Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Vacation Pusher


Definition of "vacation"

"A period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation".
 Kristian Peetz


I'm the "vacation pusher". Why?... Because I am always encouraging friends, family and associates to take that MUCH needed vacation or "staycation" every year.

My own example of this would be a Caribbean Cruise in 2005. My husband and I were both so busy and stressed, we don't even remember the first two days on the ship! I think we slept the whole time. Seven days later we resembled ourselves again. A friend had encouraged us to go on that cruise. He didn't realize what a favor that was. So, since then I know!


Minimum Vacation Time Around the World, Legally Required by Country
Source: www.nationmaster.com
 __________________________________________________________________________

28 days      Australia    ....Good for you, mates!

35 days      Austria      ....They need it, they're still getting over how they got sucked into WWII  

10 days      Canada      ....No kidding, that's why you're all so darn friendly!

6 weeks      Denmark    ...So that's why they all look 19

5 weeks       France      ... This is why "French Women Don't Get Fat"*

20 days       Hungary     ....Glad to see they are "hungry" to experience life!

20 days        Ireland       ....20 days to be the life of the pub.....and walk the hills of green velvet

18 days        Japan        .....One of the highest life expectancy rates on the planet

25 days        Norway      ....Because some days it's just too hard to get out of bed with frozen toes

30 days        Spain         .....Learn to "salsa" in 30 days or less!

28 days        Sweden     ....  Here's to you, the originators of my family tree

28 days        Switzerland....  Known for being a "stoic" country, even they "get it"  

None            United States ....Highest rate of divorce, crime, obesity and vehicle deaths on this list

I love our country but too many of us are over stressed, over worked, over spent, over weight, and yet, "under" happy. For the sake of your overall health and quality of life, take a break. The world won't stop turning!

Show yourself and your children that there is more to life than work...

Don't be a hamster on a treadmill. (Did you know they eventually just drop dead?).

Lastly, even if you can't get time off make it a "vacation at home". Order take out, get a foot massage, don't do the dishes, (ok just do the really gross ones), have a picnic, take a bubble bath, play video games until you fall over, call your friends, watch 47 episodes of Grey's Anatomy, visit a long lost friend, play an old record or CD, have sex, roll in the grass, play tag, ride your bike, see a movie by yourself...........


*Author: Mireille Guilan

www.frenchwomendontgetfat.com
    

  











Friday, June 29, 2012

What's in a size?


Ladies....by now it's no secret that designers and retailers have adjusted their sizes individually so that no two are alike.

"Marie Claire" Magazine sent a perfect size 8 "fit" model, shopping.

What size fit her is not the same everywhere!

True to her size 8 were, Ralph Lauren, L.L. Bean and Gucci.

At Ann Taylor, Club Monaco, The Gap, Donna Karen, J. Crew and Armani she was a size 6.

Banana Republic a size 4. (Everyone knows their sizing is beyond generous).

And just as I always suspected, at H&M she was a size 10. Their sizing is cut supermodel small!

Me, I have always been 3 different sizes, rather than giving numbers I will just say what they mean:

-Small, i.e. "Good enough for Hollywood"

-Medium, "Not quite good enough for Hollywood"

-Medium/Large, which means, "Put down the ice cream or you'll never work again!"

Health and fitness are important to me so I adhere pretty well, most of the time!

______________________________________________________
I once read that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14 which is considered "big" today. The actual truth is she was only a size 14 in Europe which was a size 10 in America.  Still, a size 10 would be considered too "big" for someone her height in Hollywood today.





  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"How did you get your S.A.G. card?"

.
This question pops up often in the biz...

I got my S.A.G. card 14 years ago. I was booked as a rollerblade girl in Season 8 of "Baywatch" marking the beginning of my union eligibility!

How do you get your S.A.G. card? 

Getting your S.A.G. card is a milestone in most budding actor's careers. This is because you can't work on most productions without being in the union. However you can't get into the union without being booked on a union production. It's a "catch-22", to say the least. It's not designed to be easy. :)

The best way to get in is to figure out what your "specialty" is. Do you have a skill, talent, sport, anything specific enough that a production company is willing to hire you? Production companies are encouraged to book actors already in the union.  So they should have a good reason why they needed you......another non-union actor.

In my case it was "bikini". Yes, in Hollywood, that is a "specialty"! It may have been the ability to rollerblade in a bikini may that put me over the edge into getting chosen.

I was a full time student and had sent in my headshot and sparse acting resume to the casting director. Didn't have an agent yet. Needless to say I was gobsmacked when she called the next day! This was my first real work on a major production. Every actor remembers their "first"....


The "Screen Actors Guild" is now 
SAG/AFTRA...or "ONE" Union.





"I got my SAG card doing an episode of Murder, She Wrote with my heroine Angela Lansbury. I played an English floozy." - Jane Leeves


"I got it on a TV show called Throb. I played a little kid who was stalking Jane Leeves." —
Neil Patrick Harris

The above two quotes are an excerpt from TVGuide.com







       

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Men and Women Can't be Friends.....

Harry: Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That is not true! I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Harry: No you dont.

Sally: Yes I do.

Harry: No you dont.

Sally: Are you saying I'm having sex with these men without my knowledge?

Harry: No, what I'm saying is they all want to have sex with you.

Sally: They do not.

Harry: Do too.

Sally: How do you know?

Harry: Because no man can truly be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to   have sex with her.

Sally: So you're saying a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?

Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail them too...

     ____________________________________________________________________

(Excerpt from, "When Harry Met Sally").......a modern classic, screenplay by Nora Ephron

Nora,

I have giggled and nodded in agreement during many of your films.

I read that you wrote some of your screenplays with your sister, Delia. I've worked with my sisters too. It's the best!

Nora Ephron, Rest in peace

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mike Tyson on Broadway.....?

The Great White Way is welcoming none other than Mike Tyson...

Apparently the boxing legend's one man show here in Las Vegas, "Mike Tyson, Undisputed Truth" is quite a hit.  A scarce few productions achieve even a limited run amongst the best of the best, and he is being welcomed at the Schubert's "Longacre Theatre", no less!

I haven't seen the show so I can't render an opinion. However I do think that his approach to talk openly about his mistakes, accomplishments, and everything in between is something people find intriguing. Like or hate him he is still a "celebrity"...and you don't see many of them actually being this open about anything.

"Art" is a term that describes a diverse range of human activities, and the products of those activities. So this makes Mike Tyson an "artist". Oh, and the man can be funny. He surprised us all in the "Hangover" films...and his "funnyordie.com" spots.

Anyone who has the courage to put himself up to such scrutiny as Broadway...I can't help but say, "Break A Leg"!......er ...um....that's just an expression Mike.....





Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why flap when you can soar?...

Started the week with a fresh, salty air run in Laguna Beach!

When I looked up at the birds, some were flapping busily while others were just soaring with the wind. It reminded me of a phrase I heard and liked so much I remembered who the speaker was; Dewitt Jones.

His point that day was that you can "flap" away forever at certain things and never get very far. Or, you can be open to what it is in your life that makes it easier for you to "soar".

I've been paying more attention to this particular philosophy lately. Both in my career and personal life.

What is it in my career that makes it easier to "soar"? Some things are showing themselves to be solid and consistently more prosperous and rewarding with the same or only slightly more effort. Others are fading to the background, maybe just for now...or maybe for good. Time will tell. In any case, this approach seems to be working!

In my personal life I have been doing too much "flapping" as well. I am making some changes, streamline some things to make it easier to "soar" as well.

Try taking several steps back and look at your present life. In films this is called a "master shot"....done with a wide lens.  What do you see?.. What is it about your life that is causing you to "flap" instead of "soar"?....


  
Photographer Melinda Nagy
http://www.dreamstime.com/white-seagulls-flying-imagefree15998605

Friday, June 22, 2012

Feelin' g-r-o-o-v-y for Liberace

Today we're supposed to submit a snapshot that looks somewhat like it's from the 70's or 80's for "Behind The Candelbra". You never want to submit anything too obvious. Let the casting directors use their imagination.

So curious to see Michael Douglas as Walter "Liberace"...I think this film will have be very poignant in addition to it's visual appeal. After all, Liberace was a very eccentric person who loved beautiful and interesting things. I think they served as kind of a "muse" for him.

I had this one taken last month for another film that wanted the same, so it'll do. The film is shooting in Vegas, Palm Spring and L.A. Would be fun to work in Palm Springs...haven't been there much. Used to go regularly when I was working with the PGA.

So, we'll see....will it be "day player", "stand in", or...."extra"?  Either way, I'd love to be involved. Am a fan of the guy and an even bigger fan of quality films...


"I had to dare a little...who am I kidding?....I had to dare A LOT"   - Liberace

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NHL....National Hotness League :)

Which is to say I always enjoy working this show....

The testosterone in the theatre is intense! Hockey guys seem pretty down to earth though...kind of like firemen...on ice skates!

It was at the Wynn this time.... In Garth Brooks Theater....otherwise known as the Encore Theater. Nice!

"Nickelback" were the featured band...AWESOME music for the NHL Awards. I am a fan of theirs, but it must've been a bad day as they were dropping the "F" bomb left and right. I heard they came up with their band name from one of them working at Starbucks and he hated it when a coffee was 3.95 and someone would ask for their nickel back....well I'm sure those memories have faded. From "barista" to Bad boys...

The exit required us to walk the entire length of the red carpet...fun, except for
the "silence" of the hockey fans.....you could have heard a pin drop!
You know because who are we, right? I find it amusing....


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm not a "scab"....


Cuz daddy was a teamster.....Sounds like the name of a country song!

Today was eventful. Had an issue with the NHL Awards. We were told not to work because it's non union but had been told years before it was okay. This happened late in the day so if we had to cancel we would have left the production without 9 stand ins!

Thankfully we worked it out with S.A.G. and it's all ok'd.

A lot of people don't realize that actors have a strong union. The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. If you're in the union as a performer, great! It's closed, which means you have to get yourself in and it's not easy. The catch is once you're union you have to refuse all
non-union work. All of it, that's commercials, tv shows and film, and some of it pays pretty well. That's the rule though. If we didn't have a union for actors it would be a nightmare as far as compensation and benefits because actors, unless you're famous, are at the bottom of the production totem pole. That's because there are so many "actors" out there...or people who call themselves that.

Having a union provides actors with a support system and professional representation. Worth it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Going back.....for the future

Today I submitted to Central Casting for a part that required me to include pics of myself in high school and childhood. So I grabbed an old photo album and powered up the scanner...

here's a trip down memory lane.....

I was SO happy here! Couldn't believe I'd been chosen as the Homecoming Princess my sophomore year. The bus ride home from school that day to tell my family seemed to take forever. The only problem was I had to have a nice long dress for the coronation in a few days. My dad was a teamster supporting a family of seven. We did not have money for these kinds of things. So, my quick thinking mom took me to "Banks", which was a designer liquidation store downtown. After an hour drive it was only open for another 45 minutes. We TORE through that store and came out with this pink treasure, for only $7!! I think an angel put it there just for me :)




Also found this super fun pic of me and my brothers and sisters....isn't my little brother the cutest with his "pose"?


It would be an understatement to say we were big into cheer leading, my sisters and I!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Back to base camp!...

Wow it's really good to get out of town and get "out there" again! For me it has been awhile since most of my work has been in Vegas or L.A. the past five years.

Thank you to the Miss America Organization for your hospitality. I had a great time! I am enjoying becoming more involved in the pageant world these past few years with both Miss America and Miss Universe/Miss USA organizations.

I have always liked pageants and someday will share my personal pageant story.

Too bad it rained all week but I still got my runs on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Now I am super psyched to run in the next town I visit!

Also, no thanks to Trump Plaza bell desk for losing my luggage for over an hour on Friday at check out. It was a lesson in maintaining my composure and I passed! Not an easy task since this delay caused me to miss my return flight! So three hours and two standby lists later I was headed back home.

You know what? I was reminded that its just better to not let things get to you when it's out of your control...I am glad I didn't let that ruin my day. As it turned out I ended up talking to a very nice guy named Richmond for a half hour at the airport who may very well end up a friend and associate.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Location is NOT everything....after all...


I see how true this is as I spend my week in Atlantic City instead of my usual Las Vegas.

From the "strip" to the "boardwalk"......

It seems as though Atlantic City would be easily more successful than Vegas because it's a convenient driving location from many major cities, has a lot of beachfront casinos, and a gorgeous marina. Whereas Vegas is just the desert and some mountain views to most people. Well, as they say,  "it's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts"! A.C. has not and does not do enough with what it's "got". I don't know why, couldn't begin to know.

I am just enjoying the good things while here like running on the boardwalk and spending some time with some pageant peeps.

It's noon and I'm at Starbucks on the boardwalk....one true thing, free wi-fi "locations" are always good!



 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greetings from the Jersey shore...


Had a great visit yesterday at the Miss America Organization. I see these people every year at the pageant, (I am a rehearsal host), and we exchange pleasantries but never really get a chance to talk...so this was so nice! Had a lot of fun just dishing about Vegas, the pageant, the history of their program, and of course some business.

When I look out my hotel window at the Atlantic City Boardwalk and think back to where it all began in 1921, I try to picture the people's lives back then. It seems like another planet in some ways. How has The Miss America Organization been around for so long through so many changing times? It's amazing.

Those who say pageants are bad for women are the ones who have usually never been in a pageant. More than ever teens and young women need guidance on social skills, charm, personal presentation, cultivation of talent, education, and giving back to the community. American Idol has lasted 11 years so far...when they've made it to 91 yrs, then we'll be impressed!

The one criticism I would have of this organization is that at times it has seemed "out of reach" perhaps to the average girl. I was too intimidated to enter as a young woman.  However, for the past 6 years they have had the Outstanding Teen Program which encourages involvement starting at age 15. As a judge for this organization in Nevada, I've seen some very young, nervous, but bright teens grow each year as they compete. You can compete in each pageant more than once. The self discovery these young women experience is fulfilling to see!

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012.....Check out her Youtube updates...



Miss New Jersey Pageant, Ocean City 6/12





Sunday, June 10, 2012

There are two ways a happy life....


Make it that way.......

or lower your standards.

A quote I saw today.

Makes sense doesn't it?

I've decided to both raise and lower my standards....keeps me right in the middle.....

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Behind the Candelabra"...in the Mojave


"Behind the Candelabra" is a film about the final ten years in the life of Liberace starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson. Based on the book of the same title, the film is set in the time period of 1977-1987.

I am expecting to work on this film when it shoots in Las Vegas late summer. 

I realize many have never heard Liberace play. Here is a link. Of course I picked two of my favorite songs...:)


 http://youtu.be/ElOJeZpCbtc


There was another movie, back in 1988. "Liberace: Behind the Music", with Victor Garber, (Titanic), in the role of Liberace. He did a beautiful job portraying Liberace's amazing talent and personal pain. To grow up gay in the 1940-1950's had to have been quite a burden. This film sheds light on that. I also like the focus on the relationship with his mother and how important she was to his well being. The way that this is emphasized in the film as having a lot to do with his ability to accept himself with the perceived "flaw" of homosexuality, is especially timely these days, twenty five years later.





The Liberace museum permanently closed in 2010. My sister and I paid one last visit and it was a sweet day. There was a talented pianist playing one of Liberace's pianos and one last chance to view the amazing collection of Liberace's instruments, cars, jewelry, costumes and other items that were pretty, eccentric, some a little cheesy but for me, a joy to see......I confess I bought a "candelabra" ring!


Below is a link for photos from my last visit to the Liberace Museum before it closed.... forever........to be made into a traveling exhibition.


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1651203684676.2089625.1374521324&type=3&l=f4840e6c3e









Thursday, June 7, 2012

The real "fix"

So, Miss Pennsylvania felt the need to resign her title due to her allegation that the Miss USA Pageant is fixed.....when apparently her real issue is the "fixing" of male to female transgenders who are now allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Organization.

Whichever her real beef is, I have a feeling if she'd won Miss USA she would not have said a word about either, even if BOTH were true. Let's face it, we are all guilty of occasional "selective" morals.

The only insight I can offer having been in the thick of it all weekend, is that what she may have seen is a dummy list used for rehearsals. Or, possibly someone's predictions, which could have ended up being correct, coincidentally. I know a lot of the crew predicts the outcomes and discusses amongst themselves.

Ultimately, it's more press for Trump, who we all know, and accept, as the "P.T. Barnum" of our time.

In any case, the pageant theme continues for me this month. More on this.....later...






Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People...and criers!


This is a REPOST from June 6, 2012
Rest in peace Stephen R Covey


I remember reading this great book by Stephen R Covey back in the 90's. It was a good one. Made me think of all the time I spent chasing my tail when I thought I was being productive. Being busy does not necessarily mean one is "productive", or making any progress whatsoever. This stuck with me.

In fact I may have to go back and read that book again. I think I have gone back to some of my old ways due to the constant use and sometimes major distraction of my 3 monkeys; laptop, ipad and Android. How did we all end up with several computers each when one used to be enough? It is what it is.

The next few days is a little home time to focus on getting some things done because things get busy again next week.  My bedroom and bathroom looked like a beauty supply store threw up in it after the pageant so, back to real life as opposed to "reel" life!......

Oh, that reminds me of my friend Beverly's book.

She was a child actress known for being able to "cry" on cue. She replaced the late Margaret O'Brien as the "queen of the screen criers". When they needed a child to shed crocodile tears they'd say, "get me the crier", and there'd she'd be, on set with some of the biggest stars of that time. Her book is an honest depiction of her journey from child star to adult actress, in many ways two different lives. Back then child actors were not protected in the way they are now. So as she became an adult, there were many ups and downs but through it all she managed to not become jaded.

About Beverly, I just want to say that I have worked with her many times. No matter what she is working on whether it be as a guest star on "Las Vegas" or as just a stand in at an awards show, she is always an elegant professional. She is not negative or judgemental towards others on set even though she has been in the business for over 60 years and worked with the most of the "legends". In fact, in a way she is one. Stella Adler would have loved her!



If you want a trip down memory lane, go to www.beverlywashburn.com, there are
some fun clips from the 50's and 60's. Such a different time back then, seems sometimes
like another planet compared to now!


"Reel Tears", by Beverly Washburn













Monday, June 4, 2012

America's Most Wanted tonight....

Now this Akon song is stuck in my head from the pageant.....at least it's not "Red Solo Cup" which was stuck in my head for days after the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Good for Rhode Island that they now have a Miss USA for a year. Maybe the state will come up in conversation for another reason other than the state everything else is compared to in size and population!

I liked how they tried to mix some things up and do some things differently this year, like starting with a fashion show. They have to keep up with the times in this new media age.

Overall I had a great weekend. Am working on exploring some other avenues in the pageant industry and I am excited about that. Don't want to put the cart before the horse so will leave that for later.

Spoke with Carl Dunn, CEO of "Pageantry" Best source of pageant related topics for all ages.
Pageantry Magazine.

Great to meet people who love what they do, like TNBoy, who is one of the writers for the blog www.freewebs.com/pageantcentral, and also judges and works in coordination of pageant related events. This website is a great resource for all things pageant related.

Anna and Craig Miss USA 2012. Hope you had a sparkling good time TNBoy!



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kickin' things off with a fashion show

And I'm kickin' off my heels!.........the end of a busy but fun work weekend :)

As always I leave the weekend with tons of hair and fashion ideas to try at home, (along with renewed inspiration to keep working out)!

Was fun to play "Miss Universe" during dress rehearsal, since Giuliana was there and they no longer needed me for host. I realized that I am the only woman in the world this year who got to be "Miss America" and walk to the Bert Parks song, and play "Miss Universe" giving out the roses to the winner of Miss USA....of course it was all "for this rehearsal only"....;)





Saturday, June 2, 2012

Call time came too early TODAY

'nuf said

The shoes held up yesterday and for 16 hours no less!  Glad it went well at the pageant and at the film shoot.

I started to really fade around 11:30, hour 15, so I warned the director that if we're not done soon I may get "mean" and it's not pretty....however we were done shortly after...hmmm.....

Another actor needed a ride home. I"m always sympathetic to people who need rides. (I think it comes from not getting my driver's license until I was 19. Failed the test a few times.)


The other actors on the short were funny and talented and that left me with a good feeling about the project. Still two more scenes then it's done.


After that I was in bed by 1am...up at 6am and back on set at 8:30. I feel pretty good, considering.:)