Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 79

Took a long walk today. I had been walking around Santa Monica HS at least one time, but today I decided to walk around twice to see how I felt afterward. It was a good workout. Body felt a little tingly and I was definitely ready for some lunch even though I had eaten yogurt and strawberries before I started out on my little journey.
One thing I noticed was how I can appreciate high school students much more from afar than when I was substitute teaching. I actually made eye contact and smiled at a couple of students today, whereas when I was teaching, I wanted to hurt somebody. I'm just not good at that substitute thing. It was the last "job" on my list before dedicating my life to what I born to do....act. My mother always wanted me to be a teacher because she wanted to be a teacher so at a time when I was in one of the most toxic relationships in my life, what do I decide to do? Teach! I don't know what that was all about, but I am glad it's all behind me now. Right after I decided that I was done with teaching, I would get a stomach ache if I even drove past a school yard with or without kids playing in it. Now, I can stand outside the fence and watch the track team practice while I recall my days on the track at Martin Van Buren High School. I do love the classroom, but as a student not a teacher (unless I'm teaching stand-up comedy of course). At least there, I'm doing my own thing. I pray to God I never have to substitute teach in any public school system again.

A Clear Channel - Day 78

OK, let me start by saying I worked everything out with Delta Airlines. My mom and I have our reservations, but someone neglected to email her itinerary with mine. I now have paperwork and confirmation numbers for both of us. Whew! I have to admit, it must have been a bit confusing with the Ireland cancellation and crediting that money three different ways.
Tonight was my final class in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. The class was 13 weeks long and I only missed two classes (both times because of work). I totally intend to follow through with his program online, through his books and his radio & TV broadcasts. I came home after his class tonight and added up a bunch of receipts I had been keeping since we started. I've been paying cash for most things since we cut up our credit cards. I realized tonight that I hadn't been spending as much as I thought on food but it felt like a lot because of the type of food I've been eating and my random spending habits. Now that I have a better idea of what my food budget should be, I need to go food shopping like my mother did...once a week. I think I would make healthier choices that way. Right now I see that I make frequent trips to the same eateries and apparently love very specific unhealthy foods! They say one or two small changes can make a big difference. Let's see what happens...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 77

Spent the first part of the day making my reservations for New York. My mom and I will be going to South Carolina to see the newest addition to the family soon! I just checked my email to get the itinerary, but I don't see my mom's reservation. I'm starting to get a little annoyed with Delta Airlines. The representative I spoke to today said that my flight to Ireland had never been canceled and if I hadn't called today to redeem my balance, all of that money would have been lost. Now that same helpful representative only sent me an itinerary for me and not my mom. Guess what I have to do first thing in the morning? Back on the phone with Delta...again.
Took a nice long walk to run some errands today and signed up for yet another weight loss challenge. I'm gonna keep signing up til one of them clicks. More often than not, there has not been enough interest to keep one going, yet there seems to be a huge concern about health and obesity lately. Let's see what happens with this one. I liked what the trainer had to say and her approach seems on target with what I am trying to accomplish. I'm enjoying the walking, but I feel like I'm ready to get back on my bicycle and do some long rides along the beach. The weather has been overcast here for the past two days, but I can feel a bike ride coming on...

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 76

Worked on the TV show HAWTHORNE today and no I was not a nurse! I was a union rep for a nurse played by Sara Gilbert from ROSEANNE. Cute scene, nice guest star role. Sara sure knows a lot about houses! She impressed me in the make-up trailer this morning with all her technical jargon about flooring. I had no idea what she was talking about...thank God she wasn't talking to me! It was a short work day for me..in at 6AM, out by 9AM. I booked the season finale of GLEE that was also supposed to work today, we passed on it because you can never guarantee how long an actor will be on one set. Well look at that, I could have done GLEE after all. As a matter of fact, when I wrapped the director said, "I heard you'll be working on GLEE this afternoon." I had actually forgotten all about it. Then I was regretful but only for a second. For the amount of money I was paid for today's work, I am more than grateful for the one job and now someone else had an acting job today too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 75

The festival weekend continues... Today I was at the wrap party for The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival. Lovely outdoor gathering. It was a potluck and my brownies were a hit!! Other than that, I'm just preparing for my shoot tomorrow. More on that later. This may be my shortest blog in 75 days.

A Clear Channel - Day 74

This is a festival kind of weekend! So tired from two yesterday, that I couldn't even blog last night. Two blogs today. Yesterday I overslept and missed my Saturday morning walk with my friend Kimberly. When I called her to apologize, she said, "Well OK Miss Thing, we are going to the Festival of Books instead." Damn. I thought I would just roll over and get some more sleep. The Festival was at UCLA and Kim lives nearby so I drove to her place and we took the bus. I think I may have ridden the bus one other time in the 25 years I've lived here in LA. It felt like I was back in New York..kinda cool. The UCLA campus is so beautiful and huge! I had always dreamed of going to college there, but my parents said "No way" for some reason. The place was packed, ran into a few people I knew and a couple who knew me and caught an up-close glimpse of Carol Burnett as she was being escorted from a lecture hall to her book signing area. Since I hadn't planned on attending the festival I had no agenda and didn't really go to see anyone in particular, but I enjoyed milling around with so many creative/intellectual types. It was great seeing the families and all the kids being introduced to culture, literature, life. You know me, I'm all about diversity.
Then I drove down to the Newport Beach Film Festival to see a film that I am in called WAKE written, directed and produced by a Chad Feehan. Such a nice young man and he did a great job. It is not an easy film to watch, requires a lot of thought and processing to figure out what is going on, but it does come together at the end and it is very well done. I was able to produce a brief moment of comic relief in my scene. I wish Chad lots of success....I'm sure we will see more of him and I hope he remembers me for his next project!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 73

I knew this day would come. Many, many posts ago, when I was whining about not having booked my first job of the year, I stated that a lot of things would probably manifest at the same time. This was the week. I had a Hollywood premiere for the release of The Back-up Plan, signed with a voice over agent and booked three jobs. Of course there was a conflict between two of them so I had to pass on the season finale of Glee. That's show biz! I am so grateful for all these blessings. This is what I live for.
I had my wardrobe fitting for the show I will be working on on Monday, then went to have a long overdue celebration with my friend Carol Ann. I picked her up from a gathering at her friend's house and met several people there who knew me from various venues, one being at the premiere Wednesday night. As I was conversing with some of the guests I noticed an Emmy sitting on a shelf. When I commented on it they told me it belonged to the owner of the house, Christian Clemenson who played Jerry Espenson in Boston Legal. I love his work!! We were introduced and I found out he is represented by the same management company as I am. Talk about a six degrees of separation kinda day! I could not leave his home without touching that Emmy. OK, I picked it up. Just for practice.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 72

I love my job! Actually it's a career, a lifestyle if you will. After yesterday's excitement of The Back-up Plan premiere and signing with a voice over agent, today I spent a lot of time on facebook reading posts, chatting and answering questions about the whole red carpet experience, publicity and the film while talking on the phone at the same time. Oh my, am I getting in too deep? I finally had to drag myself away to take a short walk (29 minutes). I was supposed to have a wardrobe fitting for a TV show I will be working on but drove out to the valley and no one had shopped for me because of a change in the shooting schedule. Not good. My manager will be all over that one. Let's see what happens.
So here I am, back on the computer. Blogging. I created a fan page on facebook today and now I have to figure out how to get those 252 people I have waiting in the queue to be my friend to join Carlease's Bits n Pieces. Why don't you lead the way? There's not much on the page right now but I promise it will get more interesting. Come on....be my first.

A Clear Channel - Day 71

It has always been my dream to be in a hit movie, be escorted to the premiere with my manager and walk the red carpet. Tonight that dream came true. What was once a fantasy is now a memory. Allow me to share this reality with you. The movie I am talking about is the new Jennifer Lopez film, The Back-up Plan. I play Tabitha, one of the women in a support group that J-Lo's character joins. Now I don't have a lot of dialogue, but I do get some great screen time. Nonetheless my manager, the amazing Todd Justice, allowed me to enjoy every minute of my 15 minutes of fame. Not only was he the most handsome man at the event, he is so comfortable in his skin and knows this business so well, that there was never an uncomfortable moment the whole night. When we arrived we were immediately greeted by Maggie Schmidt, Senior VP of Publicity, for CBS Films who immediately made sure that I was escorted down the red carpet. "Carlease, Carlease, turn to the left, over here, put your hands down...." shouts and camera flashes all over the place. Wow, all I could think about was my face hurting from holding that smile for so long. Step and repeat, step and repeat. I actually did a couple of interviews as well. I learned tonight to look on the floor in front of the press people to know who you're talking to (or don't want to talk to). All of a sudden one of the press people asks me to stand in one spot..."This one is for Shelley" she says. What? My publicist friend Shelley Ginsburg gives me a shout out from the red carpet and she wasn't even there! We took a picture on an iphone and sent it to her immediately. Who knows. She may have posted it on facebook already. It took a few minutes, but with the red carpet behind us, Todd and I went inside grabbed some popcorn and sat down in the lobby to watch the "other" stars arrive. All of a sudden the lobby was packed and we were asked to take our seats. More mingling with the casting directors David Rubin and Richard Hicks and Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer" who sat behind us. He is so funny, he shouts out to himself when he appears on screen.
I loved hanging out with Todd on our "first date", getting a new perspective on the business from his point of view. I am so blessed to have him on my team. We had never had a chance to be in each others presence for any length of time.
We went to the after party at the W and made our rounds congratulating director, Alan Poul, the producers, fellow cast members, writer Kate Angelo, etc. At one point I saw this beautiful woman waving at me and realized it was J-Lo! I went over to say hi....she looked stunning. Of course she was holding court, but I got a chance to congratulate her and tell her how I enjoyed working with her. She told me that she actually fought to keep some more of our scenes in. Wow. I think Todd got a kick out of me introducing him to EVERYBODY!!!
Well, this blog is getting quite long, but it was a beautiful evening and too much to post on facebook. Because of the huge build up, I thought some of you might want to know what happened on that red carpet. Even Richard, one of casting directors mentioned my recent FB posts. Now you have it right here on blogspot.com.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 70

70 days of blogging and I'm not tired yet. I'm really enjoying these little quiet moments before I go to bed, to review my day, dump it all out if I have to, get a good night's sleep and wake up fresh in the morning. In this business, you never know what each day is going to bring, so I find it best to start with a clean slate.
Today was a blessed day. Went to an audition in the morning (will reveal the outcome at a later date), ran some errands, met with my walking buddy but due to the rain, we did more talking than walking and received some really good news while having lunch.
Back at home, tried to organize my finances but got distracted by facebook. Now here I am blogging but just realized I need to pay some bills. I'm so grateful to have the money to do so. See you tomorrow...gonna be an exciting day...

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 69

Spent most of the afternoon twisting and braiding my hair. I leave it braided for about a day to let it air dry to achieve that crinkly effect. It's a much softer look than just straight locks.
Then I went to Pan Pacific Park to workout with Fee King. The first time I saw this sista was at The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival a few years ago. She was performing an excerpt of her solo show and I did a stand-up comedy set. Her work inspired me to complete my solo show and I was a part of that same festival this year (just about 3 weeks ago to be exact). Now she is inspiring me in another way...she is conducting a fitness bootcamp and what a workout we had this evening. The time and place is perfect for me. In the evening just before the sun goes down and outside. That has always been my favorite part of the day, when day turns to night. I don't know why, but my body reacts like it's morning. This is when I'm just getting started, the most energetic, the most creative...I don't know, maybe I'm part vampire. I plan to stick with the bootcamp, continue with my walking AND work with Fee as she starts her weight loss challenge on May 1st. Watch out ya'll...soon you won't recognize me! Fee already said it looks like I have lost some weight since the last time we've seen each other. She said I even look smaller than some recent facebook pictures. Speaking of facebook, I've gotta go post how fabulous she is on her wall. Check her out...Fylicia King. I may have spelled her first name wrong, but you'll find her somewhere on my page or amongst my friends. She rocks!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 68

Spent a couple of hours with my neighbor at an eclectic, funky little art gallery called Mor York in Highland Park. There was a writers group having a reception there and reading from their works: novels, short stories, poetry, etc.. Sylvia Sukop also had her photography on exhibit. The theme was childhood and the writers were from many different cultures and orientations. Based on all the creative work I've seen over the past four days I feel like I've just been on a trip around the world.
My intention was to come home and wash my hair, but I'm now feeling like I just want to relax. It's going to be an exciting week and the hair thing is a two day job. I'll start working on it tomorrow morning. Right now I'm gonna chill and catch up on Celebrity Apprentice.

A Clear Channel - Day 67

Whew! What a day. After hanging out 'til one in the morning with some theatre folks, then waking up early to walk (uphill) in Griffith Park, not having a nap, and driving down to Long Beach to host Laugh-A-Latte, I am beyond ready for bed. Laugh-A-Latte was a lot of work tonight, for all of us comics. Not to blame, but sometimes we can just ride the energy of the room and other times...not so much. Tonight it was very hard to read the audience. One minute it felt like they were ready to go for a ride and the next, they would slam on the brakes. Maybe it was me...maybe it was all of us...maybe it was just what it was. Maybe I should go to sleep. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 66

SALAM, SHALOM. Enemies...Another Love Story. This was the play that I went to Friday evening to support my dear friend Avner Garbi. He was one of the leads in this extremely well written, compelling drama about a love affair between two people of different cultures. Sound familiar? Romeo & Juliet. Westside Story. Similar, but the difference here was that the lovers were both men, one from Palestine and the other from Israel. Avner expertly crafted the role of the father of the Palestinian man. The acting was excellent overall although I did have my favorites. One thing I love about theatre and the arts in general, is that you can learn so much about people, human nature, cultures and different parts of the world while being entertained. And yet, most of us humans have more in common that we care to acknowledge.
Avner and I have been friends and colleagues since 1988 and he has always been there for me. It was a joy to go out for a bite to eat after the show, with the other leads and the playwright even though I knew I had to get up early to do my Saturday walk in Griffith Park. More on that later...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 65

One of the things we do as artists is to support each others work whenever possible. Support. What does that mean exactly? First of all, it means showing up at that art exhibit, that play, that film, that reading, that comedy show. Does that mean we have to enjoy it? And if not, do we tell our friends the truth? Having been on both sides of this street, I say it's a sticky situation.
Tonight I attended a play that was the directorial debut of a friend of mine. I tagged along with two other mutual friends because I knew I would probably not get there on my own. I went with an open mind ready to enjoy some good theatre. To make a long story short, I didn't enjoy the play and even though I certainly wouldn't consider myself a director, I saw some things I would have done differently. The first thing I noticed was the lead actor/playwright "mugging" as soon as the lights came up on the first scene. (Mugging: Making exaggerated facial expressions, especially for humorous effect.) The other thing I noticed was the number of scene changes which would work much better for film than for a play where every part of the stage represented a different location. Some areas were duplicated and that got a little messy at times. I'm not a critic so I won't go on and on, but at the end of the evening, my director friend asked us what we thought about the play. I noticed none of us answered directly. We just smiled a lot and said things like, "We are so proud of you" and "Congratulations". And that indeed was the truth.
When I had my run of my solo show last year, I remember an enormous amount of positive feedback, but I am sure not every single person that saw the show liked it for whatever reason. I was very careful NOT to ask for opinions, especially right after a performance, unless I really wanted to hear the truth. I have one colleague who always has to tell you how he would have done it and that's just his MO. Most of us don't pay any attention to him anyway. But the one piece of criticism I remember vividly came from someone I had held in very high esteem and considered my mentor at one time. Her comments seemed a bit mean spirited and she even brought in another person's opinion who hadn't even seen my show. She had always been telling me that she could do all these things to help me in my career and I needed to this or I should be doing that. I had literally been waiting for years to have a meeting with her to discuss this and when I finally had the opportunity all I got was mouth. No offers to help. No advice on what I could do myself to make it better. Needless to say I haven't had a whole lot to do with her since.
So what is my point? Support sometimes means just showing up. Being there. Being positive. Being sensitive. If an artist really wants your honest opinion, and it's not warm & fluffy, find a way to be kind about it. Then again, there's all types of personalities, some can dish it out and others can take it. In the words of Tina Turner, I prefer it "nice and easy". So I'm gonna keep on rollin'... Gotta go see another friend in play tomorrow night... Da doo doo doo doot...

'Laugh-A-Latte'

'Laugh-A-Latte'

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 64

I've been doing so well with my walking, I didn't realized I had already walked 3 out of my 5 days this week. So I can take tomorrow off! I'm planning on walking with a buddy on Friday and the walking group on Saturday. I have two workouts planned next week with other like-minded evening people. That early morning thing just does not work for me and I'm not going to fight it. The days are longer and the weather is beautiful. By the time fall and winter rolls around it will be just a regular part of my day. My legs feel strong, my knees are doing fine, but I don't want to push it. I am a little tired and aching. Oooo, a nice long bath would feel so good right about now. I have a feeling I will fall asleep before I even run the water.
Went to my financial class tonight. It was all about extra income, part time jobs, home based businesses etc. That is the main thing that I realized from taking these classes. I need to find some additional ways to make money so that "in-between" the TV & film jobs, I'm still able to comfortably pay my bills and save. Working at Starbucks or Dominoes Pizza is not an option. I must be brave and start to implement these fabulous ideas I have in my head. Implement and follow through. I can't do them all at the same time, so I'm gonna pick one and go for it! It's time to create my own empire. My legacy.

A Clear Channel -Day 63

Very productive day. Met with Evita Castine at the Atomic Cafe and discussed a new project. She's young, smart, creative and talented and we came up with some great stuff! Of course I can't divulge the details just yet but you, loyal followers, will know soon enough! I'm learning so much from her.
Got my first Back-up Plan fan letter on facebook from someone in Germany. He wanted to know the significance of the light blue uniform I'm wearing in the movie. I'm not wearing a blue uniform in the movie. An extremely butch looking sistah is wearing a blue shirt in one of the scenes I'm in. How do you say, "We don't all look alike" in German?
Found a new way to enjoy vegetables....roasted! Tonight I cut up broccoli, asparagus and an orange bell pepper, marinated the veggies in a little olive oil with fresh garlic. Then roasted them on a tray in the oven on 450 degrees for about 30 minutes (or less). You have to stir and check. Yummy!! I'll be doing that more often.
Skipped my walk today but will get out there tomorrow and walk to the optometrist's office to pick up some new contact lenses.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 62

I went to the Caregiver agency today and it was not actually in the same building as Agape (see previous week's blogs) but in the same complex. I filled out an application and had a very pleasant interview. I got a good vibe from the office the entire time I was there and overheard snippets of what types of seniors I would possibly be working with. During my interview, it was obvious that I did not have extensive experience working with seniors with special senior needs and because of my career, I could only be a fill in caregiver. I can not take any long term or overnight assignments. When I asked about the pay, I was told I would get W-2's (taxes would be taken out). Hmmmm.....without going into detail, I don't think that will work for me. I need to get my hustle on New York style. Some of you who are reading this may know exactly what I mean. This particular caregiver job is not going to help MY needs. I've got some other irons in the fire. I need to stay out of panic mode and take care of things for myself that I won't be able to do when the next project comes along. It's so much easier said than done, but I must constantly remind myself of that fact. Right now I have to wear an employer and employee hat at the same time. No easy feat.
I drove into Pan Pacific Park to meet with a fitness trainer who was supposed to be having a bootcamp going on this evening. I decided to go early to get my walk on so that no matter what I would get my 30 minutes in. I never did see this young lady, but just as I started walking, I ran into a recent new friend of mine. We walked the path together, she showed be how to workout on the park apparatus and I got a great workout. Feeling good.....!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 61

What a great day!! It got off to a slow start but everything turned out well. I had a gig for Shanti Orange County at a restaurant called The White House in Ahaheim, CA and I was treated like the First Lady! Everyone was so gracious, kind, loving and appreciative.
Sometimes we figure out what we want in life by experiencing what we don't want and comparing all of this week's adventures, today is the feeling I want always. There were two main performances, the hilarious and very talented Soul Sisters and me. The first act was so good I was wondering how I would even follow them but it all worked out perfectly. I made a lot of news friends and Laugh-A-Latte has some new fans. It was also nice to reconnect with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence again. Thank you to Jack Nemeth for adopting me into the Shanti family. I was even asked back right there on the spot! Shanti OC does such good work for the community and for anyone who needs help as a result of HIV or AIDS regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. I was totally prepared to do my 30 minute set and hightail it back home, but because I didn't really get a chance to eat Jack and Eric invited me over to their beautiful home and then we went out for dinner. That's how you handle business! I can tell Jack and I are foodies and we talked about being on a cruise together. Lord, we would do some major damage at the buffet table!!
One of my new OC friends was looking for me on facebook by my first name only and discovered I don't know how many other Carlease's....spelled exactly the same way! And it seemed like we're all Black females. What? I got go now and create a facebook page for us. I need to do some research. And for all these years, I thought I was the only one.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 60

I was so excited about posting my video yesterday I completely forgot to add the title! Yesterday's blog was Day 59.
Got up early this morning and met the Nawiri Walkers in Marina del Rey. I'm not usually out and about on Saturday mornings and it was intriguing to see so many people out in the world doing healthy things...taking care of themselves. Cyclists, joggers, walkers, sailors, rowers...I even saw someone on the water on a footboard? I don't know what you call it, but this guy was standing up on what looked like a surf board and he "rowed" with a long paddle that propelled him forward. He was barefoot wearing shorts and a T-shirt and he wasn't even wet! What will they come up with next? There is absolutely no excuse for people to be dormant. So the sistahs and I walked for about an hour and a half on flat land and on the sand. It felt really good! We took a picture for GirlTrek and one of the sistahs and I might meet up during the week to do a 2 1/2 mile walk near 20th Century Fox Studios. Next week we are scheduled to walk in Griffith Park. Today was my fifth day walking this week. I'm committed to this challenge and soon I know it will become a habit and my body will be unhappy if I don't walk. I also committed to doing the Revlon Walk on May 8th. That's a 5K---maybe about 3 miles? I was telling my mother today that my knees are doing quite well and maybe it's because I've lost a little weight already. Easing up on that pressure.
Had a gig at Agape tonight and arrived just as choir rehearsal was letting out. I felt so weird...I know this is my own stuff, but I felt kinda embarrassed or like I had done something wrong (see previous blogs). As people were leaving I thought "I wonder if they were in the room during my humiliating moment. Carlease, please, get over yourself." I hosted an event for the LGBT Potluck and Open Mic and everything was fine. The audience was a little serious at times, but they enjoyed my silly humor and I believe everyone had a good time. I met some really nice people, enjoyed their talents as well as the gifts of friends I've known for awhile.
Tomorrow I'm doing a set for Shanti Orange County. Although I love hosting, it takes a lot of energy to be on for the whole night, keep track of the entire program and be spontaneous. When a comic does a set within a show, it's wham bam then Cosmo time!!!
Either way I am truly grateful.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The is just a test. I am so proud of my "fun assignment" today. I bought a Flip camera almost a year ago and started recording some footage sporadically not knowing what to do with it. I decided to take it to the next step today so I plugged it into my computer and uploaded 3 segments from when I was shooting the new J-Lo movie, The Back Up Plan. I actually made a little movie out of it but the title and "credits" came out screwy. All in all, not bad for the first time. It was so easy!! So watch out...there's a monster on the loose. I'm gonna get all kinds of ideas now I can just feel it. Thank you little sis, Evita for the inspiration. I'm attempting to upload my mini movie to attach to this blog, we'll see what happens.
Today was a beautiful day. I went to sleep and woke up with positive messages seeping into my brain and wow, what a shift in consciousness.
I was interviewed by a woman who did a feature article on me in Curve Magazine a few years ago. This time she's working for Curve Magazine's blog called The Red Carpet. Just in time cause I intend to walk the red carpet in two weeks for The Back Up Plan. Who's gonna get me some red carpet clothes? The interview was at my friend Freida's restaurant Reyhan Persian Grill in Culver City. Check it out when you're in the area. The food is so fresh, they only use alkaline water and you must try a soup called Aush. (not sure if I spelled that right but sound it out)
And now for today's ironic moment: If you've been following my blog this week, you are familiar with my Agape choir story. Well today I got a phone call from an agency that hires caregivers. They would like me to come in for an interview and they are located...wait for it...in the same building as Agape!!!! What does THAT mean? More will be revealed....
Enjoy my movie. If I did this right...
video

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 58

Another beautiful Santa Monica day. Sorry for the long vent yesterday but I obviously had to get some things off my chest. There have been several inquiries and encouraging words about the "choir situation" and surprisingly I'm ready to let it go. I'm not ready to go back, but I really don't need to spend too much time dealing with things I can't control. I did find out that there are service commitments in the music ministry, so I could have done my 6 months, been near and around the choir and then auditioned again in January, but that was not offered to me. My spirit, my gut, my intuition and common sense tell me I have all the information I need and it's time to move on. Agape was in my life for a season. I needed Agape but apparently Agape doesn't need me. I would rather be somewhere where I am welcomed and appreciated. Which brings me to something I discovered on my walk today. The Meals On Wheels Westside office!! It got me thinking about being of service to someone who might actually want what I have to offer. MOW is a volunteer organization, Lord knows I do enough of that, but maybe I should look into attaching a little paycheck to my efforts. Just a thought. I'll let you know how that works out. You know me by now...everyday a new adventure!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 57

People get ready. There's a rant a comin'. Just had a moment of rejection and embarrassment all at the same time. And in church of all places. Now I remember why I haven't joined a church choir since I've been in LA the past 25 years. After singing in choirs my whole life and even directing one for a while at Calvary Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens, I thought it be would natural to join a choir once I found a church home here in Los Angeles. So, in 1985 while attending Maranatha Church I went their choir rehearsal one evening with the intention of joining and was completely ignored by the choir director and all of the members. I'm sure I told her (the director) I wanted to join the choir, but no one said a word to me, no "welcome sister", no introduction, nothing.
Well obviously that put me off for years, because the whole time I was at West Angeles, I never even considered joining their choir. ALL those divas can sang. Yes I said sang.
So now, here I am at Agape. Been going there for years, worked a tiny bit with the Sign Language ministry and had been looking for a place to be of service, but never really found anything. At one point, I inquired about becoming a member, but for some reason, there's no "membership" anymore. No one has been able to tell me why. Lately, I've felt that Spirit might have been whispering to me to join the choir so tonight I went to audition. It was in front of the choir (I knew a lot of people there) but was rejected because I didn't have any service commitment in the past 6 months. I was at the end of a line of people auditioning, some who couldn't even find a key and they all got accepted except me. I told the truth, that I hadn't been of consistent service but attended quite frequently and paid my tithes to Agape (so much so my accountant made a comment about it when she did my taxes this year). Rickie still allowed me to sing but my heart was not in it and it was so embarrassing to have to pick up my stuff and leave the room. I am not OK with that. OK, so let me examine my part in all this. I did know the rules, but thought they would work with me. Why wasn't an option to start doing service in another ministry while being in the choir. No one offered me that choice. And isn't being in the choir being of service? It's not like it's a paying job. Apparently tithing and service are two different things but all I can think about is how much money I have given to that church which supposedly supports various ministries. Something just doesn't seem fair. And again, let me examine my motives which ironically involve money (or the lack thereof). Either way, it seems they do things differently on the west coast and it may be another 25 years until I ever try to join a church choir again. By then, who will even care? Ha! That's funny...apparently nobody cares right now.
I'm accustomed to the rejection I face on a daily basis because of the career I'm in, I certainly never expected it from a spiritual institution. Guess that's why it hurts so much.
I wish I wasn't taking this so personally, but I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy toward Agape right now. I'm going have to process this. It's gonna be hard to enjoy the choir like I have in the past. This is in part why I just enjoyed coming to church to worship only, not to get involved with personalities and stuff. At some point I need to let it go but it's gonna take a minute. Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 56

What a beautiful day here in Santa Monica. Took a nice long walk to the ocean and back. Despite the beautiful weather and the opportunity to enjoy the sun, the people and the sights of my little community, I was a bit down when I started out. I had just heard that Rolonda Watts got the role that I also auditioned for on the Corbin Bernsen film, 25 Hill. What a fine line between being happy for someone else and disappointed that it wasn't you. Yikes! Got a pep talk from my neighbor Floyd who shared about the sacrifices he made when he bought a apartment building in 1972 for $80,000. It took him 20 years to pay it off and it's now worth about 2 million dollars. Also got a pep talk from my friend Andrea who reminded me that, like her, in one minute, it could all turn around. We haven't been working toward our goals all this time for nothing and we are already living our dreams. How dare I complain or be sad as I roam around Santa Monica Pier with the tourists in the middle of the day??
Then as I was working on my budget and finances, I read an article about Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Seuss entitled, What Did They Overcome? Walt Disney filed bankruptcy and lost the rights he had for an animated series he developed called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927. As we all know, his legacy includes a famous mouse and a multi-billion dollar company. Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison(almost a third of his life), turned down a release offer because it conflicted with his values, yet was elected as South Africa's first Black president four years after he was released from jail. Dr. Seuss was rejected between 20 - 30 times while shopping his writing around. His first seller was released in 1937 but it wasn't until 1955 that he completed his famous work The Cat In The Hat, at the age of 51. And we all know the story of Colonel Sanders.
So, that said, I need an attitude adjustment 'cause I'm in this business for the long haul. It's never too late. Being a performer, creator, entertainer and artist is my life's purpose, my calling...it's the reason I was put here on this planet so I might as well get used to it. I'm in it to win it! Amen.

A Clear Channel - Day 55

Looks like it might be a quiet week. Pilot season seems to be over. I think I went out for more films than TV pilots this year. I'm grateful to be in this business but anxious to know what it will feel like to have a steady acting job. I welcome the day when I don't have to look for work every single day of my life. This is the difference between having a job and having a career. I want the two to become one...an on-going job in this career.
Tonight I was a guest at CeCe Antionette's Actors Circle Lab. The focus was on comedy as medicine: stand-up and comedic acting. An actor named Allen Robinson and I represented comedic actors and did a scene to demonstrate the night's theme. Then the participants of the class acted out some scenes and we gave feedback. Remember the comic Robin Harris (BeBe's Kids)? His wife was in the class. Maybe she's interested in doing some acting. I had never met her before. She's a very nice lady and many references were made using Robin's work as an example of comedy, characters, universal topics, etc. It felt nice to give something back.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 54

Happy Easter! Slept in today, didn't make it to sunrise service, but it's all good since I went to Good Friday's blessed event. Just relaxed around the house today, took a nice long walk to the ocean. This is day one of my 12 week walking challenge. I much prefer that to that goofy food plan I was on two weeks ago. I have a feeling I will be adding bicycling to the mix soon. It's just so cool to ride a bike along the ocean.
Caught up on a couple of episodes of Celebrity Apprentice. I can't believe Sinbad is gone already. I've got to catch up to find out what happened. Then I'll probably stop watching because Trump is still being nasty to Rosie O'Donnell which is why I stopped watching The Apprentice in the first place.
Gonna turn in early and read myself to sleep....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 53

Went to see the film The Runaways (about Joan Jett). It was OK. Nothing new here. Typical how a band got started, rose to stardom, one druggie band member messes it up for everybody, blah, blah, blah. The actor who played the band's manager was the most interesting. I'm not a Joan Jett fan, but I didn't discover anything new during this movie. Didn't know her at the beginning and still don't know her now. I thought maybe she had died or something, but she's still "recording and touring internationally" (words displayed on the screen at the end of the movie). This movie seemed to be more about Cherrie Currie the band's lead singer. And?....
Saw my friend Bernie tonight and he's lost about 70 lbs. since I've seen him last. Wow, what a difference!!! He said he went to the doctor last year and the doctor was about to admit him to the hospital his blood pressure was so high. Bernie looks fabulous. He was in 12 week challenge which ends on Monday. He has a trainer and has completely changed his diet. I'm starting a walking challenge tomorrow called GirlTrek. I intent to walk for 5 days a week for at least 30 mins. til June 26th. Like I've said before, the only thing I haven't done is add consistent movement to my lifestyle. Well, the time has come. It's on! Stay tuned.

A Clear Channel - Day 52

What a Good Friday!! Went to service at Agape tonight. I always feel so good when I go there and wonder why I attend so sporadically. I've been wanting to get more involved but something kept holding me back. Maybe I have committment issues in general I don't know. I've been feeling a calling toward the choir lately and tonight we talked about the gifts we all have to share. One of my gifts that I hardly ever share is the gift of singing, music. I've always sung in the church choir back in New York, even directed the Voices of Calvary for years, but have never joined a choir in the 25 years I've been here in Los Angeles. Maybe it's time. Ironically, there are two more audition dates, next Wed. and next Sun. I plan to attend Easter sunrise service on Sunday. I will meditate and pray about joining the choir and let's see what happens. La, la, la, la, la, la, la la laaaaaa

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Clear Channel - Day 51

Whew! I feel like I can breathe again, again. After all these months in anticipation of this festival I tonight, one of the things I did not anticipate was a light audience. I tried very hard not to feel like I was a part of the "step-festival" (the festival after the festival), but I couldn't help but notice that all of the attention seemed to be placed on performances from March 25 - March 28. I was a part of the West Hollywood 25th anniversary festival at a completely different venue. I was told they gave the festival a grant, but the money was apparently spent somewhere other than promotion and publicity. There wasn't even anyone from the City of West Hollywood in attendance from what I could tell. The tickets were moderately priced and there were 4 diverse, strong and well executed performances (mine included). Even though the numbers were small, the audience was very receptive and seemed to appreciate our work.
On a positive note, I had a few friends there, two of which I really wanted to see this show and I got it filmed so now I will have a shortened version of my show for my own marketing purposes. My new solo artist friend, Steven Fales "Mormon Boy" and I went out for coffee after and had another one of our great chats about the "business". We talked about my intentions for my show in the future. One of the things I notice about him is that he is very clear about who he is and what his goals are as a solo artist. Since I don't really want to tour at this time, I'm planning on focusing on doing it here in town as a showcase.
It was also nice to see Tico Wells. Hadn't seen him in a long time. He looks so good and he's written a book! Writers and authors are my heroes. I got an autographed copy and will be having lunch with him soon.
My lil sis Evita was there tonight, and now that this is over, we can work on my new business, Ask Stage Mom.
More will be revealed...