Dec 30, 2010

2010 Review! Big year, big changes!

New Years Eve is one of my favorite celebrations. Even though when the clock strikes midnight, nothing profound or life changing happens in that instant, it's nice to feel that "clean slate feeling" that comes with a new year. I started this blog at the end of 2008 and here we are, gearing up for year three. A lot has changed in those few years, and in the last year alone. 2010 was nothing short of ginormous. There's gonna be a lot to this blog post, so let's start with a little 2010 recap.


I shot my first centerfold for a magazine!
Sunday Slacker is a new pinup magazine based in Las Vegas who approached me to be their #3 issue centerfold.
They later asked to use a picture from a Fresh Peaces Swimwear suit for issue #5.

I shot for Fresh Peaces Swimwear, located in California. The photos were displayed in their store & on their mailers.

I got to do some awesome runway this year and walk for designers I'd never walked for before.
Art Meets Fashion was huge and lovely and I got to wear two looks (one was a vintage swimsuit) by McKell Maddox

A month or two later was The Girly Show put on by The Hive Gallery where I got to walk in a Krista Nielson swimsuit and a vintage wedding dress by Betsy Barker.

You may think I'm okay wearing anything in front of anyone at anytime. This is almost completely true. However, I don't care who you are, wearing a swimsuit on a runway is big. It was a way bigger deal to me than a burlesque performance, a photo shoot in something barely there or even onstage nudity. I'm proud of myself, can check that one off the list and we'll see if that ever happens again. Ha ha.

I had a moment where I was ready to quit pinup. Pinup definitely found me. I did not seek it out. I found I had quite a knack for it and this year, more than ever I was asked to shoot pinup. I never want to be pigeon holed so for a little bit I was turning things down. Then I realized I can't escape it, it comes super easy and it's super fun. I want to do it all while I can, so I gladly gave back in!

Tami of RubySnap (formerly My Dough Girl) Cookie shop asked me to be her December pinup so my picture was in her store the month of December and "my cookie" The Noelle, was truly the best cookie I'd ever had in my life!

I did another Pinups for Pups event, a little fashion show fundraiser and this time my very own pup, Noodles got to walk the runway and get some adorable pics with me. Anytime I can involve him in anything is special to me. I even got to wear the fancy and beautiful little chihuahua necklace that my dad got me earlier this year.

I did some of my favorite photo shoots ever this year and met more photographers, make up artists and hair stylists that are not only talented as can be, but now new friends.

The beginning of the year I found myself in Vegas modeling for a Paul Mitchell hair show. Not only was the wardrobe, hair and makeup stunning, but I got to see old friends who live in Vegas that I hadn't seen in years.


IN Magazine. They are so fantastic there. I modeled for SLC's first Fashion Week issue in the spring, then got on the cover for Halloween as Wonder Woman! I've been on covers before, but never by myself. That was pretty special for me.


Did you know...that I have done at least two plays a year for over ten years?

With the exception of my first year of training in NYC when we weren't allowed to audition while we were re-learning / learning a new technique.

2010 will be one of the most precious to me, if not the most, in terms of acting.

I was asked to do the first ever reading of "The Persian Quarter" at SLAC, as well as a reading for Plan B's Script in Hand series.

I made my Plan B debut and couldn't have asked for a better role. Sor Juana in the world premiere of "Amerigo" was a beautifully written role and I savored every minute.

I also did two things I'd yet to do. Plan B's Banned/Slammed. I was an actor in one of the 10 minute plays. Got there at 9am was performing by 7pm. Talk about adrenaline rush.

The other was going to a town I'd never heard of. Helper, UT to perform in a reading of a new play at a theatre there. After getting over the fact that I would have to live in a co-ed building and share a bathroom...performing the piece was actually very fun.

Hair. Oh my god. Hair. You know those experiences that are so special once it's over you kinda tuck it away, and can't really talk about it to those who weren't directly involved? That was Hair. I lived it, and my experience was this: I felt extremely lucky every minute to be playing my dream role, Sheila, in my favorite musical. I almost never got over that it was real. That I got to do it. My costume was exactly what I always envisioned. When Heidi came to my house for a fitting I couldn't believe it. I hadn't said anything...and there it was. All I ever wanted was to sing "Good Morning Starshine" on stage. I can't believe I got to. I got to work with my husband again. No matter what anyone things, that doesn't get me an automatic in. He doesn't have all the say as musical director. I still auditioned, and was actually thought of for another role in the beginning. It's quite amazing when my love and I get to be on stage together. It doesn't happen often, I never know when it could be the last time. Again, I felt extremely lucky (it was his dream show as well, to musically direct and play drums on) and there we were. Not only that but it's the theatre where we met. I was working on one of two equity guest artist contracts. They didn't have to use me. They did. I never took the opportunity or experience for granted. It could not have happened to a more appreciative actress. The cast was perfect. I got to work opposite my Freddy Lee who I adore, and it marked musical #3 for us. I've never in my life experienced that kind of an opening night, and a closing night. Again, I lived it. So did those who were a part of it. We may be the only ones to truly understand it. To say it was a profound experience is an understatement. We are forever bonded.

The above photo just might be my favorite photo of me of all time. Did you know that I don't usually like photos of myself smiling ? But this one is capturing a moment. So much joy on my face, I've never seen anything like it. Pretty amazing.



I booked more gigs through the year with my agents than ever before. While being on set is exhausting I really do love it. I hope to do more of it!

I auditioned and was cast in "Persian Quarter" at Salt Lake Acting Co. over the summer and am now just four days away from starting rehearsals.

I celebrated my three year YouTube anniversary.

KUTV2 Morning Show. This was incredible. Because of YouTube, they found me and had me on as various characters. First as little Miss Honey bee interviewing Edward and Jacob look a likes at the New Moon premiere here, another character, Jan where they had me all over the place! I was doing the weather, the traffic, you name it and I did it that day! I was also a Sarah Palin impersonator. Then I was asked to fill in for Casey as a feature reporter for three days! One day was with roller derby girls, another with Keith Bryce, then at a RV toy shop. I absolutely love Ron, Mary, Debbie and Casey. What great people!

Filling in, Keith Bryce interview:
Sarah Palin in Utah:
Jan on the news:
Honey Bee w/Edward & Jacob:
2.) and

There were three Voodoo Darlings Burlesque performances this year, the beginning of the years was the Rat Pack Revue at Fort Douglas. I took it easy on this one. I was literally just up from surgery and was determined to do it. Libertease for Jake Shannon (Sondra's husband, Sondra runs Pinpus for Pups and Jake is the one who hypnotized me...if you've seen that video) to raise money for his run for congress. This one was at studio 27 and was a fun little routine and a good excuse to wear my Victoria Secret flight attendant costume! Last but not least was our first Halloween show, at Fort Douglas. I did my Ludo's Love me Dead routine. This was the third time over the last few years and it's one of my favorites.

By the way...for those of you not in the burlesque scene that may not be sure what goes on or why I do it, here's your answer. I either do a funky dance routine, often with some humor or my routine is old school. Prancing around, slowly removing gloves, etc. A cutesy smile on my face the entire time. Think Michael Jackson's bad, or Madonna's Like a Virgin. I usually have a lot of accessories I remove throughout dropping the main pieces at the very end of the song. Panties, bra. Yes, there has been pasties once or twice. But almost always it's no more than a gal in a swimsuit. Why? I'm no prude, for starters. I've never been one to feel self conscious about the human body, nudity, etc. And what it boils down to is this. One day when I'm a wrinkly old granny I'm gonna love to have pictures to look back at and say, "Damn. Granny had it goin' on!" ;)

October 1 2010 was my first zumba class and I was addicted. I have never worked out. I have never enjoyed it. But it's true that you have to find your own personal workout and what's fun to you. I never feel like I have to do it or that it's work. I'm totally in love with it. In fact, I haven't been this in love with something in years and years.

Big changes this year. Rekindled with a long lost friend and realized how important that was and how I don't hold grudges like I always claimed. Taught me a lot about the power of forgiveness and put the really important people in my life in perspective. I felt it was better for me to distance myself from other friends that I felt like I kept supporting and really giving to but just wan't getting it back. I got together with some of my oldest friends in the world and it was magical. I spent more time with other friends and grew even closer with them. I made new friends. I feel very fulfilled in the friendship department. I wish no ill will on anyone, I'm not out to make an enemy. I'm out to surround myself with those who truly care about me and who give equal loyalty and love.

This topic I don't seriously delve into too often on the web. If you know us, you know it's pretty magical for us.
We just celebrated our 6th christmas together. I don't know how I ever got on without him.

* * * * * * * * * *

I've said it before & I'll say it again. I don't believe in making new years resolutions. One of my favorite quotes that plays in my head regularly is from the movie Vanilla Sky, "every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around".

People put too much pressure on New Year resolutions, they set the impossible, expecting a life makeover and inevitably fail. We can make a change at any day, at any time, no matter how big or small. And it doesn't have to be everything at once.

So. What have I learned in this last year? This year full of things I thought I'd never do, always wanted to do, learned I could do? I learned that nothing is impossible, that's for sure. And that, "that which doesn't kill you, makes you...well...not dead" ;)

I also felt myself slip into a strange place I'd never been. A place of extreme doubt and sensitivity at times. I lost my adolescent "I don't care what you think" attitude and became a sensitive woman, I suppose. I didn't lose my confidence or my belief in myself, but I found my feelings hurt a lot and found it hard to cope with it. I'm still processing that. Perhaps I wrapped my entire identity up in the performing me the last few years, and needed a reminder that it's healthier for me to keep *me* separate from that. When I remember to do that, I feel balanced again.

I learned more than ever how literally I take everything, which just means I'm going to end up more hurt than someone who might not. If someone makes plans with me, says they'll do something, wants to meet, etc. whatever it is...I believe it. When things fall through, I don't understand.

I put myself out there. In all I do. No matter who says they don't care what anyone thinks, at the end of the day we are all only human and judgements and insults and opinions and assholes can weigh heavy. Especially considering how much I do.

The more you do, the more you risk, the more you're judged.

But I'll never apologize for my art.

My favorite word ever is BRAVE. Thanks, Robert Bella, a teacher in NYC who had a big impact on me, for teaching me the true meaning of that word. No matter what I do in my life, I will never let fear hold me back. Fear of failure, fear of change, fear in general. I will always be brave.

I'm tattooing that on my arm one of these days.

People truly forget (when you're in the public eye, or a performer) that you're a real person with feelings, families, a life etc. They think you're just there to entertain them. That if they don't like what you do, no matter how much of yourself and how much thought, care and time when into something, that they can flat out tell you that you suck. Well ouch.

Some days I can brush that off, and some days it stings.

People also form misconceptions from what they see. They think I have an eating disorder, they think I'm stuck up, etc. I'm constantly telling people I've been this size and weight since I was 14 years old. I don't think I could gain or lose weight if I tried, and that yes, I eat plenty. You'd be surprised. It's one thing to honestly ask "how do you stay slim" and another to point something out in the middle of eating something, or falsely accuse me of a serious disease. It's rude, and more than that, ignorant. And I'm probably one of the most humble performers you'll ever meet. That was ingrained in me in school in NYC. Just because I post a photo shoot online doesn't mean I think I'm all that. Again, I have never felt entitled, I have always felt nothing but very, very lucky. I don't like braggarts. I can accept a compliment but I always play things down and I don't tell people about the things I do unless they ask me. On YouTube, I present myself in a variety of ways. One day I'll be glam and the next I'm in a mustache. Hell, I've even uploaded videos when I've had a breakout! If you were under the impression that I thought I was too cool for school, you clearly haven't seen the god awful pictures I post of myself on my daily booth ;) In real life, I'm very guarded. It takes awhile for me to let someone in.

*I know I'm supposed to give the standard reply of "Oh I don't let it get to me" but come on, I'm real and want everyone to remember that everyone is.

I am no saint, but I don't want to be the cause of someone's hurt feelings, when they've never wronged me. I don't get why anyone would.

But I think what weighed heaviest was how hard I am on myself. It's important for me to put all the cool things I did this year in writing, because I rarely live in the moment (and look, they're super cool things! Not everyone gets to do what they want to do, and I'm very lucky). I am always ahead, on fast forward. I am worrying about what comes next, what I can do that's bigger and better and I put to much pressure on myself. I realized my "internal dialogue" with myself is very, very negative. It's all about what isn't. What I didn't do. What wasn't right, what doesn't look good. Where does this come from, you ask? My parents didn't raise me like taskmasters. My sweetheart is the most supportive and laid back man you'll ever meet. It's all from me. Me wanting to be out there. To be known, to be the best, to be a professional. And I know I had to be. I couldn't be lazy, I couldn't settle. But speaking to yourself in all negative terms is no way to live.

At my core I know I'll always be an actress. It's in my bones. It's what I do. But I remember what it was like when I was just starting, and how fun it was, and the passion I had, and how bad I wanted it. I was certain I wanted it more than anyone else on the entire earth, and no way could all these professional actresses want it as bad as me, so why don't they move over and let me get the roles? "Be careful what you set your heart on for it will surely be yours", that's exactly what happened. :)

You do something until it's not fun any more, right? Then you make way for someone with that fire to have a turn. Now hold up, don't worry, like I said it's at my core and it's what I do. And if you follow me online, or on this blog alone, even then you know that I rarely get this personal. You should also know that it's my public diary. That women are fickle and change their minds every day, ha ha. An entry from two weeks ago might be the opposite of how I feel now. It's purely my thoughts one day to the next.

So don't freak out over what I'm about to say next...because if a once in a lifetime role or opportunity comes knocking I'm clearly not going to turn it down. But I am serious this time when I say that I'm going to say no more!

Saying no to a project is very hard for me. I hate to think that I'm missing out on something. I love to do. My love of performing comes from being little, seeing it, and wanting to be that. I later learned performing was my emotional outlet as well. I've never been the type of person who seeks attention in my day to day real life. I have my moments of being much more quiet than you may think based on my online persona. I don't do it to be showered with praise and compliments. But when someone tells me that I've inspired them, well it doesn't get any better than that.

But. I am thinking of taking the rest of the year off after Persian Quarter to let myself physically and mentally rest. To breathe. To try a few months of the most "normal" kind of life I've ever had. I need to start being nicer to myself and not being my own worst enemy, to pat myself on the back once in awhile. Clear out the goo and start refreshed. I want to be able to relax for a few months. To see what it feels like to hang out with family and friends and not have the stress of a million things I need to get done in the back of my head.

What else does this mean? Changes. Really, really big changes.

Career changes and lifestyle changes coming up for 2011.

Sound mysterious? Good. All will be revealed in due time!

Stay tuned...!

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  1. Wonderful blog Deena!! I love love love it!! You are definitely an inspiration. <3

  2. 2010 was great for you! Hey SNL: HIRE HER!!! She's a goldmine in talent!

    Happy New Year "Twin Sister"!