Saturday, September 1, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Hi Everyone,

I recently thought that I haven't posted a blog in a very long time and I was surprised to see it has been almost 6 months since I last posted.  It is always strange how time passes by without any notice sometimes.  I have continually written throughout the past 6 months I just haven't posted anything.

I began keeping a blog due to I wanted to see how I dealt with my life.  I have always kept a journal or a diary, and have notebooks upon notebooks of stories, poems and musings, but they just get put in my closet or on a bookshelf after I fill the pages and I very rarely go back to peruse what I wrote.  The blog gave me an excuse to take responsibility for my comings and goings, my bouts of complaining and be aware of the blessings I have in my life.  What I didn't take into consideration is the reaction I would get from family and friends who have read my entries.

When I write these entries I don't think of who is reading it, I am just writing my thoughts at the moment.  Next week, I might not agree with what I write today, in hindsight.  It is a strange bird, putting yourself out there, opening yourself to public opinion.  A few months back I wrote an article for HBOWatch.com, Eric Northman, The Most Honorable Character on HBO.  I knew that my article would get people talking.  What I was not fully aware of, was the venomous way people like to put you down, just because they are able.  I am always open to a discussion, a passionate display to convey your opinion, a way to agree to disagree amicably.  Instead, I got my first "hater" as they say on the web.  A person who lets you know essentially that you suck and that is the end of the discussion.

I think when I first read the comment I sat dumbstruck at the 'huh?' factor that kept repeating itself in my head.  'What was the point of the post?  That's all you have to say?'  In person would this have happened or would they have kept their opinion to themselves?  Another commenter had the same reaction and left an opening for the hater to defend their post, but they didn't.  Which begs the question, When did the internet become an avenue for cowardly, bullying people to have their way? Of course, I understand the internet is massive and moderators on websites can't police every comment that is made, every spam message that is posted, or every hater to not read their site.  Why is it so important for us as a culture to make our own unhappiness someone else's?  Is it human nature?  Is it cultural?  Is it learned?

Ten years ago, I didn't have a cell phone, I had a landline.  I didn't sit in front of my computer for hours on end watching Youtube clips or catching up on my Hulu queue.  I was out with friends and living my life.  Instead, now I have a smart phone that I am afraid I am attached to and get anxiety when no one messages me or calls.  I sometimes sit in my house for hours, catching up on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are episodes I missed without seeing any sunshine and wonder where the day went.  And then there are days when I think I haven't posted a blog in about three months, but in reality it was 6 months ago.  Where does the time go?  What am I doing with my life?  Am I living or just letting it all pass me by?  I am getting anxious, just contemplating the truth of the matter, because I would love to say that I am living my life to the fullest, but in reality, I am going day by day letting it pass me by.  That is a hard pill to swallow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eeyore vs Tigger

Hi Everyone,

In the three weeks since I last posted my life has again changed in ways I didn't expect.  I got a job.  Not the restaurant job I had, I gave my notice on that one, but a real life, health insurance, 2 weeks vacation, 2 fifteen minute breaks with a half hour lunch job.  I know what you are thinking, I'm thinking the same thing, "Didn't I do this before?  Didn't I feel as if my soul was being sucked out of me? Didn't I say I would never do this again?"  The answer is Yes,Yes, and Yes.  My job is a customer service rep for a psychic hotline.  It isn't your Psychic Chloe hotline either.  These psychics are legit.  I have had readings with many of them in the 2 weeks of training they put us through before we got on the phone.  I have had 20 readings and 7 of them said eerily the same thing.  I am hoping to God that what was said isn't an evil trick.

I have been on the phones for 4 shifts now and I get myself into an anxiety fit before I have to go to work because I can't help but remember how awful my time at MBNA was in the end.  In my need to not repeat the negative experience of my past, I am unintentionally making myself sick with worry that it is going to be the same experience.  I know it isn't rational thinking.  I know that on my days off I can't enjoy the day because I am thinking, "I have to go to work in two more days!" and I am making myself miserable.

Granted, I am an actor, so most of my co-workers don't know that I think these things, because I fake it until I make it.  Tonight is my last day until I am back on the phones tomorrow and I drove to the beach to try and clear my head.  I read a wonderful quote by Harrison Ford yesterday that said, "We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance."  When I read that quote, I said aloud, "This new customer service job is my chance to make my past negative experience a positive one!"  For the past 24 hours I have been fighting my inner voice that wants to hang on to negativity.  The beach, especially at night time reminds me that there is a bigger world out there and there is an order to it, that I do not see.  Working for this psychic company has been an eye opener to the realm of possibilities out there that I don't even realize are on their way to me.

It has been a rough few weeks and I exhaust myself with the stress I am putting on myself.  I want to learn from my fear and learn how to harness it, so that I am a successful productive, happy person, instead of this wound up, tense, unhappy person that is making my life difficult.  My shoulders can't handle the stress much longer.

In other news, my web series has hit a snag.  I wrote the co lead character for a friend of mine, who would have also directed the series, but life intervened and he moved back to Florida.  I was bummed to hear the news, but I wasn't surprised, because he was honest from the get go about how he was unhappy in L.A., but that is the nature of the beast in this industry.  I am learning more and more, that I am involved with more projects that don't get made than projects that do.  That is the way the business works.  What surprised me though, was my utter lack of disappointment that my web series isn't pushing forward in the way that I hoped.  It is like I lost all excitement for it before it even began, which is a shame since I do believe I wrote a really funny series that I know would be fun to make.

I feel as if I am Eeyore in this post..."Nobody... likes... me...that's O...K" which is strange for me, because I always picture myself as a Tigger and I am not sure how to get back to jumping up and down and Woo-hooing.  I think I will watch some game show bloopers or Japanese Human Tetris game show clips on Youtube or repeat episodes of New Girl to get my mojo back.  I am starting to feel better thinking about it :)

Until next time.

All my love,

Tara

Hope you enjoy the following clips:





Friday, February 24, 2012

Sage Advice

Hi Everyone,

It has been awhile.  I have been having these recurring thoughts of how I should be writing for the blog.  How I should be inspired to write.  How I should be composing sentences that are funny and entertaining.  How if I keep writing and publishing, then maybe the universe will provide me with a wonderful opportunity to write and support myself.  These as you know are normal, somewhat aggravating thoughts, if you keep putting off the pinches of calling.  For anyone that enjoys doing something, after a while of not doing it, your body and mind automatically begin to crave doing it and keep reminding you of this subtly and then if you ignore it, not so subtly.  So, moral of the story is to indulge in the pangs of calling right away.

Cliff Notes about my life in the past month.  Pilot season began.  Got new head shots.  Began interning with a casting office (invaluable experience, high note of my week this week), finished up three workshops (two I loved, one I wanted to quit acting over and that is all I am going to say about that), got offered a customer service position with a reputable psychic hot line (no I am not a psychic, I would only assist customers wanting to talk to their psychic), I am writing for the website HBOWatch.com (mostly True Blood articles) and I began volunteering with the No One Dies Alone Program ( I visit people who are terminally ill in hospice care and request to die peacefully).  I have learned a lot about myself in the past month from these experiences and it all came into my life within one week!

What I have learned...is that I have to keep moving.  I have to keep moving my feet, explore, live my life, get out of the house, have new experiences, have fun.  I forgot that for a bit.  I forgot about me.  I began looking at my life by the past and it makes life seem as if it is a competition.  My college buddies would say in unison, "It's not a competition!!!!"  I began reconnecting with friends, through my favorite new technology, Skype.  The first time I used Skype with my sister we talked for two hours!  It's addicting!  It is like I am having lunch with my sister at the local diner and we are just chatting away!  I love it!

I have been smiling about the outcome of my life in the past month, because for the month before that, I was waiting around for things to happen and as soon as I began moving and taking walks or renting a bike, or visiting the coffee shop, or hiking in one of the canyons, life changed...just like that.  During my training for the hospice program, we were told that most patients die when no one is around.  There would be a wife that leaves the room for just a moment to go to the bathroom and her husband passes within those five minutes, or the child that passes when the parents leave to get a cup of coffee because they are trying to stay awake.  That really resonated with me.  When one must do something because it is a normal part of life, like go to the bathroom, or get a cup of coffee, it is then that one's life changes, with that step forward.  For me to close the door on my time in the restaurant business, I can fill out tons of applications and apply for thousands of jobs, but if I am not doing what I need to do to live, nothing will change.

I had a wonderful workshop with a casting director last weekend and after the class I stayed back to ask him a question.  One of my classmates was ahead of me and she was grilling him on what she needed to do to get to where she wanted to be in the business and the casting director said this "Stop.  Stop.  Breathe.  Know this.  If you want to survive in this business you have to persevere, first.  Second, you have to let it go.  Let all your expectations, all your wants, all your shoulda, coulda, wouldas go.   Let it be.  It sounds hoity toity, but you have to let it go.  Do what you have to do to enjoy your life and be grateful for what you have.  That is my only advice for this business.  You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you put limitations and labels on your dream and believe that if you reach a certain point it means you are successful, because you won't feel successful when you hit it.  You will feel resentful because you focused all your energy on that and didn't live your life"  Wow!  That is exactly how I feel.  I have put my life on hold for this dream and I get down on myself because I don't feel as if I have anything to show for it, but I am trying.  I am moving.  One step at a time.

Until next time.

All my love,

Tara

Friday, January 20, 2012

Be Your Own Champion!

Hi Everyone,

Today I had the pleasure of shooting new headshots with Joanna Brooks, who is such a lovely woman and boy can she take a picture!  From the shots I saw, I was chuffed with the results.  For anyone who hasn't had headshots done, let me take you through the process.  The night before the shoot, I go through my whole wardrobe and essentially bring almost all of it to the shoot.  You think I am kidding, which I am, but I literally took 3/4 of my wardrobe with me today.  I had a full suitcase of clothes, with jewelry, shoes, hair essentials, makeup, hair bands, etc.  When I arrived at Joanna's, she greeted me with a hug and some extra hands, since I also had clothes on hangers along with the suitcase and my pocketbook.  So, I looked like a bag lady, but cleaner and crazier.  I then got the opportunity to meet Joel, who was my makeup artist.    Joanna and I went through my whole wardrobe and then we discussed the roles that my three looks were to represent according to what I wanted.  So after that, I hopped in the makeup chair to get all "purty" for the camera.

During the makeup process, this is the time for everyone to get to know each other.  I had met Joanna last year and I really liked her style and I got the sense that she would be able to capture who I am because I felt comfortable with her.  Getting to talk with her and Joel I was reminded of the fact that she made me comfortable.  During this whole process, she had music playing on her ipod and I have to say I couldn't help wiggling in my seat to the music or singing along to Adele when she started to play.

This headshot session was all about me getting headshots with my glasses.  For the past 4 years or so I have been forcing myself to be this woman who isn't me in the headshots.  All my past headshots are of me without my glasses and sometimes the makeup is too much for me personally.  In real life, I just don't look like that and in the past year, I have been meeting so many people in the industry with my glasses that they can't remember who I am by the old headshot, it just isn't me.

After each look, Joanna would let me see a few of the photos and they look fantastic!  The makeup is natural, my eyes pop in them and I have a personality shining through.  I could see how agents and casting directors would cast me all of a sudden, just by the shot.  It is pretty amazing!

On another front, the restaurant I work for closed for renovations, so I am going to be doing temp work in the mean time.  I have an interview on Monday and I am excited about it, because the temp agency works with a lot of non profit.  As some of you know, I have a urge to change the world, but I haven't really been able to find the balance between my love for acting and wanting to do something that means something in the long run.  I think I might have figured something out though.   It is funny how life works, because I wrote a bucket list last week and one of the things I put down was to volunteer with the program No One Dies Alone.  It is a program I read about in O Magazine a few years ago and I never made time to sign up in NYC, so now that I have time, I signed up for it last week and I have training on Sunday.  I am also hard at work writing up the last of my webisodes and I am so excited for it!  I don't know what has happened in the last few weeks, but I finally understand that if I want to get out of the restaurant business, get out of it.  If I want to write, I write.  If I want to help others, I help others. If I want to act, I get new headshots :P  I have to put one foot in front of the other and believe in myself.  That has been a hard lesson for me to learn, because for some reason I never thought of myself worthy of my dreams and aspirations.  It wasn't until I began studying at the acting conservatory that I knew that if I wanted to be an actor, I had to learn to be my own champion.  It has only been in the past week that I have realized I can be my own champion in all parts of my life.  How wonderful is that?  I have a headshot to prove it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Wish Entertainment Weekly Was Hiring

Hi Everyone,

With the new year comes a new outlook.  I don't do this every year, just to clarify, but this year, since I became unemployed I decided to use the free time to begin to look inward and maybe mend some things about myself that aren't in the best shape.  I began reading Jack Canfield's The Success Principles and there has been a slight shift in my thinking, toward the positive.  There is a wonderful quote from Stan Dale that resonates with me, "I've always been the opposite of a paranoid.  I operate as if everyone is part of a plot to enhance my well being."  As soon as I read that, something inside me understood those words and I couldn't help but smile.

This past week hasn't been the easiest.  I have been to 60 different restaurants, had two interviews and nothing has come of it.  So I moved on to the government of California's unemployment website and began applying for jobs there.  I have reached out to friends on Facebook and I have been fortunate that a few friends tried to help me out to no avail.  Now, a month ago I would have thrown my hands up to the heavens and screamed, "What the hell do I have to do to get a job?"  I did that last time and I got a job within a week after trying for five months.  But this time, I get the feeling that maybe I need to move to a more creative way of thinking and applying myself, because the old way isn't working anymore and I think the restaurant business and I are close to caput anyway.

So if I had my wish I would love to get a job with Entertainment Weekly.  I would be happy just to be getting people coffee and talking TV, movies and music with everyone.  I love reading the articles each week and I scour the website to read the recaps of shows, even though I watched them in realtime, just because I like each recappers sense of humor and their pure honesty in their dorkiness for their love of the show they are recapping.   I laugh out loud sometimes and more than is reasonable I catch myself shaking my head in agreement to something they say in the recap.  It's like I am reading a recap from myself...

So God if you are listening....

Until next time.

All my love,

Tara

Friday, January 6, 2012

Being Aware and Loving in 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

I hope that 2012 has been shaping up to be a stellar year so far!  I am not a big stickler for making resolutions in the New Year, due to I never fulfill them and when I seriously look over my resolutions, they always seem superficial and not very inspiring.  It always seems as if I am punishing myself with my resolutions, so this year I began keeping a gratitude journal.  It has been difficult just because I know how hard I am on myself and that is what I am trying to overcome.

I got to spend time with my family this holiday and it was wonderful.  It was also a great time to honestly assess where I am difficult and how I deal with my family.  I am not proud of the times I let them get on my nerves, but during the visit I began to be aware of my thoughts on the situation and where I can change it to be more positive.  I noticed I don't have patience for going the long way around (Dad's driving), I also let my Mom's stream of consciousness speaking out loud get to me, when in reality she is just glad to have me to talk to.  When it comes to my sister, I always have to be in control because in my head she is still the baby not the 27 year old she is now LOL!  I became conscious of her nerves getting frayed over my inability to let her do what she wanted.  I kept my mouth shut a lot of the time and so I learned I have an opinion for everything :)  I always told myself I am not that opinionated, but that isn't the truth.  Truth is, I don't verbalize a lot of my opinions.  Opinions are good to a point, but if they judge family and friends and yourself, they aren't so healthy.  I am trying to learn to make my thoughts healthy, positive and loving.  Some days the thoughts are so loving and strong and other days it is a struggle to find one thought that is positive, but that one thought and my stubbornness to find one positive thought keeps me moving.

What are some of your ways of staying positive?  I would love to hear from you!  Until next time...

All my love,

Tara