Monday, April 29, 2013

Will "Man of Steel" Steal The Summer Box Office? YES!!

June 14th. Mark your calendars. The "Man of Steel" returns to theaters. Thank you, Warner Bros!

No, it is not a sequel but a serious re-boot to a story that has captured the imagination of kids and adults alike since 1938. I must admit I was a little disappointed in "Superman Returns" but the fact that I bought a dvd of it anyway tells you something about how deeply rooted this character is in our national psyche or at least mine.

These days, movie tickets are not cheap and if you get the munchies, forget it... you are screwed. The average working class movie lover is forced to be judicious in where they are investing their allotted "cinema" budget.

If I have to save my pennies from today forward, I will be viewing the "Man of Steel" on the big screen! With Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Lawrence Fishburne, Michael Shannon and Russell Crowe attached, you have a strong indication that the story is not just popcorn fluff and may have some real depth to it. If you were a fan of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, one can only imagine how his involvement as producer stirred the creative juices of Zack Snyder as a director.

I am excited! In case anyone is on the fence, I am attaching the latest trailer of the "Man of Steel."

You watch this and tell me you aren't ready to take another ride with Superman!

I dare ya!


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday Screening of "The Americans" in the No Ho Arts District

Last night I had the pleasure of getting to view an advanced screening of the season finale of "The Americans".


I usually don't watch the season finale of a television series if I have not actually watched the whole season. Unfortunately, I don't have cable and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was holding a free screening last night. One of the perks of being a member of SAG-AFTRA is the variety of free or low cost industry events. Most of these events are held at the main office in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. However, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is in the NoHo Arts District and a few blocks from my apartment. How could I refuse? When my friend Theresa called with an extra ticket I said what the hell, let's do it!. I am not "Mr. Industry Networker" but I figured this would at least get me out and about on a Friday night.

Goldenson Theater
I arrived at 7pm, choosing to park on the street so I had time to stroll the NoHo Arts District which is finally after living here for years is slowly developing a cultural pulse. The courtyard of the Academy had a tasteful sculpture garden of celebrity busts. Hahha! Yes, by that I mean, the heads of famous television stars from Milton Berle to Bob Hope to Carol Burnett and many many more. I made my way through the crowd to find Theresa who was patiently waiting at the entrance of the Leonard H. Goldenson Theater. This was my first time there and it was beautiful. There is something magical about walking into a grand theater space. The curtains, the carpeting, the energy of the room all make you feel you are a part of something special and invite you to enjoy yourself  Okay... sorry, I digress, but what actor does not simply love a good theater?

The evening was sponsored by F/X Network (We were all asked not to give away any secrets so there will be no spoilers to ruin your viewing experience!)
I fell in love with the show. Set it the 80's, the series deals with Russian spies living in America as an everyday married couple with two kids as they do their thing during the COLD WAR. I was intrigued, partially because everything was new to me but the acting was stellar and the story lines were intelligently thought out. I actually plan to pick up the Season 1 dvd when it is available so I can catch up.

The best part of the evening was, surprisingly, the panel discussion with the creators and some of the cast. The leads of the cast are Mathew Rhys and Keri Russell. Keri was in Canada taping an upcoming "Planet of The Apes" movie but sent a clip to say hello and apologize for her absence. Matthew stole the night!  I was always a fan of Matthew Rhys from his days on the ABC series "Brothers and Sisters". This character he plays, in "The Americans" is compelling and his chemistry with Keri Russell is apparent. We soon discovered he is also amazingly funny. He had the audience in the palm of his hands with his Welsh charm and razor sharp wit. Another member of the cast, Margo Martindale, who plays Claudia on the series was not only funny in real life but riveting on screen. Margo is an amazing character actress who I fell in love with while watching her sweet and moving portrayal of  a lonely middle aged tourist in "Paris, Je T'Aime".

Panel discussions are often hit or miss. They could be thought-provoking or boring as hell. For a series that is so dramatic and serious in it's tone, the cast kept the audience in stitches for the entire panel discussion. You could not help but enjoy yourself.
I may need to check out a few more of these free screening events. The opportunity to ask questions of the creators on their creative vision and the actors on their process is valuable on its own, but to be able to view high quality film and television screenings for free in an industry setting can't be beat. It may also help me get over my issues with "networking" that I have on my list of business responsibilities I need to improve.  Sounds like a plan.

I am not exactly a social butterfly but I must admit, I had a great time last night. We capped things off with a late night dinner and a delicious chocolate at my neighborhood diner called Sittons. I went home happy and even found a new series worth checking out for both the entertainment value as well as a resource for studying good acting.

A full night and I still woke up in time for my 7 am run in Griffith Park. I couldn't ask for anything more!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Making "Blog Catalog" Work For Me

When I first set up my blog, I went through a period where after writing a number of posts, I got a little obsessed with the idea of driving traffic to my site. For the most part my blog is more of a personal journal of my life and journey as an actor. However, every blogger is human and inevitably you fall into that "traffic" nightmare until you snap out of it and get back on track.

I signed up for a variety of blog registries. Some are useful, others are so complicated that they sacrifice flashiness for ease of use.In the end, I find myself only really invested in one. Blog Catalog. It could be just my personality but I get bored with jumping from one registry to the next trying to raise my visibility. I don't have the time for that nonsense. Eventually, I noticed that I usually visited Blog Catalog not to drive traffic to my site but to check out other blog sites that interest me and to join in thought-provoking and enjoyable discussions with other bloggers around the world. The fact is my Blog Value rank on the site is 12. I have absolutely no idea how that value is determined or how to raise it and frankly, I don't care all that much.

As I slowly engage in discussions, I am intrigued by the comments of other bloggers and that in turn entices me to check out some of their posts. That process works well for me. I have read more blogs as a result and the access to viewing other blogs is easy to understand and navigate so my tech-resistant brain does not  put up a fight.

I know I sound like a shameless promoter of this registry but, when something works for me, I like to share it. As you can see from my prior post, I mentioned wanting to work on making a paradigm shift in my thinking. My first step was to re-vamp an idea I had a while ago of making a mission statement for my life and career. The plan is to use this mission statement as a tool similar to what Bob Proctor mentioned in the posted YouTub
e clip, I figured if I create a personal mission statement and drive it into my subconscious mind over an extended period of time, the results would be a tangible benchmark of the effectiveness of this  method.

As I thought more about this, my mind recalled a post by Darin L. Hammond, a Blog Catalog blogger. He wrote about creating mission statements and provided resource links that I plan on using to help me with my new endeavor.

In case there may be any doubt, I do not work for Blog Catalog in any form but I will probably be referring to it often in future blogs because when I find any inspiration I am not going to pretend I came up with the ideas  myself. I prefer to give credit to any blogger who helped me along the way or who simply wrote something so engaging I want to share.
With that in mind, I have provided a link to Darin's post in case anyone reading is interested in creating a mission statement of their own  . Check it out.

Exploring The Subconscious Mind and Paradigm Shifts For Inspiration & Creative Transformation

As I continue down my road of self-discovery and creative transformation, I cannot help but find myself traversing the "YouTube" landscape for the random whiff of inspiration. Last night I stumbled across these YouTube clips by Bob Proctor. They gave my left brain some food for thought as to how to get myself and my thoughts moving in the direction I want my life to go.

What I enjoyed about both clips is the presentation of information without the "woo woo" feel of many self-help books etc.

I want to explore the concept of making a paradigm shift in my thinking. Having recently come to realize how much I have incorporated unconsciously a "victim mentality" while assuming consciously I had let go of  certain scars from my teen aged struggles, I know "change" will not be instant. If anything, I see that what you accept into your mind as true over the years, won't go away without putting in the work to replace that thinking at the core where it lives. I'm not looking for a quick fix, but a method or two I can incorporate into my daily routine that might just produce some results. Anything worth achieving is worth working hard for.

We shall see what comes of this journey down a road less traveled...

Memories of A Dream: "Twin Peaks"

As I was surfing the Blog Catalog site, reading an array of interesting posts, I came across blogger DaleCooper57's post called "Into The Woods" which discussed the phenomenal series "Twin Peaks".
Check it out:

To say I loved this show is an understatement.

During my time as a student at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, my classmates and I were knee deep in the intense study of our craft. All of us dreaming of the future and the desire to make a living doing what we loved. ACTING.

Conservatory training was our day job from 9 am to 6pm Evenings were filled with rehearsals of scenes or projects we were involved in. Yet, when "Twin Peaks" came on, a group of us would gather together, drawn in by the surrealism and masterful storytelling of David Lynch.

David Lynch made it undeniably clear that what we were watching was art, like you've never seen on television before. I was hooked and frankly unnerved by what I watched as I found myself compelled to see where he was going to take us and how.

I remember watching the dream sequence was like a revelation, I was not only freaked out by Bob, but the feeling I was swept up into an actual dream. Nothing I have seen on television before or since has inspired me more creatively. It was in my opinion groundbreaking for its time.

I hope to one day  be involved in something as an actor that affects an audience as much as this clip below did for audiences when it aired.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Google, Yahoo, Facebook & OutLook.Com: Your War for My Email is Driving Me CRAZY!

I am what you would call techno-resistant. I accept that I live in an age when technology is literally exploding with new advances aimed, or so they say, to make my life run easier. However it feels more like a continual vomiting of complicated changes to devices and, frankly, areas of my life that were working pretty well, thank you very much. All of these intrusions have forced me to change the way I organize my life and time and I am getting annoyed.

Will this madness ever end or will I eventually develop the new neural pathways that don't make all these intrusions feel like a pain in my ass?

I have been cruising along quite nicely with one email for Facebook notices, registering for things, getting email subscriptions etc, another for family and friends, another for business and my newest one for my blog.
But have you noticed everyone once you to make their place your one site to do everything? I liked the old format for yahoo, Outlook wants to profile me, Facebook wants to know every minute detail of my life, and Google just confuses the hell out of me. I am in "circles" and I have no idea how I got there or how to invite someone into a "circle". I have to take a tutorial just to figure out what is going on from one site to the next.

On-line Relationships

I am a generally private person. I don''t want to have to work this hard to communicate with for the most part...strangers.  Am I no longer allowed to ease into knowing someone before I call them a "friend" on-line? I believe they are trying to overwhelm you with so much stuff you will: 

1. only do this for one site and phase out the other from sheer exhaustion
2. You will be so confused you will give out more information for them to sell to advertisers than commonsense would ever allow you to do in your right state of mind.

Am I exaggerating? I don't think so. We are stuck in a race to own your personal information.

New Gadget Mania

You know "Skype" has arrived when my 86 year old mother is about to get her first computer so she can see her sister in Guyana and chat. This technology makes sense to me as a great convenience. I have held out for the simple fact I want to be able to sit at my computer and not worry if I look presentable or must I clean up my room in case I get a skype call. Uggh. Not appealing.

Now if I am honest, I would be able to manage if this technology war was just about my computer. Unfortunately, you are just not hip if you don't "Tweet". No thank you. I draw the line at Twitter. I am avoiding Twitter as long as possible. 

I-pods are great but I-Pads? Really? A laptop was just too inconvenient? Ipads may be the wave of the future but I will stay in my computer life raft until I am FORCED to adapt. And I do mean FORCED as is the case with my cellphone.

Texting Nightmares

I do not enjoy the phone in general. The idea of a cellphone completely annoys me. I enjoyed the days when you could not reach me on my cellphone that I am now "required" to take with me everywhere at all times. In case my friends want to text me some stupid comment about a subject I could care less about as I try to live my own life.

The fact that so many people have died needlessly that we have to have campaigns to tell folks not to text/talk and drive, boggles my mind! You are driving tons of steel and turning it into a killing machine because your life is so important you can't stop talking and drive safely? I don't care who is calling me I know that "multi-tasking" is a myth and I also know I will not do well in prison so I will not be making any trips to that hellhole because of a damn text.

Data Plan My Way To The Poorhouse

I have for years gotten by with a regular cell phone. Now, as I coach actors for auditions, it seems too difficult to get actors to text or god forbid call to schedule an appointment. Usually this was never a problem. However, it would seem that checking and responding to emails on one's I- Phone is so popular, actors can't differentiate between sending me a text and sending me an email. So I have lost a few coaching gigs because they sent me an email from their cell instead of sending me a text. Who checks email 24 hours a day? I must enter the I-Phone Universe or continue to be behind the business curve as more and more Entertainment Industry professionals adapt this technology into their work lives. My already stretched budget must make room for the nightmarish cost of data plans which I have so cleverly avoided until my professional back is up against the wall. What's next? Mandatory wi-fi so hackers can rob me of whatever personal info my email service providers have not already sold?

I have until May 18th until my old cell plan expires and I take the "red" pill, entering the I-Phone Matrix never to return the same techno-resistant state I love and adore. 

I know I know. Stop ya bitchin' and move on.  These days you either get on board the technology train or it will run you over because the conductor will be too busy texting or tweeting  to care.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Keeping the Faith, Eating "Humble Pie" and Trusting My Career Will Keep Chugging Along.

Well, I am in the midst of a slow period with my acting auditions.  

I admit I am not one of those actors who is a networking expert, keeping my face in the consciousness of casting directors. I haven't had many auditions recently so, no opportunity to book a new job. It will pass, I am sure but it kinda sucks all the same. 

 It's at these times when you have to do what you can to reassure your agent and manager that you are still relevant. Otherwise, they may lose that "umph" you need them to have to get your pic and resume in front of casting. It is hard enough to keep myself going, I can't afford to have them "lose the faith". 

Regardless, I am refusing to give in. I am doing my best to hone my craft and dig deep into myself to resolve whatever creative blocks may be holding me back. I am doing my part to make sure when my preparation meets with opportunity, success will be the result. That also means I also have to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help when I need it.

At the risk of seeming like a self-promoting tool, I am gonna put it out there and ask folks who happen to visit my blog to do me a favor. 

Please visit my IMDB page using the link below. 

An actor's IMDB page not only displays the television and film work the actor has done. It is also ranked so industry professionals can get a sense of what audience interest is out there for the given actor and their potential fan base. Without any recent work, my IMDB numbers are plummeting. If you feel like performing a random act of kindness, visit my site and if you are feeling generous, "click the Facebook "Like" button on the right hand side of my IMDB page where it shows how many folks like this actor. I know I know, it sounds cheesy but it would be a great help and won't cost you a thing but a minute of your time!!!!

Hey, I am invested in making my acting career a thriving reality. A little humble pie is a small price to pay to live dreams.  Thanks in advance. 

Okay, I'm done.  Remember, LIFE IS GREAT...WHEN YOU LET IT! 

Rooting for TV Anchor Newbie AJ Clemente to Find Redemption... And a Better Job!

If you don't have a sense of humor, life can be pretty tough!  AJ Clemente was about to make his TV debut as the new weekend news anchor of a local North Dakota television station. As he was practicing saying the names of folks he was unfamiliar with, he did what any other normal human being would do, he got frustrated, nervous and started cursing under his breath as he struggled to get things right. Unfortunately what he did not know was that they went to air 30 seconds earlier then expected and his frustration was caught on tape.

Clearly folks at that station don't have much of a sense of humor as they immediately fired the poor guy.

I hope, if there is any justice in this world, the universe will bless this guy will an opportunity to do what he loves but to reach a larger audience than he ever could imagine. How can you not feel for this guy? Who among us has not been in this guy's shoes in one form or another?

For me, I think the situation is completely hysterical! The woman trying to announce his joining the news team is so completely thrown off it almost feels like a comedy sketch as he is co nervous he continues to fumble along completely oblivious to his impending fate.

If this kid doesn't get a break and find himself a job in broadcasting, there is something wrong with that industry.

I dare you to watch this clip and not seriously laugh your ass off!

I'm rooting for you AJ!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Enigma I call "My Mind"

In my recent apartment cleaning binge, I once again stumbled across an old book of poems I wrote many moons ago.

Inspired by a fellow Blog Catalogue blogger named "nothingprofound" who has a blog of daily aphorisms, I thought I would post a few of my own youthful attempts at self-expression.

Not sure what to call them, poems, random thoughts or utter ramblings of a lonely bullied teen. Perhaps they will speak to someone else or simply provide me with further insights into the enigma that is my mind.

"Pain is but a mild measure of Man's Endurance."

"That which hurts most is a rose whose thorns are hidden."

"Sarcasm is a misdirected arrow aiming for acceptance."

"I am an ear with a mouth that no one hears."

"There is nothing so rare as the truth."

"Truth is right before us. We need only open our eyes to see it." 

"2 is a number that makes a single 1 happy."

"Faith is the parent of Courage."

"Follow your heart's path. 
The journey may be endless, 
but the world is yours."

"Chaos is around me
crushing through the plaster
mixing into cement
hardening my soul."

"A caterpillar...
Snuggles in its own cocoon
'Til its wings are formed."

"Find the road that leads to nowhere.
Find the house that stands alone.
See the garden filled with flowers.
Smell their fragrance and travel on."
"When Nature strikes her fists in anger,
whirling passions up in flight,
Man can only stand in wonder,
witnessing this awesome sight.
Through flashes of light 
And roars of thunder,
he contemplates the life he's dole.
For this is a time of revelation...
 Some call it the Dark Night of the Soul."

Well that's all for now. If you want to read some really interesting thought provoking works of poetry, check out nothingprofound's blog at

The Magic Spell of English Toffee

What can I say? I am a sucker for chocolate and I am in LOVE. LOVE. LOVE with English Toffee. Sunday afternoon I picked up an eight ounce container of Trader Joe's English Toffee. There is something about the taste of toffee covered in tiny pieces of crunchy almonds that sends me to a very very special place I call "toffee heaven". 

By some magical spell or curse I should say, I find myself already down to one piece of crunchy, creamy, melt in your mouth goodness left.

I want to savor it but it is like a siren, seductively singing me toward it oblivious to the inevitable crash to my doom awaiting my next trip to the scale.

Ah well. Such are the many pitfalls of modern living.

Perhaps, I can postpone my last voyage to "toffee heaven" by taking Rusty for his walk before I lose all self-control. I know it is not nice to use my dog in such a way but hey, he can't eat any of it so he could not understand or probably even care as long as I get him out and over to the nearest tree.

Good bye for now, English Toffee. Savor you more later...

Thoughts Make Reality

I've recently been jumping into some enjoyable discussions on the Blog Catalogue site, when I am reminded of what I consider an essential truth. We are all a product of our thoughts. It doesn't matter if you are talking about religion, politics, current events, or even fitness goals as I have in prior posts. If you step back, it is pretty clear your way of thinking is largely the defining factor in determining where you are on your life's journey.

I know I know this seems way too self-evident. Yet, how often do we stop to think about what exactly is behind what we often say to others and more importantly ourselves? What clues can we gather from our languaging of words to help us change our direction if that is really what we want to do?

When you are having a discussion with someone, especially when you have opposing views, your responses can tell you something. It made me think, what is the point of hollering and screaming at someone you disagree with? If my belief is real for me, I can be open to other views but in the end it is my own view that matters to me as it is what shapes my choices. A million people may think I am going to roast in hell for what they perceive as being sinful but who cares if I don't hold that belief system? A hundred people can cheer me on and say you can run that marathon, no problem, go for it! However, if I have doubts, my experience will be filled with self-imposed grief, stress and anxiety.

We are all Kings/Queens of the realm of our own mind. I suppose the key is to be aware of how your thinking is affecting you and changing that which holds you back from living your best life. If not, it seems to me you are dooming yourself to a life of misery.

Your thoughts make your reality; might as well make it a good one!  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Coo Coo" for Coconut Milk!

 I have had some interesting food cravings since I started running and "detoxing". I have ALWAYS loved coconut, but right now it tastes so delicious I cannot get enough if it. I am not talking about the prepackaged Silk Coconut milk which is tasty. I mean the homemade blended in my Ninja from scratch version with the creamy foam mingling with the finely grated coconut meat and water all in one cold glass.

Cracking open a whole nut is a bit of a pain. However, I luckily can drive to my favorite spot in Los Feliz called India Sweets & Spices. I can pick up a bag or two of coconut meat pieces and store in freezer and quickly use on those days I just don't want to wait to make my blended liquid delight.

To be honest, I am not sure if my body is craving something in the coconut or I am simply awakening childhood memories of my family's tropical roots and my mum's cooking. Maybe there is some nutritional effect it is having on my sore muscles, or... it's all in my head.

Either way, it has made a resurgence into my diet and I am going to ride with it and research the nutritional benefits further.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE coconut!!.

Reviving Saturday Morning Runs in Griffith Park

It's 9:00 a.m.on a beautiful Saturday morning and I already finished my 3 mile scheduled run for the day. I not only feel good, I feel like I have accomplished so much!

The smartest thing I did was reach out to my old running buddy Monse to see if she was interested in meeting me on Saturdays for a short run. She immediately agreed. We actually go way back to 2002 when we both signed up withe the LA AIDS Marathon training program that trained us to run the Honolulu marathon. We both were in the same training group "Miki Gorman" as they sorted folks by pace  groupings. We met every Saturday morning for months at Griffith Park. It was such an amazing, bonding experience the six of us who ran together kept in touch and get together on occasion over the years.  Monse and I in recent years decided to meet on Saturday mornings as we did in the past at 7 a.m  to run or just walk together to have some level of fitness in our week.  We have had many wonderful conversations along the way.

Last year we stopped our Saturday meetings as she and her hubby Mike were about to have a baby. Now that their beautiful son Matthew has arrived and they have had time to adjust, she coincidentally was looking for a fitness outlet so the Universe gave me another sign I am on the right track! She jumped at the opportunity to get back to our Griffith Park morning runs.

Today was our first run/walk session. It was fantastic because running with a partner forced me to pick up my pace and having someone to talk to, I thought less about the body aches and enjoyed the scenery and comraderie of running in a park full of weekend runners.

When I got home I immediately took Rusty for his morning walk and now I am ready to eat something.

I'm still at the early stages of my training. However, I feel my focus on taking things slowly and running no matter what, except on my scheduled rest day, is progressing nicely. Establishing a regular commitment feels like a solid base I can build on as i run on my own during the week.

Today I think I will do some nutrition research. Eventually I will need to address my nutritional needs so I help not gurt my body as I increase my exercise regime.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

1 Step Forward 2 Steps To The Nearest "Little Caesars"

What just happened? 

Before I could press "publish" on my last post, I got up, grabbed my keys and drove down the road to the nearest "Little Caesar's" Pizza place. It was almost surreal. The parking lot was full so I had to park two blocks away. I was literally racing against time to get a large pepperoni before the 10 pm closing time.   For some bizarre reason, I parked in the red zone and raced 2 blocks to get that damn pizza. I ran faster for that pizza than I did during the entire 3 mile trek. Now that says something.  What exactly, I do not know just yet.   

The good news is, I at no time considered running to the nearest 7Eleven for a pack of smokes. At the moment, I look at this pizza indulgence as an acceptable temporary alternative. Hey... I can't change every bad habit at once. 

I will say, there is little chance I will mindlessly devour the whole pizza as I made the mistake of tuning into the new NBC series "Hannibal". There is no quicker appetite suppressant than an engrossing hour long story about a cannibalistic serial killer. The actor, , playing Hannibal is fantastic.

Wow, that was a weird moment in time.  I must be insane...I raced like a madman for a slice of pizza and now I am more interested in "Hannibal" than in eating anything.

I'm predicting a night of very strange dreams.

Another 3 Miles Done!

I may just call it a night early tonight. I completed my 3 mile run about 45 minutes ago. I have less euphoria and more of a craving to sleep. As I type this, Rusty who didn't go with me tonight, is snoring like a champ and making me sleepy.

I will say it was much better running on my own. As weird "withdrawal" induced thoughts arose, I found it easy to let them pass along as my sore muscles made it too exhausting to get too attached to anything other than finishing my scheduled miles. This much I will say about tonight's run, my fat ass is so sore, I literally feel each muscle as I walk. If that is not proof that some about of ass fat has melted, I don't know what will!

"Eye of The Tiger", Man...

I have a feeling I am going to be listening to this song every single day. Whatever it takes. Okay. Facing facts... The roadblock "du jour" is powering through my cigarette addiction. Yes... I once again fell off the "nicotine free" wagon. I didn't talk about it or blog about it because, frankly, it is hugely embarrassing that this crutch has had such a hold on me! However, acknowledging it has been the tool to keep my emotions stuffed down gives me the mental window to address it. I am thinking, instead of focusing on "I need to quit smoking", I am going to focus on "I need to keep running". Cigarettes are just a "roadblock" to my marathon training. When the "dam" it has been supporting breaks, hopefully I will "RUN" through whatever crap floods to the surface.

Listening to this song gives me a boost so whatever works, baby. I've got about 6 hours until my scheduled 3 mile run/walk for the day. From now until then, I may just have this song ingrained in my brain. That's the beauty of music and film. It's not just the song but the inspiration to fight that I got from my love of "Rocky" that may just keep me going through these rough patches!.

I have always believed you are the sum total of your thoughts. It is about time I take charge of the thoughts I allow to take hold of my mind. Clearly my mental tape is in need of a script revision!     

Life is good! Even during the rough times.

"Eye of the Tiger", man!!

Commitment: Getting Real, Staying Real, Following Through

I think it would be fair to say that a commitment isn't much of a commitment if it didn't require you to work through issues that surface along the way.

Exercise has been a hurdle I have had to climb for a while now in recent years. It is time to get real. At the risk of seeming self-indulgent, I am going to blog my way through whatever issues arise on this marathon adventure.

Wow. Last night I went to bed with such euphoria and sense of excitement for what lay ahead. This morning I woke up sore, not particularly excited to take Rusty for his morning walk, and craving more than the 8 hours sleep I received. I can almost feel the excuses lurking in the back of my mind that would rationalize why I should not fit in a 3 mile run/walk today as scheduled.

This issue may not seem like much of a stumbling block. It's a 3 mile run/walk.  However, this is the root of most of my life issues. If I make a commitment to another person to do something for them, short of being at death's door, I will push through anything that arises to get the job done for them. Yet if I make a commitment to myself, I have a lousy record of achieving  sustained follow through. Eventually my plans for myself crumble. Hence the focus on planning this time around.

If I am being completely honest, I have discovered some things about myself recently in acting class that I am seeing has had a rather pervasive effect in my life. Isn't it funny how you can have something active in your life for years but you never allowed yourself to see it until you were ready?

As much as I have tried to let go of the "victim mindset" that came with being severely bullied throughout my teens, I simply shifted to a  "people-pleaser" in hopes of avoiding attracting bullies in my life. Instead, they took on different, slightly more tolerable forms like a friend who no one understands why I keep in my life as he says really nasty things but I smile through it with a cigarette or a plate of food to make it more palatable. I have stuffed down so many damn emotions over the years, going to the gym is dangerous! Workouts flush the nicotine out and that is like setting the fuse of a very large stick of dynamite slowly working towards an explosion of emotion.

My challenge? Making RUNNING the medicine for the emotional issues that will come up instead of cigarettes and food.  I truly believe my addiction to cigarettes is less physical and more mental/emotional as I have not found a better tool for stuffing down emotions.  You'd think as an actor I would see the stupidity of this as it is only a roadblock to my becoming a more emotionally available and dare I say more successful actor.

Ugh... I hate talking about this stuff publicly as it feels more than a wee bit self-indulgent after a while. Yet, I am over this people pleasing crap. I want to follow through on the things I know are important to MYSELF.

It is odd that my whole urge to run the LA Marathon came from not wanting to give in to the fear generated by those terrorists in Boston. Yet, hasn't that been exactly what I have been doing to myself for years? I have been allowing those F@#$#$ "teen aged terrorists" in my childhood neighborhood to shape my behavior as an adult without realizing it.  What the F%$@%! is that about?! I'm sick of this crap holding me hostage to the past! Time to exercise my way out of "Victim Land" for good.

Look out folks, it's gonna be hitting the fan on this journey!

I am either gonna deal with my demons on the road and the gym or I am going to remain stuck in my FEAR with cigarettes and Doritos  to keep me company as I rationalize why I am still out of shape and my career is stagnating. No pressure. Just follow through.

Well... I didn't create a blog to just write about the good stuff.

Jeez... I am only halfway through Day 2.
I think I need to listen to my "Marathon Mantra" for strength! :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Accepting Inspiration When It Comes

I think I am still on a runner's high because it is 11pm and I feel really good! Rusty, however, is out for the count! Usually I am a bit stressed out and sluggish. I hope this is a sustainable benefit of  getting off my butt and exercising. :)

Before I go to bed, I have to send out a thank you to a Blog Catalog blogger friend, Michelle, for an inspiring post of her first big marathon experience in my hometown of Philadelphia!

We both were moved by the recent events in Boston. Shortly after my decision to commit to running the LA Marathon next year, I stumbled upon her blog post. It resonated to me as a confirmation from the "Universe" that I was somehow on the right track.

Reading her recounting of her adventure at the Rock n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon, I felt motivated to take action on my plan. The article got me thinking of "Eye of The Tiger" which I have adopted as my Marathon Mantra! Hey, I am a first generation born and bred Philadelphian..."Rocky" is almost a part of my DNA so even though the song may be old, it boosts my spirit in some primal way! haha! Who knows but it is a keeper for this new adventure of mine! Thanks, Michelle!

It also got me to consider checking out the Rock n' Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon on October 27th. I haven't committed yet but it feels like a nice training benchmark to help build my confidence for my trek to the big one in March 2014!

I love discovering what I see as confirmations from the Universe. Yes... it may be more of a sign of impending insanity but whatever gets me out running for MILES with a smile on my face is by definition INSPIRATIONAL!

If you get a chance, check out Michelle's blog if you want a little inspiration of your own. The post is "The Finish Line" dated April 16

MARATHON TRAINING DAY 1: Let The Adventure Begin!

Que Bueno!!! The adventure begins! I just finished my initial 3 mile run/walk training session. I thought it would be a painful start. I was pleasantly surprised that I not only survived but sort of enjoyed myself. ...Sort of.

I decided this journey would be more physically challenging and more intelligently planned. To start, I spent part of the afternoon creating a weekly plan that stretches from today until March 9, 2014. So far I have constructed the structure, mapping out all 47 weeks from now until race day. I have left space open under each day to eventually schedule in the miles I will run each day.  I am learning as I go. For now, I have the plan of sticking with a 3 mile run/walk routine everyday but Friday until I can comfortably run the 3 miles either completely or considerably more than I walk. Eventually I will adjust the schedule to include cross-training, short runs, speed runs and longs runs. However, for now I am taking things very slow and steady.

My goal is to run the LA Marathon within 4 to 4hrs.30min.   The last time I ran the LA Marathon I did it in 6hrs.30min. It was not fun and I felt delirious. In retrospect, my training plan was random and lacking much commitment. This time around, let's see what planning and hard work will allow me to accomplish!

Tonight, was a bit of a hot mess but I had enough distractions in play to keep my mind off feeling tired or wondering if I could complete the 3 mile challenge. I filled my ipod with a list of motivational songs , followed by a few beginner's lessons of Spanish. To add more brain confusion I took Rusty with me. At first we had a little trouble coordinating. When I started slowing to a walk to catch my breath, Rusty wanted to keep going then when I got my second wind, Rusty saw a lamppost, tree or telephone pole he had to suddenly stop at to sniff. After a while, we caught our stride and we started enjoying the evening breeze.

I think I will bring Rusty less and less as I move forward. Sadly, Rusty appears to be in better condition than I am. I want to reverse that scenario. If he ever gets loose or runs off his leash, I have no desire to run after a dog that I've trained to run for miles. Call me crazy but he is already fast. I don't need him getting faster.

I have much to learn but I am feeling good about the direction I am taking. Keeping things simple and working my plan looks like it might just work!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Staying Defiantly Positive in The Wake of Boston Marathon Tragedy!

It has been difficult to feel much joy as the tragic story of the Boston Marathon bombing unfolds. My heart still breaks as I learn more of the death of eight year old Martin Richard and the injuries suffered by his mom and sister. While any loss of life is tragic, such a young life cut short as senselessly as those lost in the Newtown massacre simply gives one pause.

Whomever this terrorist is, he/she intended to spread fear and pain .

For whatever reason, this recent bombing has filled me with this overwhelming urge to sign up for the LA Marathon. It may seem completely stupid but, I don't like this feeling of helplessness, fear and sadness that seems to grow like a weed in one's soul. I don't want to let fear dictate what choices I make.

So, I plan to get training early, save money for the registration, and run next year through the fabulous streets of Los Angeles WITHOUT fear.

Life is short and MUST be ENJOYED! If not what are we doing? Surviving? Existing? Surrendering to FEAR? It sure isn't living.

I've run the marathon in the past but my training, frankly lacked much enthusiasm. Perhaps this time around, I may appreciate the journey and ENJOY each day just a little bit more. Who knows what tomorrow may bring so why not LIVE as FULLY as you can?!

I will keep you posted on my training adventure as it unfolds. I am definitely starting from scratch!

With a little luck I may even finally get into the "competitive" shape, personally and professionally, that I have yet to achieve as a result.

At times like this remember, LIFE is GOOD, if we let it!

My love to all. Whomever you are!

Rest in peace little Martin. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paying My Respects to Roger Ebert of "Siskel & Ebert"

Roger Ebert
I would be remiss if I did not pay my respects to film critic, journalist and screenwriter Roger Ebert who passed away on April 4, 2013 for his contribution to my own love of film.

Gene Siskel

I grew up watching "Siskel and Ebert" and loved watching their enthusiastic debate of  what makes good film and what flicks were or were not worth checking out. They were passionate about their opinions. As film critics of rival Chicago newspapers, they took their jobs seriously. They may not have liked each other much from time to time but were fun to watch.  I didn't always agree with their reviews but they always gave me "food for thought."

Now that both men have passed, an era has truly come to an end.

"Two Thumbs Up" won't be the same without them.

I found this clip of outtakes from the 80's where it was pretty clear they didn't like each other very much at the time they taped this promo. It's actually pretty funny. 

Thoughts And Prayers Go To Boston

It is frightening to comprehend how fragile life can be. At any moment tragedy can strike. I just heard on the news that one of the two confirmed dead was an eight year old child.

My heart is breaking... To think that there are individuals who deliberately choose to inflict such chaos, mayhem and deadly terror into the lives of others boggles my mind.

It seems these incidents are destined to be a regular part of our lives. We can only soldier on and not allow such horrific events to keep us from living our lives fully and without fear. Giving in to the fear these bombings are designed to instill in us is a victory we cannot allow these terrorists to have.

I have visited Boston and have friends living there. It is a beautiful city that reminds me so much of Philadelphia where I was born and raised. East coasters are made of sturdy stuff. I know they will rally together to help each other get through.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Boston. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What's up with The LA River?

Okay, I needed a quick break from this barking trio and went for a five minute walk along the tree-lined Glendale neighborhood my friends call home. I took a right turn and discovered the LA River that runs just off the backyard of the house I am spending the next few days.

Now, I understand the Los Angeles River is nothing like it use to be in its heyday but damn! I stood looking down from an overpass and what I saw was so miniscule I was nothing short of shocked. I've seen more water flowing from a water hose!

(I found this pic on the web. It has much more flowing water than what I just saw. Also, there's no art work or people wandering about.)

You would think that if only for sake of city pride, we would want to see the historic LA River restored to something at least vaguely resembling a river if not a stream or brook. It is just sad. I am sure it MUST look for majestic somewhere else in LA. I know it flows a bit more in Studio City near where I live but even there it is a pathetic example of LA's natural environment.

I suppose this is the price of city expansion. Millions contiue to come to Southern Californa for any number of reasons. I did the same thing so I am not complaining about that issue. I get it. City resources are beyond strained as anyone with a car dodging the countless potholes would attest. Yet, there must be someone in charge of caring for the LA River. Right? 

I want to investigate the history of the river and see if there are indeed any restoration effort underway. There must be something.   I am no activist but man, the literal "life" of a city is one of the things that make a city a great place to live. It should be valued more by all of us who live here. Just my thoughts.

3 Dogs and a Rabbit in Glendale

What a week I am having!

I'm here in sunny Glendale housesitting/dog sitting for my friends Jim and April as they take a mini family vacation. I'm doing my thing as I take care of  Rusty (my boy), Daisy, Harmony (a rather energetic puppy), and a huge rabbit whose name escapes me. Thank the Lord the rabbit is in a cage.

Of course, as I tried to prepare for this event, I have been surprised to get a stream of coaching gigs filling each day since Monday. When I finally packed and drove over to Glendale, two minutes into relaxing in the backyard, enjoying the evening breeze, I got a text that I had an audition. Needless to say, I failed to bring either my headshot/resume or attire appropriate for auditioning.:) So back I went to my place in NoHo (North Hollywood).

I was delirious with exhaustion when I eventually got back to Glendale. Word of advice, never get so wrapped up in your day that you forget to eat. You will pay for it later:)

I was craving sleep last night. I quickly put Harmony in her kennel for the night and dove into bed. Rusty decided he just had to sleep pressed up against the back of my calves. Daisy lounged on a nearby couch but for some reason decided at 3am and later at 5am that it would be fun to walk up to my face, give me a kiss and a paw smack in case I was enjoying my sleep a little too much. I eventually had to tell her I was not interested in her sleeping with her butt literally in my face so she scooted over and I drifted back to "lala' land.

This morning I was greeted by Daisy who curled up near me. Daisy is a little diva who likes to be held and left alone by her loud and rough housing niece Harmony. Harmony enjoyed herself barking at a workman next door as he attempted to get rid of a wasp nest. Rusty meanwhile was making kissy face with Mr. Rabbit as if they are new bestfriends. What a way to start the  day!

I just returned from my audition at the Hollywood Center Studios  an hour or so ago and I look forward to what adventures this pack of animals have in store for me tonight.:)