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.  

The Power Of Being Naive

The Power Of Being Naive

One of the best gifts in my life happened because I was too naive to know that I was being naive.  

As I reflect back on it, it was part my expectation for others to do the right thing, a little about ‘you don’t get what you don’t ask for’ and even more about knowing I had nothing to lose.

This is definitely true for us actors who are fighting so hard for our dreams.

You can’t expect to make your dreams come true if you don’t go after them, right?  We all know that.  Our passion for acting is the fire that gets us out of bed every day to keep going for it, even though so many voices (sometimes even our own) are screaming, “no” and “it’s too hard”. 

Because regret is insidious.

And while I regret a lot of things in my life,  my biggest regrets are the things I didn’t do.

Luckily,  following my dreams to be an actor isn’t one of them.  And it isn’t for you, either. So high five, my friend.  We’re doing it!  
 

The Butter Cookie Breakthrough: How I Learned To Spike My Productivity

The Butter Cookie Breakthrough: How I Learned To Spike My Productivity

I’m new to the entrepreneur lifestyle and it has been a huge learning curve with many highs and many lows. And lots of ‘what the hell have I dones’.

It has felt a bit like getting a ticket for a 2018 Simon & Garfunkel Nostalgia Tour (someone please make this happen) but then finding out it’s in London and my passport won’t be renewed in time.  

I’m being dramatic but I had a recent wake-up call that turned my business on its head

Here’s what happened.

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

Want to Know the Biggest Commercial Audition No-No? I'll Tell You What It Snot.

I recently had a commercial audition where I was asked to tell a story about the importance of family.  

That was it. The whole audition was just a little, lighthearted, fun story.  

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, it was, except I committed one major commercial auditioning faux pas.

The Real Reason Your Social Media is a Pain in the A$$

The Real Reason Your Social Media is a Pain in the A$$

Social Media is kind of a pain in the ass. 

You wish it was easier to use. You wish it was fun. You wish that attracting gobs of followers with your witty banter and interesting posts was a no-brainer.

You make excuses not to do it like, “I’m too old”, or “I wouldn’t know what to post”, but deep down you’re actually afraid that no one will like your stuff, follow you back, or that you might get blasted for saying something dumb, amiright?

And then a new kind of fear creeps in.  It’s called FOMO and it sounds like, “What’s a meme?” or  “Whose abs are they talking about?”

I know that’s what you’re thinking because I used to think it, too.

Demystifying the Aha Moment

Demystifying the Aha Moment

As most of you know, I’ve spent a lot of time blogging about the guts of my business, how I’m feeeeeeling about it all, and how crazy cool it is when an actor tells me they had a lot of “aha moments” while taking my course.  

You know who else talks a lot about her feelings?  Oprah.  And you wanna know who happens to be pretty freaking incredible actor? Yup, right again.  Oprah...wth two Oscar noms to prove it.  No surprises there. She’s pretty extraordinary.

So extraordinary, in fact, that she’s the reason “aha moment” is in the dictionary in the first place! She used it so much that the Merriam-Webster people decided that it was worthy of becoming an immortalized part of the English language.  #lifegoals

For what it’s worth, other recent additions to the dictionary are “jiggy”, “shizzle” the verb “MacGyver”, and the 2017 word of the year, youthquake.  Hmm.

But back to aha moments.  Today I’m hoping to give you one by showing you how to infuse yourself into any character you have to play.

The "Audition Hotline" And The Vortex of Self-Doubt

The "Audition Hotline" And The Vortex of Self-Doubt

The Sunday New York Times business section recently ran an article called, “Reese Witherspoon’s Second Act”.  

And it had me cheering.

Not only because she wants to create television for other woman – actresses, directors, and writers – but because Reese is absolutely killing it as a producer (cast in point, Meryl Streep signed on for Big Little Lies, Season 2. Are you kidding me???)  which means she's figured out a way to take back control in the industry. Go girl! 

How to Use Predictability in Your Favor. Every Time.

How to Use Predictability in Your Favor. Every Time.

My daughter recently turned 13.

And I know this will mean many, many changes in our house– terrifying changes that are sure to keep me up at night wondering what happened to my baby girl.   But, for now, there’s  one thing I know I can count on for sure – her birthday meal requests.

Her menu looks like this, every year:

How Getting Really Pissed Off Helped Me Find My Groove

How Getting Really Pissed Off Helped Me Find My Groove

She doesn’t know it (yet, because I just figured it out for myself)  but my mom is the inspiration behind the Magnetic Actor Method.

But not in the, “Hi, it’s me, your mom. I just called to say I have this great idea for a business you should start” kind of inspiration.

That’s not even close.  Here’s the backstory.