Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
- C.S. Lewis
Wow... what a night. I bought a ticket home, I walked around the reservoir with Gatsby, I made a friend and then, I lost a friend. All in a short span of time -- in less than a few hours...
It's a fascinating thing -- the internet -- because we feel as if we know people, but the truth is that the anonymity can also lead us into false feelings of closeness, some sort of -- I can really be myself because I do not know this person, no veil, this is just me...
But the the thing is, we are flashes of humanity. Little beams of light. Voices longing to be heard in the early morning hours. We all want so badly to feel as if we are not alone.
And when we are little and we go to the same school, we trick or treat with our friends -- or when you get mugged for calling some guy Fat Albert and he mugs you, steals all of your candy and inadvertently rips off the silk sash of your princess dress, -- not that I know anything about this story. But say your neighbor and friend, Richie Shimbano, heard the story -- or rather saw your face as your father took you around for a second round of trick or treating and through smudged make up and dark trails of mascara-ed tears, you sniffled out, tri-tri-trick or treat. And then, you knocked on Richie's family's door and he saw you in this state of affairs, sad affairs really. And especially because now you were a princess who'd been attacked, her kingdom intruded upon, and this -- all of this -- because your parents trusted you and your big sister to trick or treat in your neighborhood alone...
Oh, the trials and tribulations of growing up. In small town New Jersey.
But no... this new generation of "meeting people" can be magical. Utterly magical. I have met so many of you little blades out there through my blog and Tyranny and Facebook, Twitter... And it all feels sort of magical.
New lives from all over the world... Connected suddenly and oftentimes intimately -- as you all know from reading here that my blog is my heart. Another little piece of it, as the song goes...
But tonight was a disconnect. My new "friend" was being cheeky and I was having fun -- albeit some nervous fun -- because after all, I don't know this person at all and I was feeling part school girl and part "this is silly" fun!
And then, poof! No new friend. After I joked with him. And then, he removed himself from my friends list. And I felt so mixed. Badly because he seemed intelligent and fun. And also, because I never ever want to hurt anyone's feelings in this whole world. But also -- if there's one thing I have learned -- not to take it personally. Because after all, we are all of us all the time working on ourselves.
And so, I sort of walked around my apartment talking it out to myself. Gatsby staring up at me at times like, Mama has officially lost it.
And also -- the flip side is that we create everything in our lives. Good and bad -- and bad is invariably good. Even if it feels hellacious going down... And sometimes, the hellacious things are the ones from which we grow the most. And thus, we must learn to embrace them as difficult as that may be.
Tonight felt like I inadvertently hurt a complete stranger's feelings. And then, poof! No more stranger, no more friend.
Bless his soul.
I literally said out loud that if he could hear me that I hope he slept well and that I wish him luck. Never meant to hurt his feelings.
I felt like, am I that out of shape dating-wise that a new friendship bubbles up and pops after a few hours? But alas... I am positive that taking our time in life and being honest is the way to go... As my teacher Shalom said to me last year, When you love again Kieren, love like a woman and not a girl. And take your time.
And thus, I shall.
Sorry, stranger. Friend-for-a-minute. You seemed kind. And then, you poofed out and got mad and left. Odd. But alas, there is a lesson in everything. And I take mine -- breathe and go slowly, and always come from love. Which by the way also means self-love. Always.
Alas... our modern-day romance was not meant to be. A friendship failed, poofed before we ever met. Clive Staples Lewis was clearly speaking of a successful friendship when he spoke of What! You too? I thought I was the only one. (And yes -- that is what C.S. stands for).
Perhaps for a speck of time this did occur. That enviable me too! feeling.
But alas... this is the magic of which I speak. When you meet someone and you just know they are yours.
My best friend Baby in 7th grade -- after we met in nursery school years earlier, unbeknownst to us! Marta from Barnard -- I knew about her! Another best :)
And Gatsby -- I knew about him when I saw his picture on a website for border collie mixes -- I cut out his picture and tapen it into my journal and told people he was my dog before I'd even met him...
And my apartment... I always knew I wanted to live in a castle.
My car -- Trudie has been a mess, but I knew I wanted her -- exactly the way she looked and what she meant because of my Dad's blue VW beetle from the 1960's...
And more recently, my VO agent Erik from WME is RAD. WE had the BEST meeting together!!!
And then, my commercial agent Lisa at ARETE. She is WONDERFUL.
And the two to go -- I am READY and EXCITED for them!!!
I am seeking the greatest talent manager -- like Rocky's coach. And the best team of agents behind me. Preferably at WME, from whence I came :):):) While I was on Broadway...
And -- my love. I believe I will know him. As I have known before.
I signed with Erik and Lisa on the spot. When I was at the first Kabbalah class, I knew.
My frist talent manager and dear friend still Joannie Burstein -- we knew and signed on the spot.
I believe this is how things work.
And let it be said that I am entirely open to other things and ways -- maybe another agency, maybe a guy where I don't know right away...
But... alas, the magic lies in our certainty. Not in how things will unfold. But rather -- in the knowing, the certainty that they will. Perfectly.
Thus... I open my heart and I dream tonight of the greatest team behind me. Believing in me, passionate about me, seeing that I am extraordinary, that I shall break records, break glass ceilings and inspire, inspire, inspire...
One of the greatest.
And seeing my love of my life. Certainty. I thought I was the only one.
Opening and breathing as I type...
And I hope you all are too, my beloved little blades...
And my stranger who poofed tonight -- I am indeed sorry if I hurt you in some way with my kidding.
I wish you well on this journey.
Perhaps we were not meant to be friends, but rather to sharpen one another in our search for the everlasting.
To shine us up and set us on our way -- show us a glimpse of what may be... just not together. Too fast, too little, too gone.
And on this note, my little blades... I leave you all with friendship -- from me. To you.
May you know how much I appreciate your texts and tweets, and emails and facebook messages, and facebooks chats and gchats, and phone calls and every way in which you've all reached out to let me know how much you appreciate my blog.
Please know, each and every one of you, how much I appreciate you. If it weren't for you all I would be writing into an abyss. A dark hole of the unknown. But with you all there to catch my words, I feel -- well, as C.S. put it, not "the only one."
With you all, I am not alone.
And no poofs.
I love that.
And on that note, I wish for all of you every wish you make. Dream grand dreams tonight... And just remember C.S. Lewis took his dreams and created everlasting, utterly unique stories. What do you envisage? What immortal works will you create in this lifetime? Let's devour this world... Poofs or not poofs -- we are artists. Lovers. Made to, born to, run.
I send you Love... Always.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
- John Lennon
- John Lennon
Tonight I am watching All About Eve, eating Yogurtland, and Gatsby is sleeping on the end of the couch with me... I am thrilled to be home.
Today was a full day -- I hiked this morning, met with my teacher Shalom, worked for an hour, and then I met with a director whom my dear friend and fellow Little Beast referred me to. We sipped on fresh tea at The Chateau, and we talked and talked.
About the last movie he directed and what went right and what went wrong. And how all of it was actually good, a positive. Always.
Even when he spoke of the "dark cloud" of his experience on the film, his eyes sparkled.
I caught myself as we sat there chatting -- remembering when I came to Los Angeles with Natalie -- after The Diary of Anne Frank closed on Broadway. She was filming a movie with Susan Sarandon and I came along with her and lived with her at The Chateau for a few weeks. I sipped on chocolate and vanilla milkshakes, played ping-pong outside, swam in the pool, paged through magazines in our shared hotel room and supped on beet salads, I wondered about traffic -- I'd heard complaints, but they seemed like distant voices, while I sat poolside and wondered about finding an agent in LA...
Cut to years later. Here I am sitting with a director about my movie. My STAR VEHICLE. What Natalie (to bring the story full circle) had compelled me to have when she saw me in the reading for Loose Ends, she said, "Kieren, you were incredible. You need your own star vehicle."
And now I have one.
And it is a collaboration.
So... I caught myself sitting there and beaming, beaming really -- that this is where I was. This is what I was doing.
Back at The Chateau as a woman, with a movie, meeting with a director. My movie. Maybe my director. Talking about my accomplishments -- what has been happening in my life. The past few years...
And meeting with Shalom -- this was the first time that he told me he was going on "blind faith" with me -- that he knew enough to tell me things, trusting that I would know what to do. He was smiling at me as I was telling him about following my instincts, my updates with the voice-over bookings, the commercial, I spoke of Steven Spielberg, the head of NBC, of needing the greatest talent manager in my corner, it was the first time in all of our meetings that I spoke so confidently, so clearly, so knowingly, and Shalom's eyes gleamed as well.
Like the directors.
They both were watching me like proud pups.
And I am READY. I suppose this is what they are smiling on...
You can sniff it when someone is ready. You can see it in their eyes. You can sense it in their step. You, when you reach over to shake their hand, you can feel their readiness.
Ripeness is all.
Readiness is everything.
Shakespeare said it best.
I wondered what this was when I was an undergraduate at Barnard, when I studied with Professor Edward Tayler at Columbia -- I wondered over this word that Shakespeare wrote of so often -- but now I understand it.
And in fact, I told the director as much. That now I understand readiness.
And the truth is, my last tutoring is next Thursday. And then -- I am -- going to burst out with even more action than I have now. Focus. Unbridled. Clear.
I am mailing my 3 letters tomorrow. And I will travel back East for 9 days and then, while I am there I will talk to my friend about potentially starring in his show with him this fall. We shall see...
I am open, I know this, my little blades. Tomorrow I am going to read my movie -- from start to finish and I am going to see what needs to be added/edited and what else is magic already.
The time has come.
I can feel it in my molecules, every one of my body... And traveling back to New York is perfect right now.
What are you ready for, my little blades? What is burning inside of you? What is it that you crave more than anything?
Dream of this tonight, my little blades... Dream of what you most want. And create it -- take 5 steps to create it tomorrow.
And then know -- that our limits are boundless. Our timing is perfect. And when we believe in ourselves to the end of time and back, when we drenchingly believe in our ambition. That we are extraordinary. The world believes us right back.
And I believe in you all right back. My little blades. I dod, I do.
So... let us all place our dreams into the night, the night with which we have been acquainted. And trust in the moon and the stars that we are HERE. NOW. READY. And the deep black beautiful night will hear us and the sun will greet us brightly and sunnily and shine on us in the morning and all through the day...
And all through our extraordinary lives...
On this note, my little blades -- I must tell you that my passion now is:
publish my book/sign with the best book agent/get a great signing deal
attach great director/sign great actors to my movie/set a great crew and shoot date
star on HUGE TV show and then, skyrocket out/sign with the greatest talent manager and together sign with the best talent agency -- I'd actually LOVE to sign with a literary and talent agency -- under one roof. I'd like for it all to be WME. Where I started. I am coming home again, my little blades. But this time, the house is grander and with room for each and every one of you...
And to fall exquisitely and eternally in love. And tell him my dreams every night. Then, they shall become reality. Even telling you all now... it makes this all REAL. I can feel it, wondrous...
And finally to bring you all along with me -- inspire you all to bravely enclasp your dreams, have the courage to vociferate your dreams...
As John Lennon said, A dream you dream together is reality.
So -- speak out your dreams. And believe in them. We can all change the world this way. Break glass ceilings, transform mindsets, break records, set new ones, and make our impression, inimitable impression on the whole wide world...
We are capable of more than we can ever imagine. If only we believe and work hard and love love love... Because the world needs dreamers and the world needs love.
What shall we all contribute? How shall we leave this world a better place?
Think on these glorious things, my little blades.
And please know, I am right behind you every step of the way.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
"Acting to me is about courage."
- Steven Speilberg.
I simply can't get enough of Spielberg at the moment. He is inspiring me to action -- and all of you who know me well -- and those of you who have come to know me well because of my blog! -- know that I am absolutely one for action.
But -- now, I am even on a higher level. Because of where I see myself. There's a great line in Thelma & Louise that my best friend and I have been saying since we were little. And it's said by Louise to Thelma:
"You get what you settle for."
Well, my little blades, this is one human being who is only up for the best. The truth is... I feel so new. So transformed. So here. So -- this is my time and I shall not deny myself my wildest and most ambitious dreams.
I shall create each one of them. And take them from deep within my heart and share them with all of you. You, world.
And thus, I give you the gift of Steven Spielberg's Final minutes of his Actor's Studio interview with James Lipton, which I touched on last night. And I bring this to you all -- and whenever I bring it to you, I am invariably bringing it to me as well -- because he is the perfect combination of ambition and humility. What he has created and how he sees himself -- it is the utterly perfect combination of what makes him extraordinary.
May we all learn from the best, from the masters. And tonight as we all sleep, let us dream our wildest dreams and tomorrow morning when we awake, let's live as if tomorrow were our first day in this town, dreaming this dream, wishing for these childhood thoughts and visions and prayers to come true. Actually -- let's not wish for them, rather let's create them. Balls out. Metaphorical balls out for my lady blades!
And let us always remember to be humble every step of the way. One thing I do to remind myself to be humble? I always bring a little food in my car -- in case I pass a homeless person who may be hungry. Then, I have something for him or her.
And so... 5 things today:
emailed my acting links to:
HUGE NYC casting director
arranged for meeting with director about my movie!
What were your 5 things, my little blades?
Let us all call and email and mail and create tomorrow. I know I feel it in my bones, in my molecules, this is my time to be a STAR, NO time to waste. And always remember, I am always reminding myself that I am the greatest. actor and writer. God gave me a gift -- as he has given all of us a gift -- and I will not settle for less than I deserve. I don't argue with Louise!
A miracle is coming true tomorrow. What I ask for is BIG OPPORTUNITY. That I may get in front of the BEST in the industry and show them what I've got. And then, I shall begin to work. And never, ever look back... :):):)
Love to all my blades near and far. I believe in you all. Dream your wildest dreams tonight. And then, as Spielberg said, have the courage to begin to make your dream come smashingly true.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"I dream for a living." -Steven Spielberg
I don't believe in coincidences. I don't think I ever have. To me, nothing is random. This also happens to be something that my character Isabelle in Tyranny says throughout the series.
And I feel this exact same way. A friend told me once that coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous.
Welp, I find myself in such an extraordinary position at the moment. Where I am literally two and in some cases one and in other cases still, not one degree away from my dreams: 1. the people with whom I SO crave to work. 2. The BIG people who make the decisions about hiring me to work. 3. The people who can make my career happen in a moment. Suddenly, I am a star.
I am tutoring 4 and sometimes 5 days a week, a few hours a day. And just to bring home my point -- I am going to first state that I love the kids I tutor. I told Nicholas the other day, I absolutely love them. They inspire me with the purity of their dreams, with their nerves for exams -- reminding me that there are high stakes in life and that it is honorable to care so much about something, I love playing ping pong with Harrison. I laugh so hard when Bradley was trying to say "I am hungry" in Spanish and he accidentally said, "Tengo hamburguesa." Which translates to "I have hamburger. Hehe.
But there has absolutely been a period of time when I felt like, why am I still doing this? I have been tutoring for over 5 years now and it's sooo time to no longer do this.
And yes, amaaazing things are happening! I have a full script for the movie I am going to make! I have booked a third voice over today! I am getting ridiculously amazing referrals. I feel blessed.
And I know that there is SO much more to do. This is barely even the beginning. Barely even the scratching of the record about to play the most splendid song known to man.
And yet... lately, it has been dawning on me that I am on this path for a reason. In other words, I just recently learned that I tutor the son of the head of NBC. Literally THE HEAD. And tonight, he asked me about Alec. Because when he went to watch Saturday Night Live last weekend for the season finale, he and his wife told Alec that they knew me.
And Alec told them, "Kieren is a great actress."
"Acting to me is about not being afraid to be made a fool of. Acting to me is about courage." Speilberg said this on Actor's Studio. And Alec said the same thing to me when I saw him in New York last month. The exact same thing. Not being afraid to make a fool of yourself.
And Marc told me tonight what Alec said. He brought it up to me. And so, I told him my great story about how I met Alec at my play over a year ago. And how I then tested for Saturday Night Live. And he loved the story! And he smiled at me and asked me about Alec's mentioning me having a part on an NBC show!!! We shall see what magic happens next...
And then, tonight I was talking to Nicholas whose grandfather Sid produced Jaws, in fact his grandmother starred in the movie. And Nicholas was talking about dinner with Speilberg and how Steven is so kind and folds his napkin just right and how he always looks so well-dressed and he showed me Spielberg's IMDB page and the man is beyond prolific.
Nicholas also reminded me that any successful person has a killer work ethic. He told me that Steven was saying at this particular dinner they all shared with the two families that he had been sooo busy for like two weeks that he'd been spending all day at the office and had to finish certain projects as he sat at the office because he ha deadlines and these projects had to be met.
Nicholas reminded me that even when you are super successful, you continue to work your ass off -- if you have any desire to remain relevant, to keep contributing.
"If I saw myself the way you all saw me, I would have to stop doing this." This is another bit of what Speilberg said at the Actor's Studio. He said he knew that he was famous, but he didn't feel that way. And if he did, it would be the death of him.
So... I sit here tonight, blogging away into the abyss that is my apple laptop and I want SOOOOO badly to work with Speilberg that I could cry.
And I am right now. Just a little...
And I would SO love to work with Alec on his show on NBC that when I think about it, my stomach jumps, my heart skips a beat, and a smile creeps up onto my face and my eyes light up.
And you know what, my little blades, these things are all possible. I am writing Steven another letter. I will make it clever and heartfelt and I will send it off tomorrow. And I will see Alec when I am in New York.
And all of these things, well -- yes, I have absolutely been creating my success and writing/directing/producing/starring in great material that I have found.
But being in the homes of these greats -- the head of NBC and thus, Alec's show -- or these soon to be greats like Nicholas who are sooo connected to my dream people, Speilberg. All this would've been thrown away if I had let ego get in the way and I'd said, why am I tutoring?
You couldn't ask for these connections. For these friendships. For these non-coincidences."
I am SO close I can feel it.
"The future is so bright, I have to wear sunglasses," as Oprah once said. Or was it Quincy Jones who said it to her?
And the subject of today's blog?
When Speilberg was asked by James Lipton on The Actor's Studio what he'd like to hear from God upon arriving in heaven, this was his exquisite response:
Thank you for listening.