Friday, December 7, 2012

Apartment Living During The Holidays!

I have lived in the same apartment for quite a while. It never ceases to amaze me how excited our manager's wife gets during the holidays! She decorates as if her life depended upon it. Halloween is filled with creepy goblins, skeletons  and motion sensor triggered witches cackling as we enter or exit the apartment complex.

I must say the first time Rusty and I went out for his walk and got surprised by the sudden witch's scream, we both nearly jumped out of our skin. I later found it humorous. Rusty was not amused. Unfortunately she always puts up her decorations so early, by the time Halloween actually rolled around the battery was so low the witches cackle sounded more like a warped record on its final death spiral.

Tonight, she is working on her Christmas display. We have a light show of Santa and his reindeer dangling front the roof over the courtyard. This year, they went all out with some sort of life size air blown plastic holiday characters singing Christmas carols and playing instruments. It definitely puts you in the holiday spirit.

I generally gave up on decorating my apartment about two years into living here. I bought a live Christmas tree and decorations, the whole nine yards. When I was finally done I thought why did I do all of this? It is just me and now there are pine needles everywhere, my fingers are in shreds and I need to water this monstrosity before it turns into a fire hazard.  Oiy! Now I leave it up to our resident decorator to do her thing and I appreciate the holidays from afar. I think I am the only resident who doesn't light up there living room window with the holiday schtick. Today a large plastic candy cane was shoved into my potted lemon tree I have been growing outside my front door. I guess that means I am participating.:)

I know I know I sound like a grinch but I am really not. I just hate decorating my apartment for the holidays. I do however enjoy the enthusiasm our Manager's wife takes in making our complex have a feel of "Home".

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Scene on "2 Broke Girls" on CBS Website

While I was surfing the net I discovered that my scene from "2 Broke Girls" has been used as a clip on the CBS website. That was cool to see!

As I am playing the audition/waiting game I might as well celebrate whatever brings me joy as often as I can. The alternative is slipping into the usual actor's depression that comes with the territory but must be resisted as much as possible.

I realized this week that if I am not vigilant at focusing on the positive, it is way too easy to fall into the negative. When this happens, it is amazing how much negative reinforcement you hear from those around you. We speak in the negative so regularly, that it feels like the norm instead of simply negative thinking.  I really can't afford to stay in that negative frame of mind for long or it will affect EVERYTHING!

So enjoy this clip with my brief appearance and hold a good thought for me! Thought has power!:)

Eating Through The Holiday Blahs...

Well, I am happy to say that getting my diet in better shape has gotten me feeling much better. I decided to get back to basics and eat more of the food I grew up with, so I am rediscovering all things curry! I have had more variations of curry and roti in the last few days than I have in a while and surprisingly, I am feeling much better. I think the influx of turmeric in my system has burned out whatever germs were keeping me sick. I am even dropping off the pounds!

Exercising is a bit hit or miss but getting slowly more consistent.

Once I take a break and see my family for the Xmas holidays, I have a feeling I will be completely back on track. Auditions have slowed a bit as we approach the holidays so I am a little stir crazy.

Ah well... Life is great and the future looks exciting.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recalibrating My System

Well... I haven't been on-line or interested in doing any posting for the last month or so. I never gave much thought to the actual effect one's emotions and mental state have on their body but this month has forced me to get back into balance.

Clearly, my mum's health scare had a big impact on my psyche and body. Mum is still in the rehabilitation center learning to walk again and getting stronger. Talking on the phone I can tell she is itching to get home and back to her life. I am looking forward to visiting her and the whole family at Christmas time. My sister has been amazing taking charge of things making mum's recovery and return home her priority. I wish I was in a position to be more helpful but all I can do is be a source of emotional support.

The strange thing is, since hearing my mum is getting better, my body seems to have decided to go down for the count. I have been fighting off what feels like an endless cold, congestion and complete feeling of exhaustion. I am sleeping more and better but I have not felt healthy in a long time.

Exercise and healthier eating have been the themes of the month but I haven't felt the benefits yet. It could be that I just need to get out of Los Angeles for a bit and "recalibrate my engines" like only a trip back to Philly can do.

I am looking forward to the holidays so much I can taste it.

I am rambling. Time for a nap...

Thursday, October 18, 2012


(Music can capture my feelings in ways words alone can never fully express.)

I spoke to mum today. I am happy to report she is doing much much better. This has been the most stressful time of my life, par none. I cannot imagine what she was feeling.

Michael (bro), Andrea (sis), Mum, Me and Cecil (bro)
I never allowed myself to truly think of what life would be like without mum but this situation forced me to face it head on. I learned a great deal about myself and the importance of my family. I always loved my mum and siblings but the depth of those family ties are so much more palpable. In some strange way, I feel as if my sense of self has been altered. What this new self will be like remains to be seen.

For the first time today I could hear mum sound like herself. She still has pain but I truly believe her stronger nature has returned and she is firmly on the road to recovery. I have been calling her every day at least once a day. Today I caught her just before she was preparing to move from her hospital to a physical therapy center. No, she is not going home yet. However, if she is strong enough to start therapy that can only be a good sign. It turns out she has a compound fracture, re-injuring her spine. Her physical therapy will clearly be no joke but I have faith she will make it through. I told her she better channel her inner Wonder Woman and get her exercise on! She laughed and promised to give it her all. She may be 85 but my mum is a fighter.

I will not lie. I have been an emotional wreck through all of this. I decided to simply feel whatever came up and focus on the "knowingness" that good news was inevitable.

Today I took my first real deep breath. Life teaches you lessons whether you are prepared for it or not. I am so grateful I have more time to appreciate and celebrate the cherished gift of family that is very easy to take for granted as we go about the challenges of daily living.   

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bought Ticket: Flying Home For Christmas!

Barring global catastrophe as predicted for December 21, 2012, I will be heading home to Philadelphia for Christmas.

Crises have a way of putting things into perspective. Wednesday evening, when my mum was going through the worst period of her recovery, her heavy medication got her feeling reflective. She was so appreciative of the love she felt pouring in from her children, family and friends that she started reviewing her life and role as a mother. She expressed how proud she was of us as her children and how she was happy knowing she did a good job raising caring people. I tried listening quietly but in truth I was muffling an overwhelming flood of tears. It is a bit mind crushing to be sitting 3,000 miles from your family as your mum starts talking as if she were on her death bed. Mum then began talking about how much she has been thinking of her own father who had passed before I was born. It was the most heart wrenching conversation of my entire life. Luckily my sister was in the room with her to remind mum that she was not dying and that she needed to focus on getting better.

I hung up the phone and spent the rest of the night reflecting upon my life. I felt something primal taking hold. I was aware of being the first American born child in an immigrant family. I felt the unspoken obligation to carry my family name forward with pride and integrity. I felt this family obligation to live my best life because they immigrated here to have a better life and whatever I do will reflect on the family. I personally felt an obligation to work harder at succeeding as an actor. Living so far away pursuing this dream career that is difficult to break into at best, as a son puts a greater responsibility onto my siblings to make up the slack for my absence especially now as mum is in her 80's. None of these things were spoken to me. I guess they come from my own sense of what I feel is a family's obligation to itself. I think in all actuality, I realized I had certain dreams of success that would allow me to take care of my mum or bring her as my date to an awards ceremony, or something anything that allowed me to thank her in a BIG way for all she has done for me.

Thank goodness, my mum is recovering and  will hopefully be sent home to recover on Wednesday. I am looking at this situation as a wake up call. It is so important to life fully, spend time with those you love and life with as few regrets as possible.

Thursday, I bought myself airline tickets through I am so looking forward to going home!! I let mum know and she was excited. It has been two years and weekly phone calls can't replace a good hug.

This has been an incredibly emotional time. I am completely exhausted. Yet... I am so happy I have more time to spend with my mum.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Little Classic Philly Soul: "I'll Always Love My Mama" by The Intruders

This song reminds me of my childhood. I would flip on the radio to WDAS-FM and all became right with the world.  This is Classic Philly Soul, so you know I heard this all the time growing up in the "City of Brotherly Love".

It is funny how crises, no matter how small,  have the unique ability of reminding you what is truly important.

Hurry Up And Wait...

A youthful Mum back in Guyana.
Spoke to Mum this morning. She sounds a bit tired but in good spirits. They started running "tests" this morning. "Tests". How ambiguous can you get? I am not the best when it comes to waiting especially when it comes to anything concerning my mum!

She is a strong, strong woman but it is a challenge to hear her sound so tired. She never fails, though, to make me laugh. She was whispering a complaint about the "bloody woman in the bed next to her keeping her up all night". She then proceeded to apologize for cussing. I thought if "bloody" is the worse thing she can think of to cuss about someone, she doesn't need to worry too much.

We laughed and I promised to tape the episodes "General Hospital" and tell her what is happening in Port Charles. The lady loves her soaps. She considered getting a tv set in the room but felt it was simply a waste of good money. Mum will always be mum! :)

Mum living it up in Philly
Writing about this helps me a great deal. I have been going out of my bloody mind worrying about what I the unknown. I quickly realized there is no value in traveling that road. It is just a challenge. Once again the downside of living 3,000 some odd miles away from my family is my very active imagination kicks in because I'm here and they are there. So... I write... post pics of mum and slowly I feel better.

Positive vibes. That's what it is all about.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mum In The Hospital and I am Stuck Here.

I started to write about a completely different subject than this. However, I just got a text from my niece that my 85 year old mum is in the hospital. She got dizzy and fell down pretty hard in our family home. She was apparently on the floor for about 3 hours before my sister arrived. My sister called last night to check on mum and she didn't answer. Mum heard her voice on the phone and crawled to the phone and was able to call my sister who lives across town.

Luckily my mum is doing well. When my sister got there she told my mum she called for an ambulance. Mum immediately asked for lip stick and a nice head wrap to cover her hair so she looked presentable when the ambulance arrived. 

Thank God, mum didn't sustain any damage from the fall. She is sore and having trouble walking so she has to stay in the hospital until they figure out why she is having dizzy spells. They think it might be something called "syncopy". I have no idea what it is. Nevertheless she is being held for tests.

My mum was a nurse at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital for years so she is handling things better than her children. My brother Cecil is gonna be relentless now about her moving in with him in Dover, Delaware. She prefers remaining in our family home in Philly and even this mishap will not derail her determination to remain independent. As long as she can get around she will not be moving no matter what we say. I respect that.

It is a very overwhelmingly powerless feeling to be across the country when a family crisis surfaces. I sense that they are talking to me straight and not trying to spare my feelings so I am trying not to worry. It is just frustrating not being there. The fact that I have next to no money makes hopping on a plane impossible. I will however, do everything I can to get the money for a plane trip home for Christmas.

I don't like thinking of life without mum so I will not engage in "fear" thinking now. She is the strongest woman I know. I know she will be fine. It is just difficult to imagine your parents aren't immortal. I just need to remain positive, send positive vibes my mum's way and I know she will be back on her feet in no time!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Keeping Big Bird Safe...

Of all the things that resonated for me with all of the "substance" of the first Presidential Debate is the risk to de-funding PBS if Romney becomes President.

Yes, I know there are bigger issues at stake. However, I feel like there is something that has to be said for placing a value as a nation on the encouragement of education, culture, unbiased news coverage, Charlie Rose, Masterpiece Theater, Nova, Frontline, Sesame Street and unparalleled documentaries that will be lost to even one city in this country.

I think politics is important but have we really drifted so far apart as a people that we can't come together on some agreement of what is a "sacred cow" and should be supported? How are there banking institutions deemed too big to fail but "Sesame Street" that instills values and educational inspiration to our nation's children not worth keeping available to all?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Bigger The Obstacle, The Bigger The Opportunity

I have a very good friend who is a very big pain in the butt! He has a habit of amusing himself by pushing at peoples' buttons under the quiese of "humor". He does it with everyone. Add in the fact he is a bit A.D.D., the combination can make him appear like an insensitive jerk who drives you CRAZY in a seemingly unending fashion. In my current state of nicotine detoxification, I quickly reached my saturation level with his humor.

Last night we had it out. What started out as a rational discussion got heated like two lions engaged in a "verbal" battle for dominance. We put it all out there. Eventually, we agreed to disagree and decided to start fresh..

I let his apartment because I was meeting another friend who was gonna help me with an audition I had this afternoon. I was in such a state, I could not get myself focused so my head was in the game professionally.

When I got home I was still fuming that my close friend felt I am always overreacting while I felt he needed to learn when to stop pushing people's buttons when it is clearly bothering them. They are called "buttons" for a reason, push them enough and you are playing with fire.. This has been the one issue we continued to have with one another for years.

Frustrated that I allowed this situation to affect my rehearsal, I decided to take a step back and address why I was still angry after agreeing to a fresh start. I don't believe in accidents or coincidence. Clearly this was all happening over and over for a reason.

I decided to say okay... if I AM overreacting, what is the lesson the Universe is trying to tell me? What am I resisting learning that my friend is unknowingly providing me the opportunity to see about myself? I was suddenly reminded of my "light bulb" moment of a few weeks ago!

I took things out of the personal and saw that I was not "living my beliefs". If I believe that you create your life through your thinking and the only thing you have control over is how you think about something, than I am actually giving over my power to the whims of others.

No one can affect your joy unless you let them. I can't change him. I can only change me. I was trying to make him stop "pushing my buttons". I should be focusing on why I am choosing to let his words trigger me rather than see his actions as a reflection of his issues. not mine.  This is easier said than done, but it is completely do-able.

The Universe gave me a gift and I am taking it.

I am not saying I accept or condone my friend's choices but those are his to make. My choice is to keep my head focused on my path, not anyone else's. When my buttons got pushed, I got stuck in trying to be right rather than happy.

I decided to choose HAPPY. 

It was like a cure for toxic poisoning. My mind stopped obsessing and I was finally able to seriously work on my audition piece.

The audition itself, another journey to a new casting director over at the Paramount Studios lot, was fun and better than I could have hoped for.

My priorities are now getting in order. Another veil of nicotine avoidance removed. I was stuffing my emotions down with nicotine, blinding me to a lesson I still needed to address that will not only help me as a person and an artist..  

This road I am on is filled with many obstacles and potential roadblocks. Personally. Professionally.. Mentally. Today, I have cleared years worth of baggage from my "trunk of emotional debris". Dare I say, I have a lighter load and a better sense of my own power to direct my course?

In a manner of speaking, I have stopped being a passenger and became the driver of my life.

I guess there is value in living your belief system. Go figure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Making Progress One Tuesday At A Time

One of the best investments I have made is involving myself with an acting group. We meet every Tuesday and work on scenes from a particular film, one semester at a time with the intent to improve our skills. I have been a part of this group for a little over three years.

Learning through the experience of performing on a job is invaluable. However, having a space where you can take creative risks and dare to fail without risking your job is what makes my Tuesday night investment worth it.

Last night, I felt like I had a mini break thru. I felt that magic feeling of connecting with the character and I felt a degree of focus I hadn't felt before. I jumped of the creative cliff without a net and lived to see another day! These are the moments I live for. There is nothing more fulfilling than feeling "creative connection" with a character in a viseral way.

It is important to celebrate all of life's victories in whatever form they take.

Life is great!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Focusing On My Craft

Tonight is my regular Tuesday night acting class. We are working on a scene from "Things We Lost In The Fire". I am playing "Jerry" the recovering heroine addict played by Benicio Del Toro.

I am sure working on this scene had some influence in encouraging me to quit smoking. This is a good thing, I suppose. However, the reality of dealing with the physical/mental dimensions of withdrawal seem somewhat more intensified as I use my current feelings in connecting myself with the role. I guess this is my version of a "Method" approach to bringing the character to life.

Ahh... the things one does to improve one's craft. Going through nicotine withdrawal is, I am certain, better than trying heroine! Haha! I will never be that "method" in my work.

I have been sipping gallons of green tea to help detox. It is definitely a mental challenge to stay focused but I see it as making lemonade out of lemons! 

With a little luck, my work tonight will be focused enough to allow for creative growth!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Season Five/Final Season of "Fringe" Begins

The fifth and FINAL Season of the Fox series "Fringe" has arrived.

I missed the first episode but I will have the chance to catch up on that next Saturday when it is available on This is my favorite show. I wish I could have performed on it but alas.... Such is life! :)

I find the stories very creative, engaging and fun to see where it will go. John Noble is a revelation in his role as "Walter Bishop"  It is sad to imagine this series coming to an end but I will watch every episode to enjoy the ride while I can.

Finding My New Normal

I guess in retrospect it is a bit stupid to think at these early stages of living smoke-free that I would get by with only one post on the subject. I am discovering just how much I have used smoking as a tool to suppress my feelings. Ultimately, all I am doing is building myself an emotional prison.

Yes, smoking has helped take the edge off of a lousy audition but it has also been how I have allowed myself to accept toxic relationships. Now, it is almost impossible to put up with anything requiring a degree of patience on my part. Perhaps, in time, my patience will improve. At present, I have no patience whatsoever. I am attempting to give situations a "grace period" in terms of making major decisions at this time because I have yet to find my "new normal". The only thing I know for sure is that I would rather deal with my feelings as they come up rather than let them eat me up while I pretend things are fine. The question is how do I get to that place of balance?

I may need to stay in hibernation for a bit longer.

On Friday, I had a friend call me and let's just say he chose the wrong day to be an asshole to me. I was so overwhelmingly "PISSED OFF"! I expressed myself fully. It was not pretty. I would say I was overreacting but this friend enjoys pushing my buttons. I finally decided that I no longer have any interest in accepting toxic behavior from anyone I call my friend at anytime. If this friend gets it, than we can stay friends. If not then life goes on. I may be feeling things more intensely at the moment but this fact does not change. 

"You teach people how they treat you." 


Friday, September 28, 2012

Would Rather Be In Bed...

I am currently in quarantine, hibernation, isolation... whatever you want to call it.

72 Hours.

I currently feel like crap and generally annoyed at life. I am sure it will pass but for now, I am all about staying as calm as possible.

Not every day is roses and sunshine. Today is partly cloudy with a chance of showers.

 Life is still great...just not so much today. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Becoming An Ex-Smoker: Facing Down My "Mr. Hyde"

I am writing this ONE TIME ONLY blog post confessing that I have been a chain smoking fiend for more than a minute. It has been my crutch, my coping mechanism for stress, and the only means up to this point of keeping the inner demon/rage monster I call "Mr. Hyde" under control.

I am writing only one post about this just to get it out and release it. I know that from prior attempts to quit, when I had a period of success, friends would start to talk about it with me and talk and talk as if they had to share every pent up feeling of relief I finally quit. Well... all that talk usually got me fixated on thinking about a cig and somehow as if in a trance I would crumble. So, when I get over the next 72 hours I will avoid discussion of the subject as much as possible until I am on safer ground.

I started a while back as a response to my first real California earthquake experience. Growing up in Philadelphia, there was no preparation for what the earth shaking beneath your feet does to your psyche. That was my response, Yes it is not everyone's but it definitely was mine. As time passed, it became my crutch for every stressful situation that arose. When my best friend died, it became my reliable companion during that "dark night of my soul".

I have tried to quit many a time but who knew that suppressing one's fears and annoyances can transform them into a rather ugly rage monster? Go figure. I have never been a fan of my inner "Mr. Hyde". Like a werewolf he is ready to bounce and rip to shreds  anyone who sets me off. My usual happy go lucky self disappears or is locked away but it is not pretty for those first 72 hours.

Nevertheless, his reign of terror must come to an end.

I am in such a wonderfully happy place these days. I have made the choice to control where I focus my thinking. I believe your thoughts create your reality. Moments of seeming synchronicity have seemed to validate this belief for me.

As I move to embrace this notion of living in the present moment with a focus on the positive, I have heard the whispers of "Mr. Hyde" from his cage taunting me. He says, "If you actually believe what you say, then why do you need to smoke? If it is such a crutch, let it go. Give up the cigs, open my cage and set me free! I'm sure your positive thinking will keep me in check. Come on. Do it. I DARE you."

I heard those whispers in my head as I drifted to sleep last night. I decided to take the dare. Not 5 seconds after that mental declaration, my body began to twitch and spasm for literally 2 hours. It was like my body was having its own personal earthquake as the doors to Mr. Hyde's cage were bursting open! Sheer exhaustion is the only thing that got me to sleep sometime after 4 a.m.

I woke up this morning feeling completely lousy. I have started drinking green tea. I will probably consume a few gallons over the next week but I need some weapon in the battle I am about to face.

The fact is, I have been in such a fantastic mental state, I need to deal with this demon that has had me chained to a bunch of crumpled tobacco leaves for way too long.

I know once I get through this new "dark night of my soul", I will be able to more fully enjoy this amazing journey I am on.  


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Strolling up "Hollywood & Vine"

Another day to be grateful to be doing what I do. My double audition day was almost an "either/or" proposition as they were scheduled 20 minutes apart in two different parts of town. Luckily, my manager was able to move the indie audition up from 3:20pm  to 12:00 noon.

Around 11:30 this morning, I happily made my way up Hollywood & Vine to "read" for the casting director of the French Indie film directed by an avante garde French director named Quentin Dupieux. I believe he is best known for his film "Rubber"about a serial killing "tire"...YES, I said tire.

I read the script for his new project  last night and loved it! It was funny, surreal and very, very "French". As a major francophile, I love a good French film. "Amelie" is one of my favorites. On my dream list of film projects, is performing in a French film. Ideally, I wanted to perform it in French. however, my level of fluency is years and years away from that being remotely plausible. Booking this job would count nevertheless as performing in a French film. (I leave that to the Universe.)

I will say, the casting director for this film is one of the nicest and most enjoyable people to audition for hands down. She just puts you at ease without even trying, and makes it feel like you are getting together with your favorite "auntie" rather than basically applying for a job.:)

I left that audition needless to say, feeling like a million bucks! I strolled down Vine street, glancing down at the stars on the walk of fame, as I made my way to my car. I made my way to my car only to find myself seemingly pinned between two cars that were not present when I first parked. I ask you when folks park, why do they feel it is "smart" to park with only 3 or 4 inches separating your car from the one in front or behind you? I literally spent 10 minutes inching back and forth in order to slowly extricate myself from this mess. Thankfully, I made it work without touching either car at all. Deciding this situation was not worth getting upset about definitely helped. I wanted to get home eat and prepare for audition number 2. I am noticing these days I am getting better at stopping myself from wasting energy getting angry over the small stuff of life. usually, it was the little things that set my temper off like a rocket. These days, I can't afford to waste the time. Now that is an unexpectedly pleasant development.

As 2:30 approached, I jumped back on my "metal horse" and drove to Culver City for my sitcom audition. This was my first time meeting this casting director so it was a nice treat and a funny little scene. I "nailed it"!  As I left, I noticed I was across the street from The Culver Studios. I wish I had my camera to take a pic. it is always good to meet a new casting director as I increase the pool of potential auditions I can get called in for as I build these professional relationships and leave them with a positive impression of my work.

All in all, a successful and fulfilling day.

Bloody hell! My head is getting a bit "wonky."  I am feeling the "crash" as my mind and body settle down after the day long adrenaline rush:) I need a nap.

As always...Life is great! 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keeping This Momentum Going

There is nothing like another double audition day to keep me on my toes!

Yes, sir! Things are looking up!

 Tomorrow I have an audition for a cool indie film in Hollywood followed by a sitcom audition in Culver City.

Learning from last week's "double day" , I know I have to be even more on my game because you never know for certain what the casting folks are looking for. I know they want us to succeed because it will make their job easier. So, no need to waste a thought on nervousness or fear. My thoughts are focused on booking another acting job and building upon the confidence I feel within me.  No time to waste. It's decided.  I am skipping my Tuesday acting group gathering to work my butt off and give my ALL in each audition tomorrow.

It is very encouraging to see that my career is experiencing a bit of momentum. I want to make it count. This is not the time to get complacent. With any luck, I will turn another audition into a booking very soon.

I am becoming a firm believer that you attract into your life that which you focus your thoughts upon. That said, I welcome the "next creative station stop" my life is moving toward, wherever it will be.

A Little "Crazy" Is a Good Thing to Be!

On set with Jennifer Coolidge

I have the strange feeling that I am actually insane. I live so far away from the cul-de-sac I grew up on back in Philadelphia.  I work for hours in my one bedroom apartment to perfect the tiniest bits of dialogue while facing down a mountain of rejection. If I am lucky, I get hired to work for a few glorious days of creative bliss to produce a few minutes of a performance.  Who chooses this way of living?

Yeah... that's a little bit crazy. Who knows? Maybe a little bit of crazy is not a bad thing if it makes you happy.

The funny thing is watching the end result of all my work on "2 Broke Girls" was no momentous occasion compared to the feeling I had actually doing the work to get there. Today, with all my running around, was really not about me at all. Yes, I did the performance as brief as it was, but today was more for my mum, my siblings and even my friends. I was calling everyone I could think of because today was their chance to share in the joy I had. Does that make any sense? If I go on an ego trip for this role, I am not insane, I am certifiable. Yes, my ego remains well intact.

I mean, really. I sat home by myself and watched it and "blink, blink." it was done. 15 minutes later, I headed out the door to help my friend Scott with an audition he has on "Grey's Anatomy." Believe it or not, our working on his audition piece was so enjoyable, I forgot about everything else until I headed home.

On set with Garrett Morris
I got a ton of well wishes from family and friends with text after text of congratulations. I can say without question, I have really great people in my life. I am so grateful to be blessed with family and friends who could get that four or five lines of a funny scene I got to do, while not exactly a leading role, meant something to me. You would have thought I won an academy award! Now that is support.

I decided after my last gig that I would accept well wishes with as much grace as I can and stop downplaying the small stuff because these small parts are invaluable. They are the gifts the Universe are sending to lead me to the next wonderful experience. Each event in my life, is valued and treated with meaning and respect because they are all a part of this life I am creating. I want every moment to matter. Not in an egotistical way but in a grateful living in the present kind of appreciation.

Once again, I am reminded that it is the journey not the destination that matters. It was more fun remembering the experience and the thrill of being in the moment than it was in watching the taped capturing of what we all did on a soundstage a few weeks back.. Don't get me wrong, tonight I felt great. I feel like I had a small career victory. I'm sure many would look at my small part as no biggie - "Much ado about nothing."

However, for a few moments, my mum saw her son doing what he loves. I know my mum is always proud of me. But... she is "my mum"  and there is no one more important to me in the entire world!! I want her to know her little "Yankee Boy" is going to be okay. Each career victory I have, allows her to worry just a little bit less about her youngest child. My successes are a tiny "thank you" to her for all the sacrifices she made coming to America so I could have a better life than she did.

Even my brothers, sister, nieces and nephews can have a small understanding of why I am doing what I do so far away from home. They may think I am a bit crazy, and maybe I am. Yet, they still know I am happier than I have ever been. Each little victory in my life means something because it is something I get to share with them.

Okay... It is late, I am rambling and feeling the adrenaline of the day slowly drifting away. My bed is calling. This station stop in my creative journey is over. Time to head on to whatever lies ahead.

Tonight I sleep content.  In the morning I will awaken, refreshed and ready to enjoy another day.

Life is great. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking News! "2 Broke Girls and the Hidden Stash" is the Season Premiere on CBS at 9pm


 I just found out that my episode of "2 BROKE GIRLS"' is no longer episode 3. It is now the season premiere! 

It airs TONIGHT on CBS at 9pm! 

Check it out if you can! Two blinks and I am gone but I had a blast!

SPREAD THE WORD and if you haven't already, please visit my IMDB page using the link below and "click the FB "Like" button there! It would be a great help!!!!

Life is great!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Got a Feeling...

Maybe I am delirious from drinking instant coffee with a hint of Irish Bristol cream at 2:30 in the morning :)

I feel so good I want to dance around my living room and celebrate. I have no idea what I am celebrating but I have a feeling that good things are happening! No particular reason. Maybe it is wishful thinking. Maybe it is intuition. Whatever it is I am riding the wave of this feeling as long as it lasts!

I am feeling a need for a musical interlude to try to capture the feeling I am having and share it with anyone willing to join me in a spontaneous dance of joy just for the sake of DANCING FOR JOY!!


The EMMYS are Here! Time To Relax and Dream of Future Possibilities!!

Once again, the award season has begun. It's Emmy's Night! I have plans to do nothing of any importance whatsoever. Other than dream of the day when I might be lucky enough to improve my skills as an actor to deliver a performance worthy of awards consideration.

Don't get me wrong, my life will continue happily along if I never receive a Golden Globe, an Emmy, Oscar or Screen Actors Guild Award. However, any actor who says they don't believe in actors competing  or winning awards like these are lying to themselves or others. Well... maybe not lying but... come on!

In a business where you are facing rejection of some sort on a continuous basis, why wouldn't you allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of appreciation for your work that these award ceremonies bring? It is a powerful motivational tool to keep going, to keep improving your craft so if only in your own mind you can measure your growth against the best in your field! Win or lose aspiring for greatness is always good in my book.

Hell, you bloody well can't take any of these things with you when you die so why not enjoy all the station stops on this life's express train!

Wow, I am rambling:) Nevertheless, I am bound and determined to enjoy every opportunity to enjoy myself. haha. May sound strange but it beats lamenting one's life away.

So, today, having marinated some chicken for the first time in my life, Rusty and I have been invited back over to April and Jim's to watch the Emmy telecast, BBQ and relax. Without shame I will watch the red carpet pre-show, and the Emmy's itself, munch on some good grub, and lay the mental foundations in my brain for how much fun I will have when I am strolling the red carpet on the way to my assigned seat, hopefully not in the nosebleed section, awaiting my name to be called!

If you are gonna dream go BIG! Dreams are not meant to be modest and small. What's the point of settling for small in your own imagination?!

Yes. this day, I am giving myself a break from all my schedules, plans, obligations and self-improvement goals as an actor. Today, I am reveling in the wonderful power of dreams!

 Today I am all about enjoying all the opportunities to remember that Life is GREAT and ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, if you BELIEVE!      

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taking My Own Sweet Time

Last night, after coming back from an impromptu visit with my friends April and Jim in Glendale, Rusty and I  returned to my heat retaining one bedroom apartment with little desire to do anything but sleep. Something, however, took hold of me at one o'clock in the morning.

I ventured into my beautiful, newly painted bathroom with the impulse to finally install my "IKEA" purchased circular mirror. It has been two weeks, I think, since my IKEA shopping adventure. I've been stretching out my joy.  Last week, I installed the new towel rack and then just sat with it. I am not exactly "Mr. Fix it" so slow and steady has been keeping everything on an enjoyable level.

I began my late night adventure with a bit of a shock. Upon opening the packed mirror I soon discovered it did not come with any screws and little to no instructions! I miraculously found four screws in my junk drawer that worked magic. Actually they were the screws from the old mirror now residing in the back of  my hall closet but why quibble over details? After initially putting in the brackets upside down, I finally got things up and running. Only one problem... I hung it too low.

Instead of getting irritated which has been my usual default state in such situations, I just laughed. A few additional holes later and voila! I had my fabulous new mirror up, at the right height and looking good! My excess holes in the wall were either covered by the mirror or received a quick dab of my remaining Valspar "Morning Marigold" paint which, like magic, rendered my errors in measurement invisible.

Rusty's Inner Thoughts: "What a SCHMUCK!"
Yes, it took me until four in the morning but I felt so proud. Rusty woke up periodically to stare at me, as he often does, as if I am a complete idiot for working like a madman when I could have been sleeping.

What can I say? When I get an idea in my head, I need to act on it immediately. When I hear the call of my Inner Voice, I must act.:)

The bathroom is finally taking shape.

With yet another sudden burst of inspiration, I pulled from my closet a five foot tall wrought iron, three prone candle stand. It was a gift from a friend that I received a long time ago. It is quite beautiful but I never knew what to do with the thing. I dusted it off and now it looks as if it always belonged in my bathroom. I just never noticed.

Afterwards I dug deeper into my over-stuffed closet to find an Aztec mask. Yes... an Aztec mask.  I bought it on my first ever real adult vacation. I went with a female friend to Cancun a few years ago. I saw so many of the breath-taking Aztec Ruins in the area, I naturally wanted to return with something to remember the experience. Like the candle stand, I never found the right place for this beautiful object.  Like divine intervention, it called out to be hung in the space on the wall it now calls home. When I light the candles on my rediscovered candle stand and turn out the lights, it gives the Aztec mask an air of mystery and the bathroom a sense of character.

I'm loving it!

I feel a trailing type plant may be in the room's future but I will marinate on what plant that will be for a while. I sense the right plant will find its way to me.

Ordinarily, one would think I am spending way too much time on this small room when there are so many rooms remaining in what now seems like a tragically bland condition. Yeah, that may be true but there is something immeasurably satisfying in taking my own sweet time. It has the same feeling I have when I am playing around with clay or drawing a picture or reading a book I love.

I am totally understanding the meaning of the phrase "it is not about the destination, it's the journey that matters."          

Friday, September 21, 2012

Master Your Auditions - Wisdom from Director, Writer, Teacher - Bob McAndrew

Okay. You can tell I have been browsing the NY Casting website. I spotted another article by Kelly Calabrese on mastering your audition. Here she interviews Director, Writer, Teacher Bob McAndrew who has insights I want to experiment with to improve my auditioning skills as much as I can.

Master Your Auditions - Wisdom from Director, Writer, Teacher - Bob McAndrew

I am definitely going to tune into Kelly Calabrese's blog. So far she has been very helpful in supplying me with resources and information I need to assist in my creative redevelopment and artistic growth.:) 

Coming across Ms. Calabrese's writings is another reminder when you focus your thoughts on something, you attract what you need.

Life is great!!


Character Transformation Tips

I am posting this article because, while I haven't read it fully yet, I want to have easy access to refer back to it as it discusses tips for actors on character transformation.

The link below is to an article by Kelly Calabrese who talks with actors and directors from two films showing at the Tribeca Film festival for insights into their creative process.

Character Transformation Tips

I will use any avenue available to find new tricks/techniques to improve my craft. Hope this one has some juicy insights I can play with. If not it will still be adding to my continual creative education.

Kelly Calabrese is also a blogger. I plan on adding her to my list of blogs I love to visit. She has a lot of interesting posts I want to devour!

Time Management for Actors (and Other Busy People!)Ten Top Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Day. by Victoria Larimore

My auditions are picking up. This is fantastic news! I am loving every minute.

I am realizing, however, that time is becoming a valuable commodity which I can no longer afford to waste as I have in the past. I am knee deep in new territory, executing my plans to change my eating habits, exercise more intensely, improve my skills and explore more acting techniques. Having to drop everything when an audition comes along, means I need to lock in a consistent schedule of everything so that I make the most of my week and won't feel guilt when I rest.

Guilt is a waste of energy.

The fact is I have been one of those people who buys an appointment book and never uses it. I am sure there is a scheduling strategy that may work for me so I will have to do a little research.

I did find this article by Victoria Larimore that may provide some useful tips for any busy person with time management issues. 

Click on the link below.  

Time Management for Actors (and Other Busy People!)Ten Top Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Day. by Victoria Larimore

I am especially fond of tip #8 Go on a "Timewaster Diet". :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"What's For You, Is For You..."

I think I am hours away from a total system crash. I am so sleepy I can taste it!

A busy day for sure. I enjoyed today's adventure, putting two more good auditions under my belt. I worked my butt off last night and this morning trying to perfect performances for two completely different characters.  It was a definite brain drainer.

I rehearsed with an actor friend which proved to be invaluable. No matter how much training you have, acting doesn't take place in a bubble so preparation for an audition can't either. There is just so far you can take a piece on your own. Having another pair of eyes gives you feedback you may never have considered. My friend Scott was amazing! He gave me a point of view that sparked my imagination and helped me to refine and improve acting choices. I finished exhausted last night but confident.  I left him to go home and allow my preparation to, like a fine wine, ferment and breathe in my imagination/emotional body.

I woke this morning feeling as prepared as possible.

With every audition, I am continuing to learn and grow. You have to work like crazy so you can hopefully create a little bit of magic that captures the eye of the casting, producers, or director so they are willing to take a chance on you. I think the biggest challenge is to enjoy the audition for what it is and let go of the desire to "Book it". I did my best. The rest is out of my hands. It's the "out of my hands" part that is slowly becoming easier to accept.

My mum always says, "Don't worry. What is for you is for you."

Ahhh... The great unknown.
I welcome whatever roles are for me,  to come to me...
sooner rather than later.:)  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Staying Focused, Making The Most of Opportunities

I have to say, as I have gotten more focused, more opportunities are presenting themselves. Starting this blog has been very helpful in keeping me thinking about what is most important.

I am happy to say I have another double audition day tomorrow. Both are relatively close to each other so, cross city travel is not an issue. The challenge for tomorrow is putting in the work tonight on both roles and being disciplined enough tomorrow to not allow one role to bleed into the other. The funny thing is the roles are polar opposites in almost every way. One a cop and husband in a dramatic film and the other a bitchy dog pageant "papa" not above blackmail in a television comedy.  I am blessed and grateful.

It is all an exciting adventure. Opportunities are opening up now that remind me you bring into your life that which you focus your thoughts on. I look forward to getting myself back on another set very, very soon. I trust things are falling into place to take my dreams and my career further down the road of happiness.

Time to get back to my rehearsing.:)   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Days of the "Friendship Martyr" Are Over

If anyone thinks I am some "ra ra" dreamer whose life is all roses and sunshine, I assure you I am not.

One challenge I have been addressing in my life these days is putting myself and my path first. Sometimes friends can disappoint you. Some people can be supportive and some can be toxic. I realized that if someone enjoys making you feel stupid or inferior, that is not something you need to internalize. That is in all cases their issue that they are basically "throwing up" onto you. Folks can be hurtful with their words and their careless disregard for your feelings. Nevertheless the only power you have is in your response to these people and situations.

A friend triggered some issues with me. It stayed in my head for the entire weekend- mainly because I realized that this guy enjoys being a jerk to people. I have always been aware of this fact. I didn't acknowledge how much over time it has been poisoning my spirit. I wasted so much time over the weekend going over and over in my brain the humiliation he "unknowingly" vomited into my evening. I mentally obsessed over this incident like a tape I could not stop. It is only today that I truly accepted that this was the greatest gift I could have been given.

I learned that I can choose to waste days of my life stewing over hurt feelings and assigning blame or I can realize that the actions of others have no power to affect me unless I let it. This is not an easy thing to do but it is necessary. If someone chooses to inflict their unhappiness onto you, recognize it is their unhappiness not yours. You teach people how to treat you and people tell you who they are through their actions not their words. Recognize what "they are telling you" and what "you are teaching them" or you are setting yourself up for drama.

I have spent a lot of time putting up with crap from folks I call friends. For my part I take responsibility because, I am no victim. My days of being the "friendship martyr" are officially over. I have cleansed myself of a few "dysfunctional" friendships that turned toxic this year. In times past this would have been unthinkable, not anymore. Something seems to be finally waking up within me. I now understand that simply because someone says "I am sorry" it means nothing if their actions show it was just talk. My challenge is to keep all this junk in perspective.

When friends get "toxic" it is okay to step back and de-tox. I must always be the guardian of my own psyche. My journey has its own share of challenges. I intend to minimize the "dysfunctional" crap that may fly my way, figure out what lesson I am attracting, then getting myself back on track.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Hoping "Nina Simone" Is In My Future!

Life is a mysterious adventure. A few days ago, I mentioned how I was so happy I heard the Nina Simone song "Feeling Good" playing in my head as I walked to my car. Well, it is weird but I just got an audition to play the role of Nina Simone's husband in a film about her.

Wow, that is cool. I know that I drew this audition into my life. It would be great if I drew the actual job into my life as well! Who knows what the future may bring?  It would be beyond fantastic to book this job!

Send positive vibes my way!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead"

While preparing for yesterday's audition, I decided to tape an episode of Katie Couric's new talk show just to see what she was all about. I happened to tape a show that seemed to really speak to my way of thinking. A behavioral researcher named Dr. Brene Brown wrote a book called "Daring Greatly" that addressed the idea of how when we face the difficult task of embracing what makes us vulnerable, we end up living braver lives and as a result more fulfilling joyful lives.

She apparently has made some popular on-line clips that empower folks to live more joyful lives. I think I am going to investigate her and her ideas more. It is a philosophy that can not only help me grow as an artist but as a person as well. This book is definitely going on my 2012 reading list!

You have to watch this clip below from YouTube posted by TEDtalks! I think you might find it fun and inspiring without all the "woo woo"!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Audition At Paramount Studios Has Me "Feeling Good"...

I love acting! Yes, it has its ups and downs, but with every audition I am once more reminded that I am so lucky to be pursuing my dreams. So when I have a GREAT audition, the feeling is pure ELATION!

This time around, I auditioned for the same casting director for the same show that I auditioned for the last two times at 20th Century Fox. I clearly made a positive impression. For whatever reasons, this audition was held in her casting office on the Paramount Studios lot. I was actually happy with this change because I live so much closer to Paramount Studios in Hollywood than to 20th Century Fox Studios in West Los Angeles. I literally saved myself a half hour to forty-five minutes driving time during rush hour.:)

I walked into the audition and just did my thing! I got laughs and such favorable feedback that I know I am developing my reputation with casting in a positive direction. I did my best so no regrets.

As I left, I decided to walk across the lot, take in the scenery and leave from a different gate. I had a pep in my step and almost like my own mental music video, I strutted to my car with the sounds of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" playing in my head as if my brain had its own i-pod.

Yes, I have a vivid imagination. It keeps me going and continues to remind me that "Life is Great"!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Slow and Steady...

I know I am in the early stages of my fitness overhaul  but, man! I am ready to move to the "exercise is invigorating" phase. Every ounce of my body is sore, tight, and completely exhausted. I want to sleep the rest of the week away. While that may be enjoyable, I doubt it is practical. Hey, I can still dream!

Using my Iron Gym Upper Body Workout Bar is humbling but slow and steady will bring the results I want and need.:)

Getting healthy and in great shape is not as easy as flipping a switch but it is a good investment.