Don't send me an email like this...

Don't send me an email like this...

I used to have a massive crush on Jon Bon Jovi.  

Who didn’t?  

That hair. The swagger. How his lips lingered on the microphone when he sang…

He was the ultimate heartthrob and he made me want to be a singer. Because then I had a chance of touring with him.  

Why not dream big, right?

But what I really wanted to be was Little Orphan Annie and I thought I had a good shot. I had the hair and I loved the songs.  

So I auditioned when the musical came to town.

Could this be the key to getting in the room?

Could this be the key to getting in the room?

One of the things I’ve learned from creating The Magnetic Actor Method is to not take things so personally.

In the beginning when someone unsubscribed from my list, I'd feel sick to my stomach for a while.

Now, I smile because I know it means I’m getting closer and closer to finding my people.  

It’s kinda like dating.

You’ve gotta date a lot of perfectly nice –but wrong for you – guys, before meeting The One.

Right?  

Same thing here.

How to shift your thinking about rejection

How to shift your thinking about rejection

I recently got back from 3 weeks on Oahu, which is where I grew up. My childhood home is about 100 yards from Kailua Beach, and one of my favorite activities is to get up early and amble down the lane to watch the sunrise over the ocean.

On my first morning, I got down to the beach extra early and dutifully watched for the sun behind a cluster of clouds on the horizon.  It was the weirdest thing, though. The sky kept getting brighter and brighter, but still no sun.

Hmm.  

Turns out, I was looking in the wrong place.

Do you need to break up with yourself?

Do you need to break up with yourself?

You’re not going to believe this, but I just listened to my first episode of This American Life about 6 weeks ago.

And oh.my.god.  Where has this been all my life? 

The episode I heard was Act One of "The Breakup," with special guest Phil Collins. It was a cascade of belly laughs, tears and or warm fuzzy feelings that took me right back to the 80s. 

Because Phil Collins was a big part of my life back then. 

You're probably not going to book your next audition.

You're probably not going to book your next audition.

I grew up in Hawaii, and since I lived near the beach, it was fairly common to go surfing after school.

Well...everyone else would surf.  I mostly just got bounced around in the shore break.

But one day as I was riding towards shore, a cross-current wave sideswiped my board and tossed me into the air. I did some sort of flip and – inexplicably – landed, feet first, unscathed, back on my board like nothing had happened.   

I almost wouldn’t believe it was true myself, except that my friend, Matt, witnessed it.  

It was crazy.  

And quite frankly, it’s statistically impossible to ever happen again (especially since I don’t surf anymore).

You know what else is statistically improbable?

kismet

kismet

I got new headshots recently and I was terrified.

Headshots are one of those things that, as an actor, you KNOW you have to do but it’s so freaking stressful because “what will I wear” and “how many looks do I need?” and “what if my hair doesn’t cooperate?”

All the things that make you say no.

I’d actually needed new headshots for a while. But I kept putting it off.

Then...I started a trial run with a new manager and the first thing she asked me was whether or not I would consider new headshots.

Ugh. I believe in kismet, so I knew it was time.

So I booked it.  

Chasing Fear

Chasing Fear

When I was younger I was a bit of a  daredevil. I don’t know if it was actually me, or if it was just that the Oahu terrain practically required it.

There were countless deep mountain pools and waterfall cliffs to be jumped from. Lots of skinny-ridged hikes with plateaus in the clouds, and dark caves and deep jungles begging to be explored.  

And if I’m being really honest, my most harrowing cliff jump happened only because my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend jumped first.  

I was not going to be outdone. 😬 #competitive

What Spanx taught me about acting

What Spanx taught me about acting

You know that horrible dream when you’re trying to make an emergency phone call but you keep hitting the wrong numbers? Or the one when you arrive at a posh wedding or high school reunion and realize you forgot to shower and are still in your sweaty workout clothes

Frustrating, right?

It’s a bit how I felt after I drove to my first audition in LA only to find out, after the fact, that they decided to go non-union.  

Luckily, there was a HUGE bright side to my 14-hour drive.


Busy doing nothing?

Busy doing nothing?

I walked by a house the other day that still had its Christmas lights up.  I get it, those perpetually tangled strings are a complete pain in the butt to put up and take down every year.

But this house also had a giant snowman on the front porch, surrounded by fake presents and oversized ornaments. I didn’t see a garage, which means the owners walk by these decorations every day.

And every day, they choose NOT to take them down.  

It’s all about choices.

And just like the owners of that house, you’re making choices every second of every single day.  

It’s a bit heady to think of your acting career unfolding in a series of snap decisions, isn’t it?  

The #1 secret for making things happen

The #1 secret for making things happen

As humans, we need each other.  

For companionship, for love, and definitely for goals.  

Because we all have strengths and things we’re good at, but we also have the things we’re not so good at. 

This could look like a person who has a million great ideas but never finishes one before she’s off and running with the next thing. 

Or it’s the person that’s who takes so long weighing all the pros and cons that they never make a decision. 

I’m highly aware of what my talents are and also very aware of alllll the things I don’t do well.   

Enter strength-based partnerships. 

It's my Anniversary

It's my Anniversary

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary, so I decided to do break from my normal blog and do something a bit different.

You may or may not know this, but I was born and raised in Hawaii. And I got married there as well.  

Another thing you may not know is that it's a tradition in Hawaii, for a bride to dance the hula for her husband.  

Lucky for me, I grew up dancing and used to perform with my hula halau (hula troup) at various festivals around the island.

What to do if you have no rep

What to do if you have no rep

Several years ago, I experimented with facial waxing at the most inopportune time.  

I was about to take my biggest client to New York to meet all of my bond trading partners.  It was a huge deal and I wanted to look professional.

So, naturally, I searched high and low for the perfect outfit and waxed the hell out of my upper lip.  

Aaaaand, it turns out that while my outfit kicked butt, the lip wax...not so much.

I ended up with inflamed hair follicles which meant that I sported a screaming-red, pimpled mustache on the trading floor.  Take that, Wall Street!

Remember your why

Remember your why

If you read my blog post, “The power of being naive”,  several weeks back, then you know that I went to the University of Michigan and that I’m pretty much obsessed with it.  #goblue.

I wish the Wolverines had won the NCAA tournament, but I was still blown away by the way the team played.

It was freaking impressive by all accounts.  

But what I loved the most, was how the coach, John Beilein, responded to a reporter’s question after their loss for the title.  His words speak volumes about him as a coach and mentor for those young men. He said:

Wanna cut through the noise? Do this.

Wanna cut through the noise? Do this.

I got a great question recently from an actor named Josh Berresford and wanted to highlight it here, because I think this is one that comes up for a lot of people... including me.

Here’s what he asked:

How do we deal with all of the bloggers, educators etc. out there, and be able to extract what will help us most and not be inundated with so much and so many to choose from?

Here’s my (very stream-of-consciousness) response:

Dad's Life Lessons

Dad's Life Lessons

I stole this blog from my Dad.  

Kind of.

His “blog” was actually a hand-written letter he wrote to my brother who was about to start college as a pre-med student.

The anniversary of my dad’s death is on the 29th, and it's always comforting to read this letter. I love reading his words and “hearing” his voice, even though the letter wasn’t meant for me.  

The letter has multiple references toward being pre-med, of course, but I have added alternate ideas in brackets. But I’ve left most of it unchanged (including all of this underlined words!), because his points have remarkable relevance for just about anyone’s path in life, including as actors.

Be Curious (or...what would you ask for if you knew you'd get it?)

Be Curious (or...what would you ask for if you knew you'd get it?)

I was 8 when my brother was born.

I’m pretty sure I thought my parents had him because I’d asked them to.  And this *might* actually be true.

Every Christmas I asked for two things. A  miniature, real car (why??) and a Baby Alive doll.

I never got either.

How Barre Class Reset My Self-Talk

How Barre Class Reset My Self-Talk

I think we can all agree there’s not enough time in a day.

So in an effort to “add more time” to my own day, I decided to get up at an hour earlier, at 5:45,  to exercise. I know, I know, 5:45 a.m. is NOT that early...and especially since I spent 18 years getting up at 3:45am when I worked in the bond market. But, times change (no pun intended).

In the first few minutes of my 6:30 barre class, when I couldn’t sustain a plank for a full minute, I got frustrated and started berating myself for not being as strong as I should be or letting the early morning get to me.  My mind said, “You’re better than this.”

And then my heart said,  “Hey! I woke up at 5 freaking 45 to be here.  Isn’t that kinda awesome? And even if I only get 80% of the benefit, isn’t that better than not working out at all?

And slowly, my mindset shifted.  And while I still didn’t feel as strong as I normally do, I felt pretty dang proud of myself for being there at all.

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

You're Focusing on the Wrong Things

One of my friends was just diagnosed with cancer.  

Actually, she got the diagnosis a month ago, but she's still waiting to find out what kind of cancer it is so they can start treatment.

One month!

Can you imagine sitting with the knowledge that you have cancer, even just for one day, and not being able to attack it?

My friend and her family’s whole world came crashing down when they got that news, and I expect, all the pent-up “shoulda coulda woulda worry clutter,” too.  

Because there’s only one thing that matters now:  there is a friend, mother, daughter, aunt, and wife who is about to start the fight of, and for, her life.    

So, what a waste of time and embarrassment that I’m stressed that I didn’t get far enough through my to-do list, didn’t exercise, or didn’t book that commercial.   

I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.  

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Got An Audition? Put A Jake On It

Do you watch Scandal?

If not, you should.  And you’re lucky. Lucky because you can binge on all 6 seasons of one of the juiciest, sexiest, and most gorgeous shows out there, ALL.AT.ONCE.  Sigh.

I’m not just talking about Jake Ballard.  

Okay fine, I am.

Because he’s like that decadent Morning Brownie at your fave bakery that you resist every day (honestly, if a Morning Bun is an acceptable breakfast thing, why no Morning Brownie?).  

You shouldn’t. You can’t! Especially since you skipped yoga.