Ruggedly handsome chocolate?

Ruggedly handsome chocolate?

I was at an weekend retreat recently and wanted chocolate. No surprise there.  

What was surprising was that when I walked into the meeting room a bit later, it was like someone had read my mind. There were bags of Ruggedly Handsome Cowboy Bark all over the table!

Oh wait…

It was actually called Ruggedly Adventuresome Cowboy Bark.  

I was sooo disappointed. Buttttt,  it made me realize that I see the things I want to see sometimes.

And so do you.

How to embody your character: Part 2

How to embody your character: Part 2

Many actors tell me they struggle with embodying or connecting with their characters. 

So today, I want to teach you an added layer of character development you can use for your next audition. 

First, I'll give you my 3-Step Framework, and then I'll walk you through an example.

Grab a frothy latte or your beverage of choice and tuck in.

Here we go!

How to embody your character: Part 1

How to embody your character: Part 1

Pop Quiz! 

Guess what beloved TV character is described in this breakdown: 

Droll. Dry. A wry observer of everyone’s life. And his own. Works in front of a computer doing something tedious in a claustrophobic cubicle in a nondescript office building. Gets by on his sense of humor. And snacks.

Any guesses?

Maybe you’re thinking Homer Simpson, Dilbert, or someone from The Office.

Nope.

The Secret Behind My Second Most Embarrassing Story

The Secret Behind My Second Most Embarrassing Story

I'm about to get personal.

Because...my second Most Embarrassing Story happened in the bathroom.

It wasn’t that someone walked in on me.

It wasn’t that I tucked my dress into my pantyhose.

It was about karate.

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.