May 31, 2011

Changing your body.

If you follow me here then you know that the topics of weight, body image and working out comes up every now and then. And you also know that I have been a person my entire life who never worried about what I was ate. I could brag about eating an entire pizza. I also didn't work out. Sure I'd have the occasional walk on the treadmill, but not regularly.

Then I went to a zumba class on October 1, 2010 purely because I was missing something. I was missing moving, physicality. Sure I got it through dance when I was younger and now through the occasional musical. When it's nice out I love to go for walks. But I wanted to be active, for the sake of being active. I wanted to feel useful and not lazy.

This has started me on a path of changes. The way I view my body, what I want for my body and even what I find attractive.

I became addicted to zumba my first class. I went all over, to many instructors and even wanted to teach it for awhile. It was fun. I'd always said I didn't like working out and when I found this I never felt like I was working out. It was just a great and fun hour. I knew if I could find something to get me active, anyone could. After going religiously for the past 8 months I started to cut back a bit. I thought about it. I'm putting in a lot of zumba time. Sure I've come a long way endurance - wise. I can breathe easy through a class. I'm not drenched in sweat after the way I used to be. But did I look different? No. My body did not change. That's when I started realizing if I was going to put in this time, I wanted to see something. And I truly realized then just how much I didn't know.

I didn't know that cardio is the slowest way to lose weight and/or tone up. I also never considered weights or machines at the gym. I mean, those are for guys, right? Wrong. I started to learn about what I'd never considered. If you do want to lose the last 5 or 10 pounds, cardio alone is not going to cut it. You have to add weights and resistance training.

Now, I'm naturally small. But I wouldn't say I've ever been toned. I've never tried to build muscle. I just thought my body wasn't able to tone. But the truth was, I don't know because I've never tried.

I also started to see a new body type popping up. Lean but muscular. With killer arms. I'd never considered wanting to change my body or wanting to tone up like that. Honestly, what I'd always thought was the most attractive was a thin, skinny body (I still do find that attractive and will be the first to tell you many women are naturally that way and it does NOT mean it's a result of an eating disorder). Now I was starting to be intrigued by women with that lean muscle. And how were they doing that to their arms?!

I think what finally pushed me over the other side was the body transformation of Leann Rimes. Now I know a lot of people are going to think she is too thin, or too muscular, or not like her abs, I get that. But you have to be impressed by the work, discipline and time it must have taken to completely transform herself. I mean, look at this:

There you have it in proof that changing your body is possible. Whatever that means to you. To lose weight, to put on weight, to tone certain parts of you, to build certain muscle groups.

I don't need to lose any weight, so don't think I'm saying I need to be skinnier. But I want to learn how to use those machines at the gym and lift those weights to give me the killer arms and tighten me up all over.

I went with a friend, Jenee last week for the first time. She's been training for years and has probably one of the very best bodies I've ever seen. It was so hard for me my first time out, I'd never moved like that. At one point I felt like I was going to be sick. It really surprised me. But it passed and I pushed through.

Today I did my hour of zumba but this time added an hour in the gym. I went through what she'd taught me and even added a little more with weights I'd researched on my own. It was still hard, but even easier to get through today, as in I never got sick and I didn't have to take as long of breaks (don't plan to cut out cardio, but I see now that six days a week is really not what I need). At this point, what I need is to see some changes and results. It's crazy that I've fallen into this whole new thing, I never thought I would. I never thought I'd be in a gym or wanting to see muscle. Now I'm so interested I want to learn everything I could possibly do. This has opened up a whole new world. I want to see myself toned and strong and defined.

I figure in posting this, others who were in the same boat as me will read this and see what is possible too. You just have to do it. Ask someone who looks the way you'd like to look (like I did with Jenee. Everyone will tell you what you should do, but to be blunt, most of these people don't look like they have first hand gotten the results they speak of. As soon as I was put in contact with a female near my age who actually looked the way I wanted to, I jumped on my chance to get her help) what they do and if they can help you learn. Of course you feel awkward the first time you're in the gym learning new things. Even today I felt a little out of place at first. But you look around and see that nobody cares and it's actually very comfortable. I wanted to stay longer and would have but my arms were feeling like jelly by the end. In the best way possible.

I want to write about this publicly, too, so then I'm not tempted to sleep in, or skip a day. You can hold me to it. I want to change my body. One thing seemed to lead to another all starting back in October and I love that my views and interests are expanding. If I want to tone up, then I've got to put in the work. It no longer feels right to sit around wondering why I just don't tone.

It also makes me rethink the "I can eat an entire pizza"! If I'm going to work this hard, I want to feel fueled. I want to eat right, healthier for me. Sure I'm lucky it doesn't pack on the pounds. But it could one day. And I can't help but wonder if I'd have more energy and feel overall better if I tried to limit the pizza and candy diet. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, Giuliana Rancic (another with amazing arms) has a website with tons of workout, health and beauty tips called Fab Fit Fun. Take a look! tons of great tips!

May 30, 2011

Doin' it!

Episode 12 of the "Jack & Coke Lady Show" is here! Can you believe she's been around for over THREE YEARS?! Yeah, me neither. You've met previous guest stars Margarita Mary, Aunt Brandy & Liquored I present to you...Cyrstal Cristal! Enjoy you fabulous bitches.

May 28, 2011

Austin Kleon: To do the math...and at the same time dream

I discovered Austin Kleon when I came across a link to his essay
"How to steal like an artist".

Please read it. I promise it will be the most beautiful & inspirational thing you'll read this year.

Since then, he's become my favorite person to follow on twitter
and tumblr

Through his posts I've become aware of artists, books, images, quotes, excerpts and funny websites that always peak my interest and give me a giggle, dose of inspiration and even the chills.

I'm listening to his "How to steal like an artist" podcast as we speak and wanted to shout him out to anyone reading my blog.

I particularly like his conversation about your twitter, tumblr or flicker as your stock. The stuff that may stick around. Such as a great photo, a poem or blog. He says some of his major traffic comes from things he posted years ago.

Something to think about. "Building flow into stock". Like an archive. "These become the outlines for important things."

His book, "Newspaper Blackout" is just that. Newspaper, blacked out to leave poetry. He still makes them and you can purchase prints or get sneak peeks if you're following him online.

"Art is subtraction". He says in the podcast, "turn off the screen and turn your gaze on the person that is most important to you".

My favorite one he's made to date I even added to my list of favorite quotes:

A couple of things I've stolen (yes, literally. Sorry Austin!) from him and reblogged:

I told you that you'd want to follow him! :)

May 27, 2011

Waiting for it

Lately I've been wondering if "perfect timing" exists. And by lately I mean the last couple of years. So many of us are waiting. Waiting for the perfect moment.

Of course some time frames become more ideal than others, but could we put off doing something we want or need to do forever because the "perfect time" never comes? What if the waiting goes on too long and then our chance is gone? How do you ever know when the moment is truly right?

Below is an interesting article I came across on the subject from called "Perfect Timing Doesn't Exist. Stop Waiting For It" by Shaun Boyd.

It bothers me when I hear people describe a personal set of conditions that need to be met before they can make the next move in their life. Most often, they’re just making excuses — creating obstacles that aren’t actually there, placing the blame on some outside force they can’t control, and choosing to let day after day of inaction turn into many years of waiting for their cosmos to align. In other words, they stay where they’re comfortable until it’s the perfect time to move on.

“Once I find a better job, then I’ll leave this one.”
“Once I save enough money, then I’ll stop living at my parents’ place.”
“Once I’m out of this stressful period of my life, then I’ll quit smoking.”

What’s even worse are the people who connect their obstacles in a way that makes their current situation circular, like a trap they will never escape:

“I can’t pursue my dream career unless I leave my job, but I can’t pay the bills unless I stay at my job.”

Then there’s also the people who have a thousand complaints about their life. They typically don’t even explain any connections between their obstacles, they just rant about anything that’s causing them stress, but do nothing to correct any of it. They’re so overwhelmed they don’t even know where to begin, and their easiest option is to give up.

If any of this sounds familiar, then my advice to you is this:

Stop waiting for that “perfect time” to make your next move. Perfect timing doesn’t exist. It’s fictional. You’ll wait forever for it. There will never be a perfect time to leave your job, move out of state, and start from scratch. Similarly, there will never be a perfect time to get married, have a baby, or have another baby. That’s because no matter when you make these choices, they will involve risk — and it’s the risk involved that makes choices like these easier to put off until another day.

What you often fail to realize is you’re not just waiting, you’re stagnating. You stop growing, hinder your advancement, and basically become dull as a result of your choice to keep life on pause.

If your current job is holding you back, then you should quit.

Seriously. You can quit your dead-end job today. Just walk straight up to your boss and say “I quit.” Leave and don’t come back. The place won’t crumble without you. They’ll find a replacement and be just fine.

Then hop in your car and drive across the country just to see that you can. Just for fun. Just to help you remember that you have a choice.

No car? Hitchhike.

Not your thing? Walk.

I’m sure you see my point: You have more freedom than you realize.

So if you want to create change in your life, then stop waiting. Let go of perfection and act. Once you have, you’ll only regret you didn’t start doing it sooner.

* * * * * * * * * *

The most powerful part to me: You have more freedom than you realize.
A few blogs back I told you I'd come to believe through personal experiences and recognizing the synchronicity around me the last couple of months, I do not believe in accidents. I know that at any given moment I'm on the path meant for me, that I need to accept and allow everything I do and experience as part of my journey. But my question is, when do I just do it already? I know that whenever it is, it's when it was supposed to happen. I just get confused with how to juggle all that I want and plan to do. I know that saying yes to every opportunity that comes my way keeps me on my professional career path, but when do I take a pause for more? For my pilgrimage, for philosophy, math, anthropology, writing (and who knows what else) courses I'd like to take, for family. I book myself so far in advance, right now I have things lined up through May of 2012! I see that I could put off the things unrelated to my career when I stop saying yes to everything and stop pursuing everything career-wise and take action. But of course I worry. I worry about a time out. Who wouldn't? It's always hard to shake it up, but I know that I like to shake it up. The older I get the more I want to know. Performing is wonderful, but I long for more. I want to learn more, I want to be and do so many other things in addition. How do I fit in my six week long pilgrimage in this kind of a schedule? How do I fit in courses that will go over a couple of months? When do I consider, gulp, family? Do I wait until one desire outweighs them all? Or do I just go for it, impulsively and know the rest will fall into place? I'm surprised at myself, but I find I am having a bit of trouble making that leap. Perhaps I am (and I hate to say or even think this) somewhat stagnant? I am "safe" in my in between. In my knowing I want and need so many things besides career, impatient that I have to wait, even. But also safe from having to test new waters and veer of the path. It was always the one and only path I ever saw and ever identified with. Then I started growing up and realizing that things never end up working out exactly as you saw, and you will surprise yourself at every turn. As it turns out, I didn't grow up to be an actress only. I grew up to have an insatiable curiosity about the world. It only intensifies with time. I've learned to accept that more. To know what my true self wants and needs and not worry about what any one else may think. I've also learned that life is long. What I used to consider "old" is only the beginning and humans are amazing, the way we can surprise ourselves at every turn.

“You cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions. Goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for perfect conditions.”
Gary Ryan Blair quotes

“Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It's all about timing.”
Stacey Charter quotes

May 23, 2011

Follow up, video & final blog on the UT Entertainment & Choice Awards

Another very smart, well written and thought out account from a fellow nominee/attendee and his experience with the awards and the night:

*5/27 Looking at my stats to see where all these hits have come from since I've had over 2 k page views in the last few days. Quite a bit of traffic has come from Idol Forums, I'd never seen this site before but I clicked and read the two pages of what people said about the awards. You'll definitely want to read their comments!

Here is the video as promised. Petty things that weren't what I (and others) expected aside, there were definitely big time flaws and scary issues with all of this. Let me explain "in person". Please take this 6 minutes to watch. Especially if you voted, attended, nominated or won. This is important for all of us.

It's not even about winning or an award at this point. It's way beyond that.
There are a lot of things being privately discussed and hopefully it will all be brought to light.

We must support each other, our community & industry here. Both "winners", "losers", and other attendees are in contact at the moment comparing notes. What we're learning is very shocking. Some of us have been sold the same lines, the line you'll see in my video below, "you've got 46% of the vote"! Others were flat out promised things that not only did NOT happen but led to public humiliation.

Paying guests who spoke to Danny Thompson via phone were told a VIP ticket ($90 vs a non VIP $48 ticket) would include access to the VIP lounge where there would be free drinks. While they did get access to the "lounge", or partitioned off corner of the ballroom, they found a CASH bar inside.

The messages of support I've received far, far outweigh the few who actually supported this. I'm so glad I made this video, because I was told by friends who thought all along the awards were phony (due to a website that was not professional and no way to organize the votes) that they thought I was involved in it! Oh god no. No, no, no, no. I did not know any of these people until the "awards" happened and I'll admit, I fell for it! It's easy to get excited about something that I was told was going to be so great, by a master of this kind of manipulation. There were also legitimate names attached, so you don't question. They really new how to fool us.

Watch my video, then take a look here and you'll see what I mean:

PSA called "The Aging Game", Danny stars in this they say as "repentance" and demonstrates just how GOOD he is at fooling you: flash video


If you visit go to charges and type in a'll see for yourself. There is a LOT to learn there.

And do you think I could get straight answers from an executive producer? NOPE.

I had a facebook comment from someone by the name of Tyson Frost whom I've never met but had requested me when the voting period was going on. It said he worked at Power & Industry as an intern. When I posted publicly what I've found out, his comment was how he'd lost all respect for me for "destroying" what he and others worked so hard for. I replied very nicely, in length asked him to teach me rather than defend, please explain. Mike Baird and Doug Clark were the two executive producers. I had met Mike when I picked up my tickets. I wrote to him telling him I'd let it all out in my blogs, asked him my questions regarding how voting was tallied, if he knew Danny's history and why Danny would TELL me how I was doing in the polls. I also asked why Tyson Frost, intern was writing me (wouldn't an intern of a legit business leave discussing something with me to the "higher ups"?) He wrote back but did not address a single one of my questions, other than he had NO idea who Tyson Frost was. I asked my questions again. Nothing. I want my questions answered, prove me wrong and I'll eat my words! Why won't the producers talk to me about the polls, what I was told and how it all worked? Tell me, please, how it's possible x96 and City Weekly lost what with their fans and demographics? Nothing bad about anyone else nominated, I just don't understand it when looking at it mathematically.

I'm gathering quite a collection of screenshots. So are others.

Here was my blog the morning after, before finding out all that I know now.

Did I want to become the unofficial spokesperson for this? No. But at the same time I don't care about "burning bridges" with these people. It's put me in contact with people I VERY much respect and who've not only supported, shared personal experiences, but made me feel very justified with what my gut told me. Many people choose to remain nameless, I get that and respect that. But I hope in exposing what I've learned (the producers thought we WOULD'NT talk? Perhaps if they'd had an honest competition nobody would have started to question it & they would have pulled it off. It is not right to tell someone how they're doing in the polls, to tell multiple nominees that they have 46% of the vote, and to not monitor the voting and only allow for daily votes) & experienced others will think twice before getting involved with this team again. Promoting for them, paying them, wasting their time and getting their hopes up.

You are who you associate with.

Part I :

* 5/26/2011

A picture of the check for the portion that went to charity is online on facebook today. I heard that roughly 1,200 - 1,500 people were in attendance. In that mix were comped guests and guests who paid either $48 or $90 a ticket. You do the math. Quite a success.

Here is a picture of the check that went to Neuroworks. For 3k.

5/27 There has still been no response from the producer I wrote to. And I have to point out that the attempted hateful comments here are not only unintelligent and humorous, but also under an anonymous crass profile name. If you defend these people so much you're taking the time to write here, why not let everyone know who you are? Show you have no problem attaching your name to what you say and who you defend. Same goes for my YouTube video. It was uploaded to a channel of mine with very little subscribers and traffic. I don't have any haters there. I have supporters there. Isn't it funny then, that only with a few hundred views again, were the unintelligent and humorous attempted hateful comments? Under anonymous profiles? (I'd also like to talk about the facebook profile of Tyson Frost and the only other hate message I got via facebook, from facebook profile Robert Jardin. Neither profile to me looks like it has any identifiable pictures or proof that it is a real profile. I'm not accusing, I am asking.) Step forward, all of you hiding behind the internet, as I did. Who are you? Make a case for your argument. Show me facts, prove me wrong. I've said all along, don't get defensive, teach me. But instead, I get name calling and no true rebuttal. And I refuse to play dirty. I'm only sharing what happened to me, my personal experience, and links anybody can find very easily online. It is important to note again, the links at the top of this blog. As well as the podcast of x96 the monday after the awards and the fact that cityweekly has been reposting what I write. I'm not the only one who found this to be a less than stellar experience (various facebook pages say the same, if you know where to look). Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me know the rest. I don't regret speaking up for a second.

May 21, 2011

Utah Entertainment & Choice Awards RECAP!

This blog has had many hits since it was posted,
please see what has happened since:

*BEFORE YOU READ MY BLOG* Please know that this information was literally just brought to my attention. This is the producer who was my contact through all of this:
I had no idea that this was who I was dealing with.

And this link sent to me is regarding ANOTHER scandal, before THAT scandal: I don't trust what went on with the awards and I never would have associated myself with them. Seeing this video and reading these articles, I can't help but wonder where the proceeds are going from the awards? "A portion will go to charity". What's the portion? What's the charity and where does the rest go? Who TRULY benefited from this?

I never would have promoted them at all let alone attended. I am SO SORRY. Shame on me for not researching fully what I was getting involved in, and I am SO sorry I asked for your time and votes. So very sorry. "Winning" an "award" from this would have held no meaning for me now that I know.

This was found out after I wrote the blog, but I would like to leave it up as is to let you know how I was treated and what a let down the night was. Thanks!

Well here we are the morning after. I wanted so badly to open with this, "I've been to movie premieres and other red carpet events in LA, and this was just as grand if not more so!"

But I can't. It was very underwhelming.

Some of those I've talked to have used the words "strange", "uncomfortable", "painful", "lacking", "screwed up", "underhanded", "insulting", "embarrassing" and "odd" to describe the night.

Where do I begin? We walked into the Salt Palace where everyone was mingling in the lobby and the red carpet was set up with the step and repeat, people taking pictures and several interviewers. It looked well lit, it looked crowded, it looked fun. When I went over to get on the carpet, it was a free for all. Some people were under the impression you had to wait in a line, one group of guys had stood their for 30 minutes straight! Other people would duck under the ropes and cut in front, others enter from the other end, it was unorganized. I finally just had to take charge, as did others, and jump in. Nobody was there to keep order of any kind. Everyone was able to rush the carpet. We were under the impression it was special for the "stars", the nominees and press. Nope.

The interviewers were not what I expected. I don't mean to be rude, please please please don't think I am, but it wasn't what I expected. I expected known tv personalities and reporters from channels 2, 4, and 5 (5 being a sponsor, Carole Mikita did shoot a 2 minute or so report but didn't have a spot on interviewing those on the red carpet through all of the arrivals like the other interviewers). Some of the interviewers asked vague unanswerable questions pertaining more to Utah as a state rather than why each nominee was there but some did do their research, and Darren Fromal even knew my characters and asked me what they'd say if they were there! Got to bust out a little honey bee and have fun.

There was NO sign of CNN, I was told by Danny Thompson via phone they would be.

One question which I hadn't considered was, "who are you excited to meet?" I realized I wasn't really excited about seeing anyone other than my friends. I mean, I'm too young to have been a Debbie Gibson fan and too old to be a David Archuleta fan. Plus I don't watch American Idol. But of course I played along, like you do, and tell them how excited you are to have an American Idol in the midst, and perhaps sing for you. It's a good question! I might have asked it too. See, in situations like these it's all about making the event appear far grander. This question makes you feel big celebrities are in the midst! But really, there weren't any, or many, there.

No Jazz Bear, no Jimmer (except via satellite) and Donny Osmond (it was said he would be there via satellite as far as I knew) but patrons seemed to be confused on this.

*Neither David or Debbie performed, just presented! Why not?! I was hearing talk of them being too expensive, is that true??? They were the biggest names in the room, they were right there, why didn't they perform? This crowd would have loved it!

Seating. So it was time to go into the ballroom. Because we'd been given comp tickets, we were assigned a seat. My parents had purchased tickets (not VIP) and were seated elsewhere. That was a drag. I figured VIP would be up front, parents must be at the back. VIP didn't seem to matter here, nor the fact I was nominated and may or may not need to walk up to the front. We were all at the very back.

*I've also just been made award not all nominees WERE comped! Some even had to wait to find a seat!

At this point I was still giving it all a chance, enjoying myself, even able to meet very briefly Danny Thompson himself and tell him congrats on putting it all together.

Then the show started.

The show was rough around the edges. The performances didn't flow. Everything from a pre-teen dance group to a guy singing and playing the guitar (that went on too long) to a rapper with backup booty dancers. It was random. There wasn't a format and it was out of order in the program. Another guy sang in funny voices and did impressions of other singers. There were a lot of lulls and silence between transitions of one thing to the next. It seemed to me the performances were all good, just maybe not the right fit. Some of the presenters I didn't know. Some of the nominees I didn't know. That's fine, I'm not saying I expect to know everyone involved, but I couldn't help but wonder where so many local celebs were? I was very aware of those looked over as nominees, acts and hosts.

There was video for the final award for Alan Osmond that went on way. too. long.

Someone had a great suggestion that there should have been a quick blurb about each nominee, and perhaps a pic and or footage? That definitely would have helped.

The awards. When it came time to announce the award I was up for, "the future", Debbie Gibson and David Archuleta came up to present. I was so nervous. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest. Mainly because whenever I'm announced for anything, I think to myself, "oh my god, what if nobody claps? What if it's crickets out there?!" I was the last name to be announced, by Debbie Gibson. When she said my name, I had my best poker face on and I kid you not, my jaw dropped. I had the most cheers. I don't say this to toot my own horn, I say it because I never think I'm as cool as other people might, I don't think I'm entitled, I just work hard and do what makes me happy. To have that instant of recognition was very special to me. I'll never forget that split second. If nothing else, that was worth it all.

When the name was announced and it wasn't me, it was okay. I mean, I'm a big girl, I knew that going in. I don't need a trophy to show me I am the "future". My life doesn't change. I'm the same me today as I was yesterday, trophy or no trophy. The winner was so happy and I'm very happy for him. Truly. I can always appreciate someone getting their moment. Someone who truly does want it and appreciate it. I can accept that as their journey and I accept what happened to me as mine.

But. Here's what is weird to me. I have felt all along, how do you fairly vote when fan bases are so varied? In my category I have a larger fan base. Again, please know I'm not tooting my own horn, I'm just stating the facts. I know for a fact I had a ton of votes. And it was easy to do with Youtube, two facebook pages and a twitter. Thousands per each site mentioned. Local business were shouting me out, word was being spread among family and friends. I was contacted by Danny Thompson a couple of weeks ago telling me flat out I was "killing it in the polls" and I had 46% of the vote alone. I was also told that I had nearly 200 people nominate me. Bigger fanbase = more votes. Bottom line. So when I did lose, along with X96, City Weekly, Fox 13, KSL, ABC4, and Robert felt...odd.

I'm torn on the whole voting thing. It will never give someone a truly fair chance, right? But at the same time the person with the largest fanbase should be recognized for building that up with hard work over time, right? But then those people who did have the largest fan bases did not win so...what went on? Really? What if it was a ceremony for people chosen for recognition in the industry for what they've done and truly voted on by a select legit panel of professionals, based on their true contribution or involvement in the arts? Or ONE vote per person? I don't know. I feel a bit had. And I felt strange all along for being an actress in a category with a producer, inventor and chef. I mean...huh?!

If you look at those who won and those who didn't & compare fan bases, who their audiences are and who would be within the age and demographic to be ON their computers casting votes...on a purely mathematical makes no sense.

*Now I'm wondering if any of what I learned at any time has any truth. If was told 200 people nominated me and I had 46% of the vote alone...who's to say that wasn't a lie to get me to get me excited and therefore create more buzz? What if they knew full well who the "winners" were going to be. Who's to say they won't tell each and every one of them that they had the largest percent of the vote? That they killed it in the polls? If they noticed (which they would have to tally votes daily) that people were being voted for more than once a day, or even more than once an hour...that's when they should have called off voting for a day and not counted those until the system was up and running correctly. Or started over. But you know what? I don't think they cared.

Maybe it's egg on my face for helping them promote the event the way I did. I'm not sure yet. Maybe they knew what the plan was all along? Maybe they wanted me to hype up my fan base to create bigger buzz for them, and of course, if I were to win, I could certainly spin it all to my advantage right? Right. ;)

A couple of other things that were odd. On a phone call with a producer (Danny Thompson) awhile ago, I was asked to email a full bio and my availability to interview, they'd send a cameraman over. I did, and never heard back. My bio was never used. I asked again about the shoot, told they still wanted to do it, and never heard back. There had also been talk about trying to get me on Fresh Living on channel 2 on May 18th but that wasn't followed up with either.

*I also know people who said they were told they'd be on the ballot...and weren't.

*There are also a lot of people saying that the speeches seemed rehearsed, like the winners knew in advance (I had been told that nobody would know until the ceremony) and that's why so many nominees weren't even there.

Now here is the oddest of them all. THE VOTING WEBSITE WAS FAULTY. I had several people tell me that they'd noticed there were ways to vote whenever you wanted, as much as you wanted. I didn't reply to encourage that behavior and on one occasion I flat out told someone, "voting is once a day! That's it!" Then another nominee told me voting was actually every 8 hours. What?!?! Maybe I could have confirmed this with the producers but I guess at that point I figured I wasn't going to be followed up with so I continued to promote as voting once, daily.

If I was going to win it was sure going to be within the rules. Never did I vote more than I could have, never would I have condoned that behavior of anyone else. Honest to god. Who could be happy with a win that way?

Now. In the end it was the first time this had ever been done. I know people that were happy with the night, others who I've already talked to who have called the night not only strange, but uncomfortable. I know others were also unhappy with seating arrangements. We were supposed to get a choice between two dishes and that never happened. We were simply served one dish. There were cash bars which was a let down for a VIP ticket. Did you know a VIP ticket was $90? Nominees were comped, but I have to say...I'm no money bags. If I had to pay nearly a hundred dollars for that event? It wouldn't have been worth it. Not the entertainment, not the food, not the lounge. Not for a seat at the back and not even with my parents.

When the dinner begins with a prayer (and keep in mind this was described and marketed as the "Golden Globes of Utah" NOT the "LDS Entertainment Awards") you are far more aware you're at just another Utah event...not the golden globes. And not even just a Utah event but a very particular kind of Utah event. I always stick up for Utah. I always say we're a real city. We are thriving, we have got it going on! But I felt in a very small kind of bubble at that moment. One where I didn't belong, one where I and others were excluded because we were not their for a religious event, but an entertainment business event.

*It's also interesting to note that the winners were almost all LDS or associated with LDS networks. It's also interesting to note that nearly every winner, performer and presenter was a WHITE MALE and that only ONE WOMAN gave an acceptance speech that night.

*Before the prayer was the national anthem. POLITICS AND RELIGION right off the bat at the ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS?! Awkward as all get out. And not appropriate. There's a time and a place.

Please, don't think I'm being a sore loser. I'm not. I am fine today. I'm in the acting biz, after all, and wouldn't have been for all this time if I wasn't prepared for and had experienced both the wins AND the rejections. I still have a million things on my to do list and I'm still glad I got to wear my amazing Krista Nielson dress last night (by the way the dress was a hit) and have my makeup done by Stephanie Bybee. I had fun going out to my favorite bar with some of my favorite people afterwards. I can't wait to have pictures! I love any excuse to get dolled up in something you'd otherwise never get the chance to wear! I don't say any of this to be cruel, but to help. Sheesh I wish I could have suggested people they should meet and perhaps nominate, or ask to present, or ask to perform. I wish no will ill on anyone involved, I wish them luck and I am really hoping for a fix of the website, legit voting, wins and professional communication next time. An even bigger and better red carpet, a hell of a show, more focus on entertainment, less on religion, and a true VIP party to cap it all off!

*The VIP lounge was simply the same hotel ballroom, partitioned off in the corner. :/

I will never loose faith in UT. I know we can truly host events like this and draw people here. One day I hope we'll be able to change people's narrow views of UT. But for now there's still a lot of pretend here. Pretend actors, pretend movie makers, pretend award ceremonies. :(

Last but not least, had I won I was prepared (somewhat) with an acceptance speech. I'm still going to give it to you, because like I said, so many of you supported me and fought for me and voted daily and shouted me out, I can't thank you enough. Here's what I wanted to say:

You have no idea how grateful I am and how much this means to me. I've devoted the last decade, or more, of my life to creating. Whether it's performing in a play, on set or on YouTube. In this business, no matter what you define as success, you're never done. You've never done all there is to do. And that's what I love about it. But because of that you don't always take the time to soak in what you have done. It means so much to me to be nominated let alone to win, and to know that there were fans and friends and family who took the time to vote. I'm sad my husband, who is my biggest fan isn't here with me tonight but I'm so glad my parents are, who put me through acting school in New York City! Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final! This is truly an honor. I'll never forget this. Thank you.

May 9, 2011

SLAM! I broke my butt.

Saturday was my second ever SLAM.

SLAM is an annual fundraiser with Plan B Theatre Co. I'd never seen SLAM until I was in my first one last year. I remember everything about it, including the first words out of my mouth when it was over, "I will never do that again".

Nothing bad happened. I had a great piece by Julie Jensen. Acted alongside Mark Fossen and Stephanie Howell and was directed by Andra Harbold. It went just fine. More than fine. Not only was it fun to do, but it even went on to be published. But I saw some other pieces where the actors seemed to have pages and pages and pages of dialogue. Tons. I was blown away how they had memorized it. I didn't think I could have done it, and that's when I got scared. Holy shit, I'd gotten lucky! Maybe I should leave it at that. I didn't think I'd want to take that risk.

Yet, there I was for another go.

SLAM is this: Five plays, ten minutes each, written, memorized, fully staged and performed in 24 hours.

The way it breaks down for us actors is this. We get to the theatre at 9 am the day of the show, and we're told who's in what play, who's directing what, what props we have, we have a quick meeting with the playwright, and then we begin. Showtime is at 8 pm.

It's hard. Real hard. You learn a lot about yourself as an actor in that day. You do the unthinkable and truly surprise yourself at what is possible. You completely get out of your own way because you don't have a chance to second guess anything you're doing. And I absolutely love that. It's also hard to recover from. Real hard. The day after is spent completely wiped out. I'm still feeling a little bit of the SLAM hangover today. And so is my butt. But more on that later.

I loved the piece I got to do. This year each play had the same title, "Control_Alt_Delete". Each play had one prop, a cardboard box, and a slightly different image on a screen behind us.

Matthew Ivan Bennet was the playwright, Mark Fossen and Carleton Bluford were the other actors and we were directed by Kay Shean. It was an absolutely hilarious script and I loved what I got to perform. That's the thing about SLAM. You have no idea what you'll be performing so you can't really prepare for anything other than try to keep calm, go in with a super focus, and ready to accept anything and everything that comes your way.

Time seems to go both too slow and too fast all day.

Doing SLAM more than once must be like what they say about having a baby. You forget any trauma or difficulty and you agree to go through it all again!

It seems like it's so far away then suddenly the day is here. The night before and the morning of you want to make up an excuse to get out of it. You're wondering why on gods green earth you agreed. You are certain you'll never be able to memorize your script let alone give any kind of a performance, and you'll be the one to mess it all up. But you also have butterflies because it's all so exciting. It's all part of it and you secretly love it.

It's a good thing you don't give into your fears because it always comes together. And believe me, halfway through the day you're sure you'll never make it out alive.

I'm still on a high from being able to perform such a great piece. A piece that hadn't even existed even the morning before! I loved a chance to be silly for a room full of people who see me as serious more often than not.

It's not every day you spend your time riding a stool as a horse as an exercise to get closer to your husband while Dr. Easy not only guides you through, but hops on to "help". ;)

Sure, it'll be awhile before I can comfortably sit on my butt, but is was so worth it.

May 6, 2011

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

Whether you consider yourself scientific, religious, practical or emotional, you need to see this.

"I AM", a documentary by Tom Shadyac finally opened in SLC today and I went to the first showtime. I'd been keeping an eye on this ever since I saw him on Oprah. I'm not an Oprah watcher either, so it's funny that when I've caught it a handful of times this year it's been something that's had a huge impact on me. Maybe I'm missing something not watching regularly. Anyway.

I could write a novel about what I saw today, but I won't. I still need to process and think.

All I want to say is see this. Please, please, please see this. And tell everyone you know to see it.

What if we didn't take more than we need? What if you learned that in is in our DNA to cooperate, not compete, with each other? And that in other countries and cultures the kind of greed and competition is actually considered mental illness? What if you realized and always remembered that all other humans, animals and nature are our relatives? What if you recognized that our society has gotten it wrong with what we celebrate and what we have lost sight of? What if it really hits you that no one is neutral and every one of us can make a difference? What if you started thinking about everything as one? That you're breathing the same air, right now that the dinosaurs, Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ once breathed?

If more of us seriously changed the way we thought, changed our collective consciousness, we could make a difference.

There would never be a reason to go to war.

I found a quote when I came home that was very fitting:

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. ~Author Unknown

You can hear something a million times but until you're truly ready to hear it, they're just words. "One person can make a difference." I thought for so long I was, in fact neutral. I actually have said that in being just one person it doesn't matter what I do, because how will little me change anything? But today I learned that I, just as much as you, contribute to the collective consciousness. And we do. All of us.

I went through so many emotions while watching this. I was angry, I was sad, I was embarrassed at our society and what I've and we've bought into as success and what is "important". But by the end I was hopeful. Hopeful that others will see this documentary, or more will be made with the same kinds of ideas. That more people will have that chance to hear or see something that touches and teaches them.

In having my eyes opened and starting to become so much more aware, I feel a kind of contentment and comfort like I've never felt before.

There are times, when thinking about the subject, I wonder why I'd ever want to bring a baby into a world obsessed with looks, fame and money. But I do see a hope for a better, different, community based society. Yes. There is hope. It starts here and now and what we teach and pass on. I think this documentary should be required in schools. Required for humanity, actually.

Again, it doesn't matter what you believe religiously or what you know scientifically. It doesn't matter if you follow your head or your heart. Just see it.

As Rumi says, "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment."
Do it for an hour and a half while seeing this film and I promise you'll learn something new and profound about yourself.

May 5, 2011

"The future has an ancient heart"

Well she's done it again, folks. Please take a few minutes to read today's column.
So beautiful. You'll tear up and relate. All of you.

"The most terrible and beautiful and interesting things happen in a life. For some of you, those things have already happened. Whatever happens to you belongs to you. Make it yours. Feed it to yourself even if it feels impossible to swallow. Let it nurture you, because it will.

I have learned this over and over and over again."

By Dear Sugar on The Rumpus

May 2, 2011

My "Sex and the City" do over

My sweetheart and I decided to watch "Sex and the City" over again. Yup, the entire series from episode one. When it was on tv years ago, I came into it a little late and missed some toward the end, so I wanted to see what I'd missed and remember how it all unfolded (turns out I've actually seen more than I thought).

Right now we're halfway through season 3. What I'm most surprised about is how my thoughts on the characters have changed completely nearly 10 years later. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, a decade of life experience and growing up will do that to you, but still.

There should be an anthropological study on this series, it's impact on women then vs now. It's totally different.

First of all, I like Big! A lot! Through season 1 & 2 it was Carrie that I wanted to smack this time around, tell her to chill out and stop creating something out of nothing. He put up with a lot of drama from her. She should be so lucky. She had her dream guy, she just needed a little patience.

He was about to take her on a vacation and she breaks up with him because he isn't saying I love you? That's hardly giving things a chance. It would have done her good to go with him and get out of NYC for a minute and spend that different kind of time together. Then the whole stalking him and his mom at church? Ladies, this behavior is why guys say "women are crazy" . Then came Paris. Sure he dropped that bomb on her in a nonchalant way, and yes, that's like a punch in the stomach to most women. But they could have learned how to communicate with time. Or at least tried to learn. Instead, she flew off the handle again and broke up with him. I didn't remember that she was the one who kept ending it. And so quickly. They never talked through it, it was just over. If they'd talked Paris over, she might have stuck it out and stayed with him. But instead, he was free to meet Natasha.

And then there's Steve. I love Steve. Steve is the sweetest most patient man Miranda could ever hope for. He puts up with a lot of shit from her. Why would he do that? I want to shake her. "Be nice to Steve!"

It's funny. This was such a hit. I loved it then. I love it now. I can't wait to finish the next half. Why? When you take a minute to look at each individual character, they really aren't all that likable. Watching them as a group is fun, I suppose, because it's so not real.

When I watched the first time around I was living in NYC. I wanted to relate. I compared myself and then boyfriend to Carrie & Big, what girl didn't? I wanted to have my Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, what girl didn't? But the truth is, the series is a total fantasy. It's the grown up version of a CW show. As in they're all in high school but nobody is ever seen in school, these women are rarely seen at work, instead it's all about everything else. I mean when are they working? With all of their high profile careers, especially Miranda, Samantha & Charlotte aren't they ever too tired to go out on the town? Aren't they too busy to see their girlfriends all the time?

It's a guilty pleasure much more than it's a "my friends and I are just like that!"

I didn't expect to be on the guys' side this time. To me, they're the likable characters. Maybe it also happened from all I learned in the last decade of my life and thinking a little more like a "man", whatever that means.

I do see ladies analyze like crazy and put up with nonsense (I did it too, once upon a time). Yes ladies may be "crazy" and guys might be "mean", but I learned over time that it's really just not all that complicated.

No, really. "He's just not that into you". It's that simple. If a guy wants to call you, he'll call. If he wants to date you, he'll date you. If he wants to marry you, he'll marry you. If we don't want to accept a date, we can say no. If we aren't feeling it, we can break up too. And that's all there is too it. You cant (unfortunately) make someone attracted to you when they're not. You cant force someone to be sure about you if they're not sure about you.

There is something to be said for trying to be patient and wanting to try to make it work. We often don't let go because there is a history, or time involved, and we can't imagine throwing it away.

But. It's important to learn the difference between when to be patient (like I think Carrie should have) and when you truly are waiting for something that's never going to happen.

Sigh. I will say this...watching "Sex and the City" now is like hearing a song, or smelling a smell that takes you back. Back to a past life. This particular past life is associated with my early 2000's life. It's like sense memory. I won't lie, it makes me nostalgic as all hell and yes, I've teared up a few times. What can I say, chicks will be chicks and if we're moved by the series, in whatever way...well it's done it's job. A helluva job.

That's it for now. Can't wait to watch the rest!

May 1, 2011

What happened to me?!

A word of warning. When you dye your hair red and work out right after, be careful of sweating. If you do? You'll look like this:

No, really.

Then be prepared for your husband to see you, and scare the s--t outta you by grabbing you and asking if you're okay and wtf just happened.