. The sky seems to swirl around miles and miles on top of you and sleep takes you up in her arms and steals you away. And we were stolen then, weren’t we? Our rubbery bodies laid out for the Gods to pick upon. Two rubbery fish on the table waiting to be eaten, learning their lesson, living their days.


  1. oh so I'm off the hook for Avatar? ;)

    what about my raincheck? haha

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